Drivers of Organizational Change at USAID After 9/11: A Qualitative Inquiry Using the Burke-Litwin Model
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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) operates in a dynamic environment that forces the organization to maintain its ability to change and adaptability to change. The politics of the U.S. government, the Congress, the President, trends in the academic world, evolution of private sector partners, developments in world politics, and expectations of USAID beneficiaries are only a few of the factors that make up the environment around USAID. Those actors and factors, although strongly supporting the arguments for the organization's relevance and importance, also pose a threat to its survival. Using the Burke-Litwin model of organizational change, this research develops an explanatory model that analyses the evolution of USAID and aims to understand the dynamics of USAID changes in the post 9/11 period. Understanding how organizational change occurs and what actors and factors play the most important roles in the change process at USAID is the key objective of this study that can inform the effectiveness of USAID operation by helping the organization to foresee the dynamics of future changes and by facilitating its maneuvering through the complexities of the domestic and foreign policy. USAID is a part of the US foreign policy but not of the leading agency (the Department of State), which separates it from many traditional state agencies. Though USAID is not the only agency of this sort, its dependency on environmental actors and factors makes it a particularly fitting context for applying the Burke-Litwin Model. This model argues that environmental actors play vital roles in the organizational change at USAID.