The paper "Efficacy of Regional Headquarters for Homeland Defense Missions" is an excellent example of a law research proposal.
Key Theory/Thesis: The research tests the notion of regional headquarters as efficacious and effective in the performance of functions tied to Homeland Defense and civil functions by the US National Guard, with implications for optimizing the organizational structure to leverage such efficacy and effectiveness gains from regional headquartering arrangements. The paper concludes in the affirmative and makes recommendations aligned with such findings, and towards the reorganization of the National Guard along regional headquarters lines (Moe, 2009. pp. 60-65).
Methodology of Research, Population: The paper combines a review of the existing literature of the subject with a study of how other organizations with regional headquarters have fared; interviews to gain the viewpoints of the senior National Guard leadership, and a determination of the impact areas of any proposed establishment of regional headquarters relating to effectiveness as well as efficacy areas. The population consists of the organizations that include the National Guard and comparable organizations that made up the group respondents to the comparisons (Moe, 2009, p. iv).
Key Arguments/Viewpoints: Essentially, the literature review points to potential areas of improvement via efficacy and effectiveness gains for the National Guard if it adopts regional headquarter arrangements to perform Homeland Defense and civil responsibilities. Those are further fleshed out by the paper and supplemented with inputs from the National Guard leadership as well as from studies of other regional headquarters by other groups. Those gains justify the recommendation for the adoption of regional headquarters for the National Guard (Moe, 2009, pp. 60-64).
Conclusion: There are tradeoffs to shifting to regional headquarters from the status quo, relating to authority loss and to under-utilization, which are offset by gains in all the other efficacy and effectiveness gains identified (Moe, 2009, pp. 61-64)
Major Issues: Command authority is weakened in regional headquarter arrangements, and issues tied to utilization undermine efficacy and effectiveness arguments. The bigger issue is whether it makes sense to preserve the status quo or to adopt regional headquarters for the National Guard, given the benefits and tradeoffs and their implications for the performance of Homeland Defense functions (Moe, 2009, pp. Iv, 60-64).
Critical Review and Analysis
Critique: The literature review works on a certain level, in terms of collating insights from previous studies that have done similar tasks of investigating the validity of alternative organizational arrangements for the National Guard ant the implications of those alternatives to its performance of its duties relating to Homeland Defense. The author argues that in the main, those earlier studies are a rich mine of insights into the areas that can benefit from regional headquarter arrangements in terms of improving effectiveness and efficacy. This methodology is sound and valid, and suffers only from the vulnerability of the study to whatever quality in research is made available from this part of the methodology, To put it another way, the output from this part of the study is only as good as the quality of the research that was included in the literature review. The bigger problem is with regard to the step in the methodology that required looking at how other organizations fared with regard to the setting up of regional headquarters. The problem lies in comparing apples to oranges, or the danger of that. It can be argued, for instance, that the functions of the National Guard relating to Homeland Security is unique and cannot be compared to any other organization. The methodology thus is exposed to a potential flaw or a limitation with regard to its lending itself to being considered as a universally acceptable source of insights. These are caveats therefore that ought to be included in the discussion of the limitations of the paper. Subjective top leadership assessments likewise can suffer from a limited perspective of the issues involved. The analysis of the existing literature can suffer from subjective bias as to the selection of the studies included, and in the interpretation and extrapolation of the results. It can be argued that another study, choosing a different set of related literature, can come up with different insights and end results. The method of selection of studies to be included in the literature review is not vetted. The methodology, therefore, can benefit from further rigor on these aspects, and by association, the results as well can benefit from a more rigorous methodology aware of its limitations and workarounds/approximations (Moe, 2009, pp. 1-64).
Applications, Implications for Homeland Defense: On the assumption that the study results are valid, and that the methodology is rigorous and acceptable within its identified limits, the finding for regional headquarters to make Homeland Security role performance more effective and efficacious implies that the National Guard ought to take the finding seriously, and ought to examine transitioning from the status quo to regional headquarter arrangements (Moe, 2009, pp. 60-64).
Moe, S. (2009). Efficacy of Regional Headquarters for National Guard Civil Support and Homeland Defense Missions. Faculty of the US Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Texas. Retrieved from http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc?AD=ADA512513