Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration



First Advisor

Betty LeMasters

Second Advisor

Marilyn Patterson

Third Advisor

Joe Ancona


This thesis focuses on effecting change in a government agency by the use of communication, motivation through incentives, and other management tools.

The United States Army Reserve Personnel Center (ARPERCEN) manages, trains, and mobilizes Army personnel. Its largest directorate is the Personnel Records Management Directorate, which houses the Accessions Division. At least 200,000 hard-copy personnel records pass through the Division for verification and processing in a typical year.

Eighty percent of hard-copy records transferred to ARPERCEN were also transferred electronically; however all were band-processed as if new. This entire accessioning process was redundant and inefficient.

Change was coming. The Reserve Database Maintenance System (RDMS) was created, allowing on-line real-time add, delete and update capabilities to the new database, Total Army Personnel Data.Base - Reserve. Could the author motivate the Accessions Division to become efficient under the new system?

In July 1993, ARPERCEN top management stated RDMS would come online 1 November. The author decided to keep his staff informed of RDMS-related effects and to coordinate working-environment changes with union representatives.

The author rejected the train-the-trainers approach top ARPERCEN management supported. His staff members were barely computer literate; he had no one qualified to conduct such training. The author created a worksheet showing data fields exactly as the data-entry screens. After two days of general keyboard training, employees brought records from their work areas, entered required codes on the worksheet, and entered data into the system exactly as would be during production mode.

When RDMS was brought on-line, the Accessions Clerks were ready. The author used words of praise and MoonPies ® to motivate his staff until a monetary bonus plan could be designed and implemented. The Accessions Division reduced their backlog of records from 55,000 in April 1994 to 17,000 in July, an interval of just 90 days.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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