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A qualitative study of military officers' perceptions of the adaptions couples make to meet the military organisation's implicit expectations
Swedish Defence University, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Leadership and Command & Control Division Karlstad.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-9423-5916
Swedish Defence University, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Leadership and Command & Control Division Karlstad.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8422-8840
Swedish Defence University, Institutionen för ledarskap och ledning, Leadership and Command & Control Division Karlstad. Faculty of Public Health, College of Applied Sciences, Inland University, Elverum, Norway, (NOR).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8274-6065
2023 (English)In: International Journal of Organizational Analysis, ISSN 1934-8835, E-ISSN 1758-8561, Vol. 31, no 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate military officers’ perception of the implicit expectations the organisation has for the officer’s private life and what implications it may have for gender norms at the organisation, family and individual levels. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative approach, using an inductive thematic analysis, was performed. The data was based on 20 interviews with military officers, including 18 men and 2 women. Findings Two main themes, with three subsequent subthemes, were identified. These themes were interpreted as being necessary for the military officer to be able to manage organisational demands. The first included the implicit expectations the organisation had for the family. The three subthemes included the officer’s acceptance of frequent travel demands, adapting private life in accordance to organisational demands and picking a partner that matches the goals of the organisation. The second identified main theme included the military officer’s descriptions of implicit expectations the organisation held for the officer’s partner. Three subthemes were identified, including the partner’s need to be independent and psychologically strong, to take the main responsibility for managing family life and to engage in emotion work with the extended family. Originality/value The findings identify important perceptions that military officers have regarding the military’s expectations for their private life and the adaptive behaviors regularly performed. These adaptive behaviors allow the military officer to be able to engage in work that sustains the organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. Vol. 31, no 5
Keywords [en]
organisational culture, military, organisation development, gender norms, work/private life balance
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Leadership and Command & Control
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-10585DOI: 10.1108/IJOA-09-2021-2940ISI: 000736609000001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-10585DiVA, id: diva2:1626209
Available from: 2022-01-10 Created: 2022-01-10 Last updated: 2023-12-28Bibliographically approved

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Ohlsson, AliciaNilsson, Sofia AlexandraLarsson, Gerry

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