Date of Award

Spring 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

Committee Director

Pilar Pazos

Committee Director

Resit Unal

Committee Member

Adrian Gheorghe

Committee Member

Gokay Sursal


Although downsizing has long been a topic of research in traditional organizations, there are very few studies of this phenomenon in military contexts. As a result, we have little understanding of the key factors that drive personnel downsizing in military settings. This study contributes to our understanding of key factors that drive personnel downsizing in military organizations and whether those factors may differ across NATO nations' cultural clusters. The theoretical framework for this study was built from studies in non-military contexts and adapted to fit the military environment.

This research relies on historical data from one of the largest multinational coalition forces worldwide. Time series cross-sectional dynamic panel data from 28 NATO countries over 23 years (1990-2012) were gathered. This data included the following variables: Total Active Duty Personnel number, Military Expenditure as a percentage of GDP, turnover in the Chief of General Staff, and modification of the National Military Strategy Directive. This study measures personnel downsizing as a reduction in Total Active Duty Personnel number in NATO nations' military organizations. A series of analyses using the Arellano-Bond Generalized Method of Moments (GMM) one-step difference method with robust standard errors were conducted in two steps. For the first step, an inspection of the key factors that drive personnel downsizing was performed using Stata 'xtabond' estimation. For the second step, an analysis of whether or not the key factors differ across NATO nations' cultural clusters was conducted.

The findings from this research contribute to the discipline of engineering management by providing a model to improve our understanding and ability to predict future personnel downsizing decisions and to increase our understanding of military governance not only NATO wide but also worldwide. Differences found across cultural clusters make this study more noteworthy.