Can the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) correctly prioritise jointness? While the RAAF may display a strategic desire to be joint, the combined effects of organisational culture and behaviour make it unlikely that it will always place the appropriate priority on essential joint activities. Internal to the RAAF, the propensity towards prioritising individual Service capabilities is created by the organisation’s culture and a rewards system that teaches the individual to favour the RAAF rather than supporting joint. External to the RAAF, the reduced emphasis on joint capabilities is primarily due to the lack of strategic integration between the Services created by the politics of organisational behaviour. The question remains: Is the RAAF capable of removing the organisational barriers that have historically made it difficult to apply the appropriate level of priority to joint?

I will start with two historical case studies that exemplify RAAF’s organisational tendency to incorrectly prioritise specific joint capabilities. Next, I review concepts within organisational theory to build a theoretical framework through which RAAF’s organisational behaviour and culture can be better understood. This understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of organisations will better explain RAAF’s behaviour and facilitate the examination of potential solutions. Next, I turn my attention to organisational culture where I discuss the complexity of RAAF’s internal culture with a multitude of inter-connected factors that combine to create a tendency to focus on Service capabilities which, in turn, could manifest as cultural barriers to joint. I examine whether the organisational behaviour within the strategic layer of Defence promotes a parochial focus on the independent capabilities of each of the Services. At the strategic level, inter-service rivalry is consistently presented as proof that the Services stubbornly refuse to organisationally embrace jointness.

By understanding the complex issues hindering RAAF’s prioritisation to jointness, this book ultimately aims to find potential solutions to address perceived issues not just from within the RAAF but also on organisational relationships with other Services. While the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF) organisational approach to applying jointness has, in the most part, mirrored with the militaries of the United States and the United Kingdom, other countries have chosen not to adopt jointness in a similar manner. Alternative methods in applying jointness could alleviate some of the cultural and behavioural issues being experienced by the ADF. Finally, I draw my conclusion based on all the analysis of the various issues to answer the question of whether it is possible for the RAAF to appropriately prioritise jointness. I focus on potential solutions that could enable the RAAF to remove those barriers that are currently impeding the organisation’s strategic desire to be joint. Some of the proposed solutions, and in particular those relating to cultural issues, will be within the purview of the RAAF to address. However, many of the resolutions will need a wider ADF commitment to address overall organisational issues that tend to exert an equal amount of influence on each of the Services’ behaviour.