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Internal Focus- National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC)

Abstract

The National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) is the US institution responsible for counterterrorism efforts. They have developed several strategies to achieve distinct goals. This study assesses both enterprise strategies such as driving collective actions through accountability and collaboration. Internal resources of NCTC, both tangible and intangible assets, are also evaluated. The institution’s expedients should be heterogeneous and immobile for the National Counterterrorism Center to remain effective in discharging its duties. Internal resources should also be rare, valuable, and imitable. This paper also investigates the strengths, opportunities and weaknesses of the institution. It presents a “worry list” as well as recommendations.

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National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC)

Introduction

National Counterterrorism Centre (NCTC) achieves its goals and objectives by using various strategies. They include enterprise-wide and business-wide strategies. Enterprise-wide one contains driving collective actions through accountability and collaboration as well as improves information access and discovery by using common standards among others. Business-wide strategies include aligning and unifying user authentication and identification. Internal resources of National Counterterrorism Centre that are critical in implementing the institution’s strategy are both tangible and intangible. Tangible assets include human resources, machinery, and equipment while intangible assets incorporate employee’s relationships with others. According to resources-based view, the resorts must be heterogeneous and immobile in order to become a source of competitive advantage to an institution. Resources must also be rare, hard to imitate, valuable and non- substitutable. National Counterterrorism Centre has rich human resources drawn from different agencies and departments in the intelligence community. NCTC develops strategies to guide them in achieving their goals and maximizing the use of available resorts in counterterrorism actions.

Company’s Enterprise-wide Strategies

National Counterterrorism Centre’s enterprise-wide strategies include driving collective actions through accountability and collaboration. This strategy is reached by working together with all stakeholders. Governance models and common processes to build trust are used to promote mission achievement. Information is simplified by agreeing on the best way to share processes and supporting efforts through training incentives and performance management (Forest, 2007).

Another strategy is improving access and discovery of information through common standards. Improving that processes includes having clear policies, which involve making information available to specific individuals. Secure access and discovery depends on largely on authentication, identity and authorization control, enterprise-wide data correlation, data dragging, and standards of sharing information. The strategy also contains a rigorous process of certifying and validating the information use.

National Counterterrorism Centre has also developed a strategy for optimizing effectiveness of their missions through interoperability and shared services. Efforts geared at optimizing missions’ effectiveness include network and data interoperability, shared services, and enhanced efficiency in acquisition. It is a NCTC’s strategy to strengthen information protection through policies, structural reforms, and technical solutions. National Counterterrorism Centre aims at identifying, mitigating, and preventing external intrusion and insider threats in order to safeguard information, coordinating bodies, policies and building trust efforts. Agencies and departments work to improve capabilities for automated monitoring, data level controls, and cross-classification solutions (Nolan, 2013).

National Counterterrorism Centre developed a strategy for protecting civil rights and liberties, and privacy through compliance and consistency. Increased coherency is critical to maintaining public trust. The institution develops systems of sharing information and promotes mechanisms of accountability and compliance.

Business-Level Strategies

Such strategies represent the methods and plans that National Counterterrorism Centre uses to provide value to its clients and have competitive advantages by utilizing its core competencies in the market. Olson (2008) maintains that the strategy is concerned with the company’s position in the market compared to its competitor. NCTC have established centers for National Network of Fusion, which are managed and owned by the state. They also adopted National Information Exchange Model, which serves a way of structuring data exchanges to increase its effectiveness. They also plan to align and unify user authentication and identification on systems (Reinwald, 2007).

Resource-Based View (RBV)

Internal resources that are critical in implementing the National Counterterrorism Centre’s strategy are both tangible and intangible. Tangible assets include plant, land, capital, machinery, and equipment. Physical resources give a short-term competitive advantage because they can be acquired from the market by terrorist hence eliminating the advantage in the long run. Intangible assets are resources that do not have physical presences but are owned by a company. They include brand reputation and equity, processes, and copyrights among others.

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According to resources-based view, resources must meet two critical conditions. The conditions are that they must be heterogeneous, which requires the expedients, capabilities and skills to be different from one institution to another. Resource-based view argues that companies achieve competitive advantage by using different resorts. The second condition is resources or capabilities to be immobile. It should not be mobile and cannot move from one institution to another. Although having immobile and heterogeneous resources is necessary for realizing a competitive advantage, an institution cannot sustain it based on the two assumptions. Resources must be rare, hard to imitate, valuable and non-substitutable (Akio, 2005).

Identify Internal Resources

Identification of resources is a challenge to National Counterterrorism Centre because information management is fragmented. However, resources can be classified into physical, financial, technological, human, organizational, and reputational resources. There is a direct relationship between reduction of terrorist attacks and resorts available for it. The management should consider opportunities that exist for economizing resources usage. The ability to increase productivity is important for intangible resources such as plants, finances, and machinery. The institution should evaluate possibilities of using existing assets in a more profitable way.

National Counterterrorism Centre has capabilities to deal with terrorism effectively. It can be appraised and identified with the help of existing standard functional classification of business activities. NCTC has qualification to leverage for competitive advantage in the efforts to counter terrorism. The institution should investigate the relationship between capacity and resources. The organization should also determine the ability of the business to use resources to coordinate and achieve cooperation between teams. NCTC have an acquisition approach to deploying of shared devices and interoperable technology in a standard way. The institution has to motivate and socialize their employees in a conducive environment that ensures NCTC smooth functioning. The style of the organization’s values, leadership, and traditions facilitates having cooperation and commitment with partners. There is a methodology needed to identify resources that are industry-specific and analyze their commonality among several institutions (Saqib & Rashid, n.d.).

