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How (Not) to Implement an Unpopular Decision: A Case-Study of the Swedish Armed Forces
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9990-2877
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
2017 (English)In: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the armed forces' ability to implement an unpopular decision while maintaining commitment and job satisfaction among its personnel, as well as examine what factors affect the perceived outcome of a decision process in a military context. In line with earlier research, it was hypothesized that a fair process, knowledge (about the circumstances and objectives of the decision) and trust (in the decision-makers) will promote decision acceptance. An additional hypothesis was that a higher hierarchal position will promote understanding of the decision. A specific decision process was chosen - that which led to the 2010 choice to make service on international military missions mandatory for all personnel in the Swedish Armed Forces. An ad hoc questionnaire was constructed with the intention to measure the perception of the decision's input values, the decision process, the organization and decision-makers, as well as of the outcome. The questionnaire response rate was 48% (N = 229 respondents). The respondents were (predominantly middle-aged, mid-career, male) Swedish military officers and civilian employees. Knowledge about the decision, its perceived timing, and trust in the decision makers - but not the respondents' hierarchical position - significantly contributed to the outcome : its degree of acceptance. The study shows much dissatisfaction with the decision and its implications, but also a lack of knowledge about the decision-making process involved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 7, no 1, p. 1-12
Keywords [en]
Decision acceptance in a military context, knowledge, timing, trust, hierarchical position, Sweden.
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7288OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-7288DiVA, id: diva2:1183170
Available from: 2018-02-15 Created: 2018-02-15 Last updated: 2018-02-20Bibliographically approved

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Wallenius, ClaesBrandow, Carina

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CiteExportLink to record
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Output format
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