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How was Richard Haldane able to reform the British Army? An historical assessment using a contemporary change management model

Higgens, Simon Giles (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Using a contemporary change management model as the analytical framework, this dissertation examines how Richard Burdon Haldane, the Liberal Imperialist Secretary of State for War (1905-1912), implemented lasting reform of the British Army, when his immediate predecessors, Brodrick and Arnold-Forster, had failed. It considers how political expediency, foreign policy and military strategy influenced Haldane and why his nation in arms concept did not improve the public’s perception of the regular and auxiliary forces. The dissertation concludes that Haldane understood the intellectual complexities of institutional change and that lasting reform required the technical and social dimensions of it to be addressed simultaneously and as an organic whole. His understanding of Hegelian philosophy provided him with a means of synthesising numerous ideas into a viable solution and his intellectual, social and political skills provided him with the tools to implement it. Coupled with a long tenure in office and the support of first-class military advisors, who included Major General Haig and Colonel Ellison, Haldane’s success was not, as he claimed, that he entered office without preconceived ideas about army reform, but that he did not announce them. By doing so, he gained the support of the reform-weary Generals in the War Office.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sheffield, Gary
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:Department of Medieval and Modern History
Subjects:DA Great Britain
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1298
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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