Coupling as a Tool for Organizational Efficiency - the case Swedish Armed Forces
Abstract: A mismatch between what corporations and organizations display to be doing and what actually is being conducted on a day-to-day basis seems to be a rule rather than exception in today’s organizational environment. According to previously presented theories in the field of newinstitutional organizational theory by Meyer and Rowan (1977), organizations must decoupletheir formal structure from what is actually being conducted internally to be able to be organizational efficient. The hypothesis of this study implies that some organizations, with highdemands of displaying legitimacy, can benefit and yield efficiency by staying true to the formalstructure. This paper has studied the organization the Swedish Armed Forces with the purposeof testing if and in that case how a tightly coupled structure in a public, hierarchicalorganization generates legitimacy and organizational efficiency simultaneously. Three areas have been focused; Organizational structure, Safety & Regulations and Equality. The reason why these fields were chosen to be examined was due to the fact that they were presented and recurring in the Code of Conduct presented by the Swedish Armed Forces (2016) as something that increases the organizational efficiency in the organization. The study includes 15 interviews with soldiers, squad leaders and platoon leaders from different regiments in Sweden, who were asked to openly discuss and explain how the work regarding the different themes of the study is being conducted and whether or not it was efficient in the way it was being performed. The material from the interviews was then compared to the information extractedfrom the Code of Conduct presented by the Swedish Armed Forces (2016). By comparing theinformation from the respondents to what the organization officially communicated, an understanding of how the structure was coupled, and if the coupling yielded the organizationefficiency or not, was reached. The conclusions of the study are that not all of the hypothesescan be accepted, but one can still see a clear connection regarding the relationship betweentight coupling and efficiency.
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