Given the high attention paid to both customers and personnel, DLA can gain a positive brand image that will help it retain its valuable employees and attract new talents who are willing to join a company which is loyal to its people. As a matter of fact, the need to redefine the employer brand derives from breaking the original psychological contract existing between the employer and employee. This concept which was introduced in the early 1960s and which became popular in the early 1990s was defined as "the perception of the 2 parties, employee and employer, of what their mutual obligations are towards each other" (http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/empreltns/psycntrct/psycontr.htm).Consequently, unlike the legal employment contract, the psychological one is informal but is said to be much more influential. According to its traditional version, the psychological contract implied employee commitment in exchange for job security. Nowadays, its "job for life" frame is said to have been replaced by fair pay, training and development. However, there are studies suggesting that the old frame is still valid (http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/empreltns/psycntrct/psycontr.htm).
If one was to apply this theory to DLA's case, he/she could state that the originary psychological contract was altered when BMS program was implemented, and, therefore, uncertainty was brought about. People were used to being item-oriented, instead of customer oriented, and also to operate the two legacy systems that had represented the very backbone of their activity so far. Consequently, the ground beneath their feet began to shake and this could result in the loss of many valuable employees. Hence, before implementing change, DLA should have re-established the terms of a new psychological contract, reassuring enough for employees to take part in the re-engineering process.
To conclude with, an organization has several change strategies to choose from: normative re-educative (implies changing attitudes and beliefs for changing behaviors), rational-empirical (relies on logically persuading individuals), power-coercive strategy (focuses on power as the major motivator) and action-centered (implies a problem-solving approach). In DLA's case, if taking into account the nature of change undergone by the Department, the most appropriate mix would mainly encompass the second and the fourth (http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/corpstrtgy/changemmt/chngmgmt.htm?IsSrchRes=1).
As for the similarity between the private and public sectors, one could state that the issues which have been brought into the limelight so far are equally applicable to all the companies which undergo a change process and are willing to cope with it successfully. In other words, these are common problems that any organization encounters when moving towards progress and a higher competitive advantage. On the other hand, it is true that DLA doesn't have rivals within its market segment as it is the main logistics provider for the U.S. troops. However, ignoring the recommendations that specialists make with reference to change management could lead to poor efficiency and effectiveness and this would have devastating results considering that logistics "literally can mean the difference between life and death" (Lucyshyn, W., Young, S.) as it is stated at the very beginning of the case study. In conclusion, both private companies and public departments should obey the same rules when it comes to managing change as its repercussions are said to be universal.
Lucyshyn, W., Young, S (2004). Defense Logistics Agency's Business Systems Modernization: Delivering 21st Century Logistics. In Gansler, J., Luby, R.E. (Ed.). Transforming Government Supply Chain Management. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC.
Change Management (2007). On the Internet at http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/corpstrtgy/changemmt/chngmgmt.htm?IsSrchRes=1Retrieved February 9, 2008.
Employee Communication (2007). On the Internet at http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/empreltns/comconslt/empcomm.htm. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
Employee Voice (2007). On the Internet at http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/empreltns/comconslt/empvoice.htm. Retrieved February 9, 2008.
Managing Change - Episode 3 (2007). On the Internet at http://www.cipd.co.uk/podcasts/_articles/article3.htm?IsSrchRes=1Retrieved February 9, 2008.
The Psychological Contract (2008). On the Internet at http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/empreltns/psycntrct/psycontr.htm. Retrieved February 9, 2008.