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  • 1.
    Börjesson, Marcus
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Österberg, Johan
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Enander, Ann
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Risk propensity within the military: a study of Swedish soldiers and officers2015In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 18, no 1, p. 55-68Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Issues concerning risks in the military have gained increased attention within the Swedish Armed Forces, particularly relating to the new focus on an all voluntary force participating in international missions. Military activities inevitably include an element of calculated risk-taking, while at the same time the unnecessary taking of risks must be minimized. Within the context of the specific mission and situation, a number of factors relating to demographic variables, traits and beliefs may influence individual inclinations towards risk behaviour. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between such factors and individual risk propensity. Data were collected from two samples of Swedish soldiers and officers. Examining demographic variables, negative safety values and risk propensity were found to decrease with age, while men demonstrated a more sceptical view of safety measures and a higher risk propensity than women. The trait known as lack of deliberation, reflecting an inability to think ahead and foresee consequences, was positively related to risk propensity. A more sceptical view of safety was shown to be associated with a higher sense of personal invincibility and together with lack of deliberation predicted variations in danger-seeking scores. The distinction between functional and non-functional risk-taking is discussed on the basis of the relationships found in the study. Implications for recruitment to the military as well as for training and leadership are suggested, emphasizing the need for military leaders to balance their leadership in terms of safety-oriented and risk-promoting behaviours.

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