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  • 1.
    Alvinius, Aida
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Ohlsson, Alicia
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Larsson, Gerry
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Organizational challenges and leaders' coping strategies: a qualitative study of Swedish military staff organization2018In: Journal of Military Studies, ISSN 2242-3524, E-ISSN 1799-3350Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Numerous societal change processes such as globalization, professionalization and social and technical acceleration have challenged military organizations. The aims of this study were to (1) gain a deeper understanding of coping strategies used by the military leaders at the strategic level to manage everyday organizational demands and (2) relate these strategies to multidisciplinary models of organizational challenges. Owing to an insufficiently developed base of research, an inductive approach was used. Interviews were performed with 23 Swedish brigadier generals and colonels. Five coping strategies were found for handling the negative organizational aspects: repair work, catching up, reproducing, using formal and informal strategies and managing loyalties. The theoretical concepts of narcissistic, anorectic and greedy organizations were used as a framework when interpreting the inductively generated coping strategies. It was suggested that the specific connection found between individual-level coping strategies and theoretically framed organizational challenges is new. The results of this study are discussed theoretically and may be valuable in educational settings when evaluating the working conditions and performance of high-level officers.

  • 2.
    Käihkö, Ilmari
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
    War as nothing but a duel: war as an institution and the construction of the Western military profession2018In: Journal of Military Studies, ISSN 2242-3524, E-ISSN 1799-3350Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Like all repetitive human interaction, even war has been institutionalized and fought according to conventions and norms. Historically, this institutionalization is apparent from the way war has been compared to the duel, first in the 14th century and most famously by Carl von Clausewitz 5 centuries later. This article continues this train of thought and argues that the observed limits of Western “professional orthodoxy” and “strategic vocabulary” can be traced to how war has been institutionalized by the military profession. This offers an alternative explanation to the prevailing views of why the West has struggled in contemporary wars: it is the fundamental mismatch between these professional norms in the West and those held by their opponents that forms the biggest asymmetry in contemporary war. As this asymmetry is unlikely to disappear, these professional norms need to be reconsidered: just like the aristocracy with the duel by the late 19th century, the Western military profession appears stuck in an institution that is increasingly becoming obsolete. Without such reconsideration, the attainment of decision – the central strategic objective in war – and hence victory in future wars will remain uncertain.

  • 3.
    Ohlsson, Alicia
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Hedlund, Erik
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Larsson, Gerry
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Ledarskapscentrum.
    Examining the relationship between personality, organizational political skill and perceived team performance in a multinational military staff exercise context2016In: Journal of Military Studies, ISSN 2242-3524, E-ISSN 1799-3350, Vol. 7, no 1, p. 24-30Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Military staffs are composed of many smaller teams that are interdependent upon each other for a positive functioning level of the whole staff. Many factors can improve or harm the harmony of the staff. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the soft factors that may affect team performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the Big Five personality dimensions, political skill and perceived team performance in a multinational staff training event. The sample included 185 military staff officers (49% response rate). The results indicated that the personality dimension Emotional stability and Political skill had a limited, yet statistically significant, predictive power on team performance. Practical considerations and future research directions are suggested.

  • 4.
    Sigholm, Johan
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Military-Technology Division.
    Non-State Actors in Cyberspace Operations2013In: Journal of Military Studies, ISSN 2242-3524, E-ISSN 1799-3350, Vol. 4, no 1Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The growing importance of cyberspace to modern society, and its increasing use as an arena for dispute, is becoming a national security concern for governments and armed forces globally. The special characteristics of cyberspace, such as its asymmetric nature, the lack of attribution, the low cost of entry, the legal ambiguity, and its role as an efficient medium for protest, crime, espionage and military aggression, makes it an attractive domain for nation-states as well as non-state actors in cyber conflict.

    This paper studies the various non-state actors who coexist in cyberspace, examines their motives and incitements, and analyