The impact of military culture on the embedding of continuous improvement methodologies within the New Zealand Army : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Quality Systems at Massey University, Manawatu, New Zealand
This thesis explores the impact of military culture on the ability for the New Zealand Army to successfully embed continuous improvement methodologies; namely Lean Six Sigma, and whether NZ Army Culture is supportive of the methodology. Current literature discusses both culture and the ability for organisations to change, and this is used as the basis for informing this research. Although the military is representative of the culture from where its members are selected, Military organisations themselves represent a specific occupational culture which is relatively isolated from society. It is this difference that makes the military an interesting organisation to study, and the research will examine whether the traditional norms of military service, the beliefs, ideals and regulations, impact the NZ Army’s ability to successfully grow a culture of continuous improvement.
A mixed methods research is used to analyse the relationship between Military Culture, and the New Zealand Army’s effectiveness in embedding continuous improvement, with a five part questionnaire/survey being the selected data gathering method. The survey gathers specific information on;
• the training and experience of respondents with Continuous Improvement, and
• the cultural environment that exists in the NZ Army and how this impacts on continuous improvement.
I draw on the findings of the survey and the literature to answer four questions about NZ Army Culture and their journey with continuous improvement, the results of which will be of value to both the NZ Army and academics who are interested in the impact that culture has on making change within organisations such as Military forces.