How Organizational Leaders Assess Subordinates: US Combat Leadership and Performance in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam translation missing: zh.hyrax.visibility.files_restricted.text

Wagstaff, William (Fall 2017)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/8p58pc948?locale=zh
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Abstract

International relations scholars have long studied the determinants of conflict outcomes, but have only recently begun to examine systematically the importance of combat leadership. This dissertation advances this nascent literature, investigating the ways in which senior military leaders may ensure that their subordinates are competent. The formal theory developed in this dissertation examines the conditions under which organizational leaders may utilize information from their subordinates to assess other subordinates, ameliorating the Principal-Agent Problem. The dissertation then subjects the models' results to qualitative and quantitative tests in three different contexts: World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. The models and empirical results demonstrate that leaders are better able to assess their subordinates when the quality of subordinates is low and when it is less costly to replace their subordinates. The results also demonstrate the trade offs leaders must face when deciding how to structure information flows from their subordinates: whether to gather potentially imprecise information about more subordinates or to gather more precise information about fewer subordinates. Utilizing the organizational dynamics uncovered in the formal models, this dissertation answers remaining puzzles regarding World War II personnel decision-making and combat leadership, reveals Douglas MacArthur's toxic leadership qualities, and shows that the leaders in the Vietnam War were able to assess their subordinates effectively. This dissertation discusses implications for organizations beyond the military and illuminates new directions for future research.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction                                       1

  1.1 Principals and Their Agents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

  1.2 Organizational Self-Assessment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

  1.3 The Military Context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

  1.4 Plan of the Dissertation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

2 Military Leadership and Eectiveness                     11

  2.1 Military Eectiveness . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13

  2.2 Military Leadership . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

  2.3 Does It Matter? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20

  2.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

3 How Commanders Evaluate Subordinates                 23

  3.1 Evaluating Subordinates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26

  3.2 Modeling Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28

  3.3 Baseline Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

  3.4 Extension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35

  3.5 Whom to Consult? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41

  3.6 Empirical Implications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43

  3.7 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .46

  3.8 Appendix: Proofs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

4 Leadership in World War II                             66

  4.1 Combat Leadership During World War II . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

  4.2 World War II and Theory Testing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75

  4.3 Professionalism and Personnel Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81

   4.3.1 Kasserine Pass . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .84

   4.3.2 Mark Clark in Italy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96

   4.3.3 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124

  4.4 Balance of Forces and Personnel Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

   4.4.1 The Battle of Elsenborn Ridge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131

   4.4.2 The Battle of St. Vith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

   4.4.3 Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .147

  4.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .149

  4.6 Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .151

5 Patronage Networks and the Korean War                 158

  5.1 Patronage Networks and Costs to Firing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161

  5.2 Corps Commanders and Douglas MacArthur . . . . . . . . . . . 168

   5.2.1 Alternative Explanations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175

  5.3 Quantifying the Eect of Patronage Networks . . . . . . . . . . .177

   5.3.1 Data and Research Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178

   5.3.2 Measurement Validity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186

   5.3.3 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202

   5.3.4 Consequences . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209

  5.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .211

  5.5 Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .213

6 Personnel Decision-Making in Vietnam                  230

  6.1 US Performance in Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233

  6.2 Combat Leadership in Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242

  6.3 Theory Testing in Vietnam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245

  6.4 Performance and Command Tenure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248

   6.4.1 Research Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249 

   6.4.2 Results . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272

  6.5 The Tet Oensive . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .279

   6.5.1 The Battle of Hue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 282

   6.5.2 The Battle of Khe Sanh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .285

  6.6 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289

  6.7 Appendix . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293

7 Conclusion                                      373

  7.1 Scope Conditions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377

  7.2 What Is Next? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 379

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