Organizational Change in the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency   [open pdf - 441KB]

From the thesis abstract: "The creation of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) through realignment of the Customs Service and the Border Patrol was an incomplete step towards integrating border protection. In 2010, Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano approved CBP Commissioner Bersin's request to implement a Joint Field Command (JFC) structure modeled on Department of Defense unified commands. Although CBP has not conducted a formal assessment of the first JFC in Arizona, confusion surrounds whether to continue implementation. This study draws from organization theory to conduct a conceptual assessment of the JFC concept and CBP's change implementation. Theory stressing the importance of network characteristics illuminates how the JFC can theoretically facilitate the right blend of centralized and decentralized activities required to thrive in a complex border security environment better than CBP's current configuration. However, ongoing and future change efforts should be accompanied by a formal change concept of operations based on the insight of organization change models to help ensure the durability of change and likelihood it will be accepted by CBP personnel. The JFC organizational change effort is not foredoomed. Reasons giving CBP leadership pause are more a function of implementation methods and cultural resistance than the merits or demerits of regionally based joint organization."

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