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Public Policy and Administration


Christopher B. Jones


The Horn of Africa exemplifies maritime instability due to regional climate, environmental, economic, food, and security issues. Future global challenges require collaborative approaches between U.S. government and military organizations to span organizational boundaries and leverage the strengths and insights of diverse organizations. The purpose of this research was to examine organizational culture and identity, as manifested in organizational literature, to identify opportunities and challenges to interagency networks and collaboration in the realm of confronting wicked problems around the globe. The research questions focus on the cultural and normative elements of organizational identity as manifest in the context of organizational literature. A qualitative organizational ethnographic approach provided a means to analyze the structure, cultures, themes, values, and interpretations of the environment present in the organizational literature and perceptions of those in the communities of interest. Interviews were conducted with 7 individuals who had served in professional capacities with organizations in the Horn of Africa. The study provided a composite description of the inter-organizational space and the results highlight key tensions and opportunities for collaboration and boundary spanning opportunities between U.S. Special Operations and the Department of State. The implications for social change include increased collaboration between organizations and the instruments of national power to better support current and emerging crises and vulnerable communities affected by instability around the world in ways that are more effective, efficient, and sustainable.