Promoting Polyarchy and Professionalism in Officer Character and Leadership Development


  • Matthew Valle Elon University
  • David Levy United States Air Force Academy


The U.S. Air Force’s first seventy years have witnessed frame-breaking advancements in the equipment, tools, and
technologies employed for mission accomplishment, but those same seventy years have also been accompanied
by a substantial accretion of organizational formalization, resulting in delayed decision-making and increased
bureaucratic inertia. The complex and rapidly changing social, political, and technological environments of the
next seventy years and beyond will require Air Force leaders who can initiate and nurture individual and collective
dynamic capabilities to sense and seize opportunities quickly and proficiently. Developing these capabilities
will require less emphasis on rules-based scripts, hierarchical referral, and unitary decision-making processes
(bureaucratic processes), and more emphasis on differentiated decision-making through polyarchy and integration
via the social proof of military professionalism.


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How to Cite

Matthew Valle, & David Levy. (2019). Promoting Polyarchy and Professionalism in Officer Character and Leadership Development. Journal of Character and Leadership Development, 6(1). Retrieved from