practices that implement strategic HRM: recruitment and selection, training and development, performance management and incentives, and work design and teamwork. Finally, I will close with research issues relevant to sustaining employee development, collaboration, and organizational learning for the long haul.
Some readers are likely to assert that the IC is not like other organizations and that behavioral science knowledge about the effective functioning of business organizations is not relevant to the IC because it is so uniquely different. I will not make the claim that the IC is exactly like other organizations in all ways, but I will claim that it is quite similar to nearly any other organization in many important ways. With respect to differences, Zegart (this volume, Chapter 13) identifies some key factors that make public institutions and the IC less sensitive to the adaptive pressures that commercial firms face. That is, the benefits of competition for adaptation are limited because survival within the IC is less of an issue; IC agencies do not compete directly. Rather, they are aligned to serve unique customer needs (Fingar, this volume, Chapter 1) and, thus, the IC is arrayed more as a loosely coupled divisional structure than a set of centralized units competing in the same environmental niche (Galbraith, 1972). In that sense, the basic mechanisms of organizational alignment—external and internal—apply equally well or well enough to the IC so that theory and research findings from organizational science are relevant. This chapter is intended to summarize lessons from research on organizational effectiveness that can be applied to improving workforce development and organizational learning in the IC.
As described by Fingar (this volume, Chapter 1), the strategic environment of the IC has shifted dramatically in the post-Soviet Union era. Following the end of World War II, the IC had been arrayed to assess and counteract a large, militarily capable, state actor and its many coaligned proxy states. Although many uncertainties were inherent in the strategic balance between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, there was also a high degree of stability in the nature of the relationship, the intentions of key actors, and their likely means of action.