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Shadow structure within higher-level military staff: A qualitative study
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8274-6065
2017 (English)In: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 1-20Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The study's aim was to elucidate the role played by leadership in the relationship between informal organizational influencers and the formal organization in a military context. A qualitative study was conducted by interviewing eleven high-level military officers and analyzing the data according to the grounded theory method. The analysis resulted in an identification of a core variable : Organization Influencers, which are composed of two sub-core variables (Shadow Factors and Formal Factors) that interact with one another. Therefore challenges arise for the leader to balance varying shadow and formal factors for individuals, groups and the organization. Previously research has defined the shadow organisation as a negative force ; however, our results indicate that this is not always the case. This study contributes by mapping out specific shadow factors in relationship with formal factors of a military organization, along with pointing out that shadow factors can be beneficial forces for organisations if balanced appropriately by the leader.

Abstract [fr]

L'objet de cette étude était d'élucider le rôle des chefs dans les relations qu'entretiennent les influences informelles et l'organisation en milieu militaire. Qualitative, elle a comporté 11 entretiens avec des officiers de haut grade et l'analyse des données recueillies selon la méthode de théorisation inductive de Glaser et Strauss (Grounded Theory). L'analyse a permis d'identifier une variable centrale, les facteurs d'influence, décomposés en facteurs formels et informels, interagissant entre eux. Le défi auquel sont confrontés les chefs est de trouver le juste équilibre entre ces facteurs variables au niveau des personnes, des groupes et de l'organisation d'ensemble. Là où jusqu'ici la recherche avait considéré les influences informelles comme des facteurs négatifs, l'étude montre que ce n'est pas toujours le cas. Sa contribution théorique réside dans une cartographie des relations entre facteurs informels et organisation officielle dans les états-majors, ainsi que dans la mise au jour du caractère bénéfique des facteurs informels pour le fonctionnement de l'organisation si les chefs parviennent à les doser correctement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 7, no 2, p. 1-20
Keyword [en]
Organizational psychology, shadow factors, leadership, influence, decision-making, military organization
Keyword [fr]
Psychologie des organisations, facteurs informels, leadership, influence, prise de décision, organisation militaire
National Category
Applied Psychology
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-7328OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-7328DiVA, id: diva2:1190028
Available from: 2018-03-13 Created: 2018-03-13 Last updated: 2018-03-14Bibliographically approved

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Ohlsson, AliciaAlvinius, AidaLarsson, Gerry

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