For an internal factor such as human resources in NCTC to be considered valuable, it must be in line with the development of technologies, the fluidity of boundaries in the industry, and changes in the preferences of customers. Human resources are considered precious when it eliminates the threat from the environment, takes advantage of opportunities that may arise, and use other resources efficiently. Human resources managers should realize current and future competencies of the institution, need to fill in the profiles of employees, have to understand the state of competition, and also plan activities required for company presently and in future. The value of human resources can be seen from the competitiveness of employees and how they respond to tasks that should be performed. The ratio of employees in the key processes and those engaged in supporting processes also shows how valuable this resource is (Chakrabarti, Vidal, & Mitchell, 2011).

Taking an example of human resources, the value is not a sufficient condition. It should be rare, and if a company’s competitors have same characteristics, then the competitive advantage is eliminated. Common features allow enterprises in the industry to be at the same level. The company should look for and exploit unique characteristics of their staff. The rarity of a resource depends on the number of competing businesses both direct and indirect competitors that have skills and knowledge characterizing the workers of particular institutions. These skills and knowledge are based on the distinct relationship the workers have with the business and the amount of experience. Analysis of human capital is based on employee’s innovativeness and creativity, specific skills and knowledge, as well as company’s investment in this sphere (Cardeal, 2012).

Inimitability of resources is an extension of a rarity. If the development or acquisition of human resources includes high cost, if there are little or no chances of imitation, such a resource maintains its rarity. Unique and valuable employees give an institution a chance to achieve high profitability. However, if the other institutions imitate the resource, it becomes a base for competitive equality instead of a competitive advantage. Inimitability is difficult to determine and analyze because with usage of enough money and time all resources can be imitated. Therefore, analyzes should be done to assess how long it will take before the resource becomes an object of imitation. Intangible resources like company’s culture, values, behaviors and attitudes, relationships between workers and corporation are hard to imitate. Company’s personality is developed by its employees and, therefore, provides a cushion to the institution, which is complicated to emulate. Using an example of human resources, characteristics that make it hard to imitate include knowledge possessed by employees, the experience that is not easily available and not transferable, high cost of acquiring skills and knowledge.

Value Chain Analysis

Value chain analysis can be used to explore internal activities of the institution that give it a competitive advantage. The goal of the value chain analysis is to identify precious resources, which are the source of differentiation or cost and the ones that can be improved. The first method of analysis is the usage of cost advantage. From the beginning, the company should identify its supporting and primary activities. This step requires knowledge of institutions’ operations since value chain activities cannot be organized according to the organization. The second step involves establishing the importance of each activity in the process of realizing the goal of the institution. The cost driver for each activity must be identified. Cost drivers of labor-intensive activity may involve wage rate, work hours, and work speed.

Organization and management of National Counterterrorism Centre

NCTC is headed by the director who has to be confirmed by the senate. The agency is organized in agency-integrated teams, which are assigned by geography and subject matter. The agency integrated teams send reports to the hundreds of intelligence officials in the government. National Counterterrorism Centre maintains information database on the identities of international terrorists. It has also set up community wide intelligence working groups such as Biological, Nuclear, Radiological, and Chemical Counterterrorism Groups to help in alternative analysis of data. National Counterterrorism Centre provides gathered intelligence in several ways such as National Terrorism Bulletin and President’s Daily Brief. They avail data to 75 government agencies, which facilitates information sharing with tribal, local, and private partners. Such an organization of the institution supports successful accomplishment of the strategies adopted and contributes to operational effectiveness.

Strengths and potential capabilities of a NCTC can be established by evaluating characteristics of resources. NCTC leads in the intelligence community in the area of providing expertise and analysis of terrorism related issues. The institution employs staff from multiple agencies and departments in the competent sphere, which makes their human resource valuable. NCTC do not have power to execute any operations. This is a weakness since they only provide information and recommendations.

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Conclusion and Recommendations for Action

The worrying list for the company is talent management, information safeguarding, and technological advancement. Talent management is a concern to the institution because finding right aptitude is a challenge. Information safeguarding from unauthorized people reaching it is also a great contest. Some dishonest employees may leak information for other people, which may compromise the efficiency of the institution. Changes in technology make it hard to deal with tech-savvy terrorist who keep on inventing new ways of carrying out their activities. Shifting legislation and regulation provide a challenge to management of a company. NCTC should continue reviewing its technologies and training staff on new methods of dealing with terrorism. For NCTC to achieve their goals they must develop a strategy, which may contain the elements of enterprise-wide strategies and the business-wide one. Enterprise-wide strategies include driving collective actions through accountability and collaboration, improving access and discovery of information through common standards. National Counterterrorism Centre also developed a strategy for optimizing effectiveness of their missions through interoperability and shared services. Internal resources that are critical in implementing the institution’s strategy are both tangible and intangible. Tangible assets include plant, land, capital, machinery, and equipment while intangible assets involve employee’s relationships. According to resources-based view, the resorts must be heterogeneous and immobile to become a source of competitive advantage to the institution and must also be rare, hard to imitate, valuable, and non- substitutable.

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