Extant literature fails to address change management in the military during technological change. Few researchers have examined how military organisations, undergo change and what, if any, processes do they use to manage this change. As such, whether change management processes are found to have a positive impact on military organisations or not, the extant literature in the sociology and military domains are being added to by the findings of this research.

The aim of this paper 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 paper addresses. The research draws on semi-structured interviews undertaken with military and civil servant professionals from the Irish Defence Forces and the Department of Defence.

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 ‘ad-hoc approach’ which relies on key personnel highlights the lack of competence which exists at the leadership level and is further exacerbated by the personnel rotation policy currently used in the Irish Defence Forces, thereby having a detrimental impact on organisational efficiency.

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 contributes to the extant body of knowledge.