Appendix B: Organizational Theory Considerations in Reforming the Intelligence Community

The lack of coherent inter-organizational theory during the post-WWII governmental reorganization has resulted in an incoherently structured IC(73)

. For example, the relationship between the DCI and the SECDEF has been a significant source of tensions, ineffectiveness, and inefficiency. Since WWII, organizational theory has progressed away from hierarchical pyramidal structures and has moved toward more flexible informal organizations. (74)

Using some of these theories as a basis, the organizational structure of the IC and its component agencies can be revised to meet the post-Cold War needs of flexibility and dynamicism. This move to time-based and technology-based structures, supported by recent theoretical literature,(75)

could result in an IC which is more responsive and proactive without a loss of accountability.


Increase the number of political appointments in the upper echelons of the CIA

Increased political appointments in the upper echelons would help the CIA become more a part of the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and more an arm of the President. This recommendation will help to permanently solidify the relationship between the DCI and the President

Reduce "thickening" in the IC

"Thickening", the addition of multiple layers of middle management, blurs accountability and should be avoided in order to maintain good institutional dynamics in IC agencies.(76)

The first step in implementing this recommendation would be a moratorium on new management positions. The second step would be to implement the major task force recommendation below.


This major recommendation involves a series of small steps toward the creation of a more dynamic and more flexible IC. Each of the steps is designed to be technically feasible and politically palatable.

(i) Standardize personnel practices within the IC.

Although shared training facilities are not necessary, a standard categorization of employees according to function, experience, etc. would permit more freedom of movement within the IC. A standardized security access system is a corollary to this recommendation.

Military personnel could remain in their present system: they would just be separately evaluated and categorized for the purposes of the IC in a form of "double-hatting." The ultimate end of this entire process is the creation of a community-wide pay and advancement system, but this goal could be delayed or even forgotten. What is important is that the infrastructure for flexible, community-wide movement is laid down(77)


(ii) Expand current inter-agency cooperative efforts on multidisciplinary projects.

Unlike the DCI Centers, inter-agency cooperative efforts are constituted only for limited periods of time to ensure dynamism and focus. The task forces can work on current projects requiring expertise from several branches of the IC. By making peer evaluations central to individual performance assessments, team inter-dependency can be ensured and the "departmental representative" syndrome can be eradicated.(78)

As this program matures, more and more of IC work traditionally done in an intelligence cycle manner could be done in temporary task forces convened by project leaders who saw the need for a new product. Eventually, only the most mundane tasks would be done by home agency employees alone. For instance, a routine production like the President's Daily Brief (PDB) could be taken over by a group with new and innovative ideas about its presentation or its content. This task force would pitch the project to a bare-bones management staff that only existed to evaluate proposals and employees. High turnover could be allowed even in crucial positions as long as the expertise in each newly-formed task force was carefully vetted by the new management staff.

The potential benefits of such a system are enormous. Internal control mechanisms are set up that entirely replace former top-down control, eliminating vertical flows of information (stovepiping) and the pathologies inherent in hierarchies.(79)


73. Moe, Ronald. The Hoover Commissions Revisited. Boulder: Westview Press, 1982.

74. Selznick, Philip. Leadership in Administration. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1957.

75. Peters, Tom. Liberation Management. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

76. Light, Paul. Thickening Government. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1995.

77. See recommendations of Vice-President Al Gore's NPR with regard to the IC.

78. Peters, Tom. Liberation Management. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1992.

79. Garvey, Gerald. Lecture given October, 1995, Princeton University.