Why Law and Order as well as Justice

Why would a career government
employee most especially a soldier take up an MBA?

One of the biggest misconceptions about the public sector is
that important business theories are less applicable than they are in private corporations. Our
government operates differently compared to private companies, but this does
not mean that a strong strategic focus, efficient operations, and effective
leadership are not just as important. In many cases, these factors are
even more essential as any government works to such tight budgets and has
multiple factors to consider when making decisions.  The rather
large percentage of skills learnt throughout an MBA program are very relevant
to government-based roles especially in the field of defense and security.

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of the most common misconceptions regarding the military is that it is only
concerned with warfighting, national defense and maintenance of peace. That is
true in a sense that those are its primary missions. To fulfill those missions
however, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) does not just rely on its
capability in combat but also on other functions that support the success of
its objective. In a way, the AFP is also a business, a corporation and to
certain level a miniature national government. It has its own Human Resources Management
system, Marketing Department (Public Affairs and Civil Affairs), Law and Order
as well as Justice System (Military Police, Provost, Legal Officers), Health
Services (Medical Corps, Dental Corps and Veterinary Corps), Professional
Training Branches (Philippine Military Academy, National Defense College of the
Philippines, Training and Doctrine Commands) Budget and Finance (Resource
Management Office, Management and Fiscal Offices). Food, munitions, fuel,
equipment, weapons and its procurement and distribution are managed by military
logisticians and quartermasters that use principles of supply chain management
to ensure that units scattered across the archipelago are equipped to fulfill
specific missions. Transportation and deployment of personnel and equipment is
available by sea, air and land. Operational combat orders of an individual
soldier at a tactical level emanate downwards the chain of command from a grand
strategy coming from the highest general and his staff. The provision of
security and enforcing of peace in the region is conducive to economic growth
and prosperity. A simple decision of a soldier to kill or treat a surrendering
unarmed injured enemy is governed by Ethics. An act of a commander to sacrifice
his own life for the safety of his men is a value of leadership.

simple look at any MBA curriculum regardless of school would show that the
subjects offered in the program could (or would) provide the necessary
education and training to be more adept at the aforementioned aspects of the
military. While the military does not provide
much business training, it does instill qualities in its personnel that
businesses seek. Due to the similar skill sets in both fields, an MBA for
military personnel should be a
natural choice.

common perception is that the military relies on its rigid order system, with
harsh sanctions to back it up. However, it can easily be argued that command
and control is only part of the picture. Ed
Robinson, veteran US Army special operations team leader and now Senior
Vice President and Head of Mortgage, Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati Ohio, points to a different skill set:
discerning what motivates soldiers. He says that the most effective
units are successful because their leaders also have a clear understanding of
what motivates the soldiers under their command.  For that reason, Robinson sees military leadership skills as not only
comparable to business skills but perhaps even better. Speaking to The Economist, he says “The military is simply better than business
at getting people to do what you want them to do.”

That being said, many prospective MBA students assume that
the lessons they will get in class would come solely from their instructors and
and professors. In my experience, a large chunk of my knowledge gained at
business school comes from my classmates with their insights and contributions
to classroom discussions. Effective leadership is perhaps the most
important lesson military MBA students can pass onto their civilian
counterparts. Baron de Montesquieu, an enlightenment philosopher, once pointed
out that a rational army would run away. So if military leaders can hold their
subordinates on a battlefield when the logical imperative suggests a rapid
departure, getting a project team to complete on time and to budget should be
easy in comparison.

recently, the AFP initiated the Performance Governance System “AFP
Transformation Roadmap 2028” as its own adaptation of the balanced scorecard
developed Kaplan and Norton at Harvard Business School. The AFPTR is a fifteen-year strategy that aims to transform the Armed
Forces into a strong and credible institution built on good governance. It
serves as the AFP’s strategy in pursuing reform initiatives within the
framework of Security Sector Reform (SSR). It is geared towards two (2)
strategic priorities: capability development and professionalization of all
ranks. With the PGS as guide, the AFP will be able to lay down its
transformation roadmap towards a better and stronger Armed Forces. This
shows that business management principles have wide applications even
encompassing public governance and military administration.

 A senior military officer once told me, “The
Philippine Military Academy is the best leadership school in Asia, but a
business school can make PMAyers even better than the best”. An MBA education
shouldn’t only be sought for the knowledge on how to increase profit. It should
be pursued for a personal desire to instill positive change in the organization
he or she is in regardless if you’re in a private enterprise or in government
office. After all, “Our Country is Our