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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Taking a Normative Approach to Organizational Culture Change on Critical Infrastructure Protection
by Fisher, Ronald E., Ph.D., Benedictine University, 2013, 243; 3530008
Abstract (Summary)

This study explores the question of how to strengthen the critical facilities and infrastructures that are relied upon in the United States to sustain life, continue public services, and keep the economy moving. Since the majority of these critical facilities and infrastructures are owned by the private sector, the burden of protection and strengthening the security posture falls predominantly on the organizations that own and operate these facilities and infrastructures. Security is only one of several external environment challenges that organizations face and is often overshadowed by other forces (e.g., economics, global competition). Security is also difficult to understand in the context of evolving threats and uncertainty. The problem is even more complicated because of the public-private partnership that is the paramount requirement for this success. The government has a critical role in critical infrastructure protection and homeland security, but it can succeed only with privatesector participation. Organizational theories (e.g., enactment theory, institutional isomorphism) can be applied to explain organizational behavior with regard to homeland security.

This dissertation takes a logical-positivism approach, examining security today through a quantitative, longitudinal study. Specifically, over 1,400 critical infrastructure facilities surveyed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Enhanced Critical Infrastructure Protection (ECIP) program are used to evaluate the security posture in the United States over a three year time period. This data is also used to analyze security differences across critical infrastructures as well as examine the effects of this appreciative inquiry based program on actions taken by those surveyed. The analysis shows that there is no change in security posture over the two time periods evaluated. It also shows that there are significant differences in security posture across critical infrastructure sectors. Further, the analysis shows that facilities that participated in Enhanced Critical Infrastructure Protection (ECIP) program, an organization development (OD) based program, are more likely to take action and increase their security posture.

The gap in security along with the improvement from an OD based program highlight that OD-based programs and activities (e.g., intervention, appreciative inquiry, transformational change, culture change) are needed at all levels (i.e., citizens, government, and private sector) in order to cause a normative change that can improve critical infrastructure protection and enhance homeland security. Normative change has been successful in helping solve historic security challenges along with other complex social challenges and is needed in homeland security.

A Security Culture Model is presented as a path forward to strengthening security. The security culture model is action research based and integrates transformational change, sustainable change, and organizational culture (beliefs and attitudes) by applying a culture roadmap, change model, and culture model. The culture roadmap (the path forward, best championed by strong organizational leadership) and culture model together help shape the beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behaviors of individuals. A change model is required to help make the transformational change. To be effective, the Security Culture Model should take an action research approach. Meeting the sustainability challenge will require cross-sector collaboration for which no real precedent exists. Organization development theories, techniques, and tools are needed both in the federal government in order to help in their homeland security responsibilities, and outside the federal government (e.g., citizens, private sector, state and local governments), in order to successfully implement the Security Culture Model.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yaeger, Therese F.
School: Benedictine University
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-A 74/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Management, National Security
Keywords: Critical infrastructure protection, Culture, Homeland security, Normative approach, Organizational change, Security
Publication Number: 3530008
ISBN: 978-1-267-67924-6
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