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Innovation and Adaptation of Intelligence and Security Services

Public Library Amsterdam.jpgsep 2023

The Netherlands Intelligence Studies Association (NISA) will hold its International Conference 2023 on Wednesday/Thursday 25-26 October 2023 at the Public Library Amsterdam main building. NISA aims to bring together academics, (former) practitioners and others who take an interest in intelligence and security. The conference includes a broad variety of disciplines and topics. The main themes are geopolitics, intelligence culture and digital transformation of intelligence and security services. Around these three themes the conference is organized, with plenary sessions, paper presentations, panels, workshops, breakout sessions and roundtables.

Click here for more information about the NISA Conference.

NISA is an independent study association established in 1991. The aim of the NISA is to promote academic research and education in the Netherlands about the development, tasks and organization and working methods of governmental and private institutions involved in intelligence, counterintelligence, security, and related activities, in the past, present and future. NISA members include academics, media representatives, (former) employees of intelligence, security, police, and private organizations. The field of activity of NISA and the expertise it represents covers a broad spectrum of the work of intelligence, security, and police services: history, research, organization and oversight, methods and techniques, and technological developments.

SoSecure is a proud sponsor of the NISA International Conference 2023. At the conference, we will launch the Knowledgecenter Security Intelligence (KSI) which aims to explore innovative approaches to emerging challenges in the field of intelligence for tomorrow’s complex and dynamic operating environments. KSI will be a network of experts working on generating, sharing, evaluating, and applying knowledge in the field of intelligence. KSI brings together a network of communities of practice, comprising experts, decision makers, practitioners, researchers, and the private sector.

Also at the conference, our principal intelligence consultant Danny Pronk will present a paper on Wednesday 25 October from 09:55 till 10:30 entitled: “Innovation and Adaptation of the Dutch Intelligence and Security Services, 1997-2017: A Comparative Perspective”. This paper discusses the developments within the organizational cultures of both the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) and Defense Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) in the period 1997-2017. Central sits the tension that exists in an organization that needs both an open and closed character to continue to exist within its changing political and social context.

AIVD Zoetermeer

Three theoretical perspectives provide the analytical framework for this paper. Schein (2006) is used to show how organizational culture develops on the theoretical level. To gain further insight into the developments within the organizational culture of each service, Hofstede's five dimensions (2010) indicate the services’ position on these respective subjects. Thirdly, the Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (Cameron & Quinn, 2006) is used as a key reference for a comparison of the two services.

This paper concludes that there are distinct changes within the organizational culture of the AIVD and MIVD to be observed in the period 1997-2017. For the AIVD, a shift from a clan culture to an adhocracy is clearly visible. For the MIVD, however, a shift from a hierarchy to a market culture is visible. The political context plays a major role in both these cultural changes, as do the policies pursued by the services themselves, and general changes within Dutch society. Over time, the two services appear to have struck a distinctly different balance between a closed (inward focused) and open (outward focused) organizational culture.

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