Friday, 16 April 2021

To evaluate the impact of innovation strategy on the organisational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry (General Directive of Civil Defence Al Furjirah)


Persistent innovation in defence infrastructure is crucial for any country to guarantee its sovereignty. The Ministry of Interior is a defence institution of the government, responsible for managing and securing the civilians' identification data, emergency management, public security, conducting elections and, immigration-related matters (Ministry of Interior, 2021). [A1] [A2] According to Bertacchini et al. (2018), the organizational structure of government institutions is hierarchical where the top-level management and ministers control the administration and the employees are almost powerless. The United Arab Emirates being pro-futuristic has devised a plan to upgrade its security infrastructure as per the modern standards, in line with their vision 2021. These innovations include integration of smart application systems into defence infrastructure and unification of the country-wide security framework to improve coordination and hence improve civilian security.

1.1 Research Objectives

Objectives of the Research proposed are mentioned below:

  • To determine the problems and areas of improvement in the organizational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry.
  • To estimate the innovation strategy’s impact on the organisational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry.
  • To determine the key important areas of the organisational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry.
  • To find ways to mitigate the negative effects of innovation on the organisational structure of the UAE Interior Ministry.

1.2 Research Questions 

What is the impact of innovation strategy on the organisational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry?

2. Research Area

This research will explore the organizational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry, innovation strategy and its possible impacts on the organisational configuration of the UAE Interior Ministry (General Directive of Civil Defence Al Furjirah) along with finding the problems and improvement potential in different areas of UAE Ministry of Interior organizational structure.





3. Literature Review

Continuous innovation in civil defence is crucial for any country, due to rapid radical advancements in this sector across the world. The first research on strategy-structure relation was carried out by Alfred Chandler analyzing up to 100 big US organizations and concluded that the innovation or change in strategy leads to significant alterations in organizational structure (Awino, 2015). He also found that larger organizations tend to have more mechanistic and formal structure slowing down the innovation. According to Pihl-Thingvad and Klausen, (2016), innovations in public organizations are mainly focused on performance improvements. UAE government as part of its innovation strategy wants to integrate Artificial Intelligence into its civil defence systems to improve its performance. As per Cascio and Montealegre (2016), such disruptive technological innovations like Smart Police stations where complainants can file complaints without any human interaction etc., are required to have parallel alterations in the organizational structure such as recruitment of IT professionals and conducting training etc. An empirical study analysing the affects of innovation strategy on the Dubai Police’ organisational performance have also found a significant positive influence on  its organisational performance along with significant changes in organizational structure (Alosani, Yusoff and Al-Dhaafri, 2019).

4. Key Theories

4.1. Structural theories of innovation

4.1.1. The dual-core theory 

According to Daft (1978), this theory of innovation divides the innovation into two types i.e. administrative core and technical core. Change in technical core refers to the innovation in products or services whereas the change in administrative core refers to innovation in organisational structure, leadership etc.

4.1.2. Innovation Radicalness Theory

This theory introduces a concept of the extent of innovation from the existing technological or structural configurations and proposes two types of innovation i.e. incremental and radical innovation.  (Azar and Ciabuschi, 2017). Incremental innovation is a routine innovation in the products or services of the organization whereas radical innovation is a non-routine innovation that might revolutionise the whole organizational structure

Another theory that might help in our research is Ambidextrous Theory, as stated by Hafkesbrink (2016), this theory focuses on the ability of an organization to adopt an innovation or change.

5. Underlying Trends of innovation in Civil defence

5.1. Innovation in Technology in terms of AI

Technologically there could be a diverse range of potential innovations in civil defence such as in artificial intelligence, automobiles, weapons, aerospace, electronics, textiles etc (Tiutiunyk et al., 2019). Nowadays there is a growing trend of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially in civil defence or military. Artificial Intelligence is a man-made consciousness capable of executing various tasks itself. There are two types of AI systems i.e. narrow and general AI system, while the former one being restricted to its code is mostly employed in civil defence technologies for various applications such as command and control, intelligence, surveillance, cyber operation, etc.

5.2. Innovation in Organisational Configuration

Innovation in organisational structure can be a change in its rules, technology, human resources, policies and authority etc (Jong et al., 2015). This innovation flourishes under a formal and centralized organisational structure due to better coordination among employees. Most technological innovations such as AI integration to civil defence requires alterations in the organizational structure like recruitment of IT professionals etc.

5.3. Innovation in Leadership 

The ability of leadership to promote a culture of innovation is called leadership innovation (Purwadita et al., 2018). Types of leadership are; open and closed leadership. Open leadership promotes the creative environment allowing the employees to invent and develop new ideas while closed leadership restricts the employees to a set of rules and guidelines. For disruptive innovations such as technological integration in civil defence, requires open leadership; however, the ambidextrous theory presents a balanced leadership approach that could switch between the open and close leadership techniques, depending upon the circumstances (Sun and Henderson, 2017). This type of leadership is called transformational leadership. [A3] [A4] 

5.4. Management Innovation in Civil defence

Management is a process of administrating and controlling organizational resources to reach their goals efficiently (Sahin et al., 2015). According to Birkinshaw and Mol (2006) cited in Koster, Vos and Schroeder (2017), the process of management innovation consists of four different stages: status-quo dissatisfaction, external source inspiration, external and internal validation, and invention. Organisational performance is primarily based on its management system. Since innovations in public organizations such as civil defence are focused on performance improvements, technological innovation in civil defence such as smart police station will significantly improve its performance.


Sustainable innovation in civil defence is highly crucial for any nation in this volatile and disruptively innovating global environment. For this reason, transformational leadership and better management is essential for optimum growth in the civil defence of UAE and might revolutionise the whole organisational performance.









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