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Strategically Aligned Family Research

Strategically Aligned Family Research: Supporting Soldier and Family Quality of Life Research for Policy Decisonmaking

Carra S. Sims
Anny Wong
Sarah H. Bana
John D. Winkler
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 88
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  • Book Info
    Strategically Aligned Family Research
    Book Description:

    The Army spends a great deal on soldier and family support or quality of life (QOL) programs intended to ease the stress of military life and thus enhance well-being, improve readiness, and sustain recruiting and retention. The Army wants to develop a research agenda that defines the QOL needs of soldiers and families, helps gauge the success of programs, improves coordination of research efforts, and determines how best to allocate resources.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8114-8
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Business, Technology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Table
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  8. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. xix-xx)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The Army spends more than $2.3 billion annually on soldier and family support or quality of life (QOL) programs intended to mitigate the stress of military life and thus enhance well-being, improve readiness, and sustain recruiting and retention.¹ In the past decade, long and frequent deployments in particular have motivated the Army to expand significantly its commitment to support QOL programs. These QOL programs cover a broad spectrum from health care, relationship counseling, and personal finance training to recreation activities, child and youth services, and spousal employment counseling, to name a few. However, research conducted in support of these programs,...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Linking Army Strategic Goals and QOL
    (pp. 7-18)

    All military organizations must be able to attract and maintain a ready fighting force, and the Army is no exception. Thus, recruiting, retention, and readiness are the Army’s strategic goals in human resource management. To achieve these strategic goals with a volunteer force, the Army has to be an attractive employer in a competitive labor market. Apart from providing financial incentives in the form of pay and bonuses, the Army also offers a comprehensive benefits package including health care, life insurance, and support programs to soldiers and family members. Support services cover a broad range from relationship counseling to childcare,...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Meeting User Needs and Systemic Challenges
    (pp. 19-30)

    This chapter reports the major themes and significant issues commonly cited by Army and OSD officials across multiple domains commonly associated with supporting QOL in the Army. As described in Chapter One, we coded responses from Army and OSD officials to identify areas of agreement in their needs for research and issues they perceive or have experienced in using research. We also coded our discussions with non-DoD interlocutors, but they are not the primary focus of much of this analysis. In total, we spoke with personnel from 26 different organizational units, both military (19) and nonmilitary (7), and coded a...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Aligning Research to Improve Decisionmaking
    (pp. 31-38)

    Successful organizations adapt to change. They have clear goals, develop strategies, and systematically mobilize resources in pursuit of those goals. In this regard, effective use of research—qualitative and quantitative data and analysis—is essential to inform decisionmaking. Research helps define goals and inform strategy development, implementation plans, and subsequent performance-monitoring efforts.

    Roadmapping is one approach to help align goals and strategy.¹ More specifically, it is “a disciplined process for identifying the activities and schedules necessary to manage technical (and other) risks and uncertainties associated with solving complex problems” (Ma, Liu, and Nakamori, 2006). The Army wants to use roadmapping...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Conclusions and Recommendations
    (pp. 39-50)

    The Army wants policy and programming decisions associated with the provision of support programs to soldiers and families to be informed by information and analysis. It is a means to the end of providing the right support services to soldiers and families and to ensure that Army resources are wisely spent. These twin objectives are important motivations for this study. In addition, the Army wants to know how soldier and family QOL is linked to its strategic goals in recruiting, retention, and readiness, and it wants a strategically aligned Army QOL research roadmap to guide an agenda of research to...

  14. APPENDIX A. List of Organizations Interviewed
    (pp. 51-52)
  15. APPENDIX B. Protocol for Semi-Structured Discussions with Army and OSD Officials
    (pp. 53-54)
  16. APPENDIX C. Sample Army and OSD Research
    (pp. 55-56)
  17. APPENDIX D. Protocol for Semi-Structured Discussions with Non-DoD Respondents
    (pp. 57-58)
  18. APPENDIX E. Some Definitions of Research from Federal Regulations
    (pp. 59-60)
  19. APPENDIX F. Major Reference Research Roadmaps
    (pp. 61-62)
  20. References
    (pp. 63-68)