Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Management & Enterprise

First Advisor

Prof. Margaret Linehan


The aim of this research is to determine if the Irish Defence Forces would benefit from the introduction of change management processes when implementing new technological systems. The extant theory has neglected to examine the application of change management processes in military organisations, a shortcoming this thesis addresses. The research draws on semistructured interviews undertaken with military and civil servant professionals from the Irish Defence Forces and the Department of Defence. Analysis of the interviews resulted in a number of new findings. The research highlighted the current deficiency in long-term funding and long-term strategic planning at the political level, and the consequential impact this omission has for capability development planning by the Defence Organisation. The lack of certainty at the policy level, therefore, has negative implications for the Irish Defence Forces, as evidenced by the findings of this research. Consequently, the Irish Defence Forces would be an ‘exception’ when compared to the extant literature on modern ‘best practice’ for a military organisation. A primary outcome identified the urgent need for the Irish Defence Forces to develop and implement a change management process for managing technological change. The current ‘silo approach’ which promotes the delivery of ‘pet projects’ is having a detrimental impact on organisational efficiency. The evident lack of identified change agents and a proactive communication process was notable, and the absence of astute leadership at the strategic level was significant. The current dynamic between the current organisational culture, which is risk averse, and the reliance on dogmatic generational ‘frames of reference’, which inhibit organisational transformation are highlighted as a significant impediment to successful organisational change. The study is significant as it informs theoretical understanding of change management processes by introducing a focus on the Irish Defence Forces, hitherto lacking, and informs the understanding of organisational change in a military organisation. Finally, the combination of the theoretical and empirical research conducted permitted the creation of a new change management process framework for the Irish Defence Forces.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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