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Loyal to the end: Examining the meaning of loyalty among high-ranking military officers
Försvarshögskolan, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Avdelningen för ledarskap och ledning i Stockholm.
Försvarshögskolan, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Avdelningen för ledarskap och ledning i Stockholm.
Försvarshögskolan, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Avdelningen för ledarskap och ledning i Karlstad.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-8274-6065
2023 (Engelska)Ingår i: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 13, nr 3, s. 936-953Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

Organizations need co-workers who are committed to common goals and that are loyal to the core values of the organization.[1] The conscious fostering of organizational core values is seen as an important tool in creating loyal co-workers and hence an effective organization.[2] Professions with a strong vocational calling such as medicine (Kallin, 2010), the police (Ewin, 1990 ; Foust, 2018) or the military[3] have particular demands on loyalty to certain core values, and individuals are expected to adopt these as their own. However, organizational core values can be contradictive (Billig, 1988) and sometimes in conflict with the individual´s own core values which – when incompatible – can in turn cause severe moral stress and mental illness.[4] This implies a need for clarification about what is expected from members of an organization concerning the objectives and manifestations of core values. In terms of loyalty, the military profession is possibly one of the most demanding, expecting individuals to risk their own lives and to kill other human beings for the benefit of the organizational goals. However, since misplaced loyalty can cause destructive,[5] and unethical behaviour[6] with enormous consequences – especially in the military (Winslow, 1998) – there is a need to be clear about what kind of loyalty behaviour is constructive and vice versa. Although loyalty is a concept that seems to be defined in many different ways, the number of studies of loyalty and its meaning are quite limited - especially in military research.[7] The overall purpose of this study is to broaden understanding of the meaning of loyalty within the military. Because important core values of an organization are set – or strongly influenced[8] – by its leaders,[9] the aim of this study was to explore how high-ranking officers in the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) give meaning to their own personal experiences of loyalty and to describe possible common patterns within the participant group.

 [1] Wieseke, Alavi & Habel, 2014.[2] Berghaus & Cartagena, 2013.[3] Huntington, 1985 ; Moskos & Wood, 1988 ; Kirkhaug, 2009 ; Olsthoorn, 2011 ; Beard, 2014.[4] Molendijk, Kramer & Verweij, 2018.[5] Gabriel, 1982 ; Connor, 2010.)[6] Umphress & Bingham, 2011.[7] Olsthoorn, 2011 ; Connor, Andrews, Noack-Lundberg & Wadham, 2019.[8] Larsson, Haerem, Sjöberg, Alvinius & Bakken, 2007.[9] Fergusson & Milliman, 2008 ; Oh, Cho & Lim, 2018.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
2023. Vol. 13, nr 3, s. 936-953
Nyckelord [en]
Sweden, military, officers, loyalty, core values, dilemmas
Nationell ämneskategori
Psykologi (exklusive tillämpad psykologi)
Forskningsämne
Ledarskap och ledning
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10550OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-10550DiVA, id: diva2:1622166
Tillgänglig från: 2021-12-21 Skapad: 2021-12-21 Senast uppdaterad: 2024-02-06Bibliografiskt granskad

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Engelkes, TorbjörnHedlund, ErikLarsson, Gerry

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