Journal of the australian naval

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Dlreotox of Naval Reserves, Melbourne,

I era forwarding by this mail tankage containing corresuondenoe of 1st R.A.Naval Bridging Train, and would request that you wouM file Bame in your office, In oase of future reference-.

tileut-Cooraander it.A.N. Offloex Commanding 1st ■" .A.Naval Bridging train.

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A copy of Bracegirdle's request that his unit's records be filed for future reference.

November 86. Journal of the Australian Naval Institute — Page 16

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Page 16 - Novembei B6. Journal ot ihe Ausrraiian Naval Institute


By Commodore J.A. Robertson

Some years ago a study was made of the management styles of a wide range of American companies. The authors concluded that there was a relation to be derived from the interaction between a company's objectives and its resources. And it was this relation which determined management style.

The conclusions maybe summed up in the simple matrix shown in Figure 1.

Because these conclusions are so broadly applicable it is no surprise to find that they can also describe the way Australia's Defence has been managed, or mismanaged, for the last fifteen years.

Forward Defence Judgement

During the era of Forward Defence the objectives were never staled very precisely, but the broad objective — to be able to send an expeditionary force of soldiers to an Asian theatre, supported by some tactical aviation, and escorted in transit by the Navy was sufficiently well known, understood and accepted to be effective. Resources were less certain, and were chopped and changed to meet cynical political decisions as to where the taxpayers' dollars would buy the most votes. The result was that decisions about the size and shape of the Defence Force were largely a matter of the pragmatic allocation of whatever was made available. The Chiefs of Staff did their best to divide up, as fairly as they knew how, the money provided to implement the objective. On the

whole the system did not work all that badly. Of course it encouraged and promoted inter-Service rivalry, part of the system for keeping (he military so divided that it could not become a political threat — but that was common in all the democracies. Whether the objective was 'correct', or not, was another matter altogether.

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