2022 Paper Prize Prompt

The Role of Organizational Behavior in Competition

While studying the Soviet Union in the 1950s, Andrew Marshall noted how actual behavior diverged in substantive ways from what U.S. analysts predicted or Soviet strategic interests suggested. Searching for analytical perspectives, Mr. Marshall began to study the emerging academic literature on organizational behavior and business strategy. Understanding the strategic competition as essentially one of competing organizations, he brought together several groups to study the influence of organizational behavior in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of competitor and U.S. organizations, exploring themes including but not limited to the influence of limits to rationality on leaders’ decision making, organizational slack, routines, and conflicts of interest within national security.

The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation seeks papers that

reinvigorate strategic thinking on organizational behavior and its impact on strategic competition.

What are, or what might be in the future, cases of great strengths or great weaknesses of organizational behavior in developing or implementing strategy?

Writers may examine the organizational behavior of the United States or its competitors, as well as the organizational behavior of allies, partners, or transnational entities insofar as they affect significant elements of a strategic competition relevant to the United States. Writers may present conceptual papers, analyze case studies, or posit plausible future scenarios through 2050. If writers analyze case studies, it is important that they use original or little-known cases, or provide new interpretations of known cases.

Sub-questions that writers may choose to address include, but are not limited to:

  • How do organizational preferences, cultures, identities, and processes shape strategy?
  • What problems do bureaucracies choose to solve and how might those preferences be missed or misinterpreted by strategic competitors?
  • Why does organizational change fail or succeed? (Writers must define “success” and “failure.”)
  • How might emerging trends or aspects of the future shape the ways an organization acts and behaves?
  • What are the implications of present-day or planned organizational constructs for the future?
  • How might emergent trends in U.S. and competitor organizational behavior affect the character of strategic competition?
  • How might events and underlying dynamics in the security environment force dramatic discontinuities in organizational behavior or provide insight into the potential for discontinuities in the future – both advantageous and disadvantageous for the United States?


News Releases | 12/08/22

Announcing the Winners of the 2022 Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prize on the Role of Organizational Behavior in Competition

Congratulations to our Semi-Finalists, Finalists, and Grand Prize Winners Elliot M. Seckler and Travis Zahnow!
News Releases | 01/05/22

Call for Submissions: The 2022 Andrew W. Marshall Paper Prizes

The Role of Organizational Behavior in Competition & Creative Bursts and Intellectual Outliers The Andrew W. Marshall Foundation (AWMF) is offering two multi-round prizes of […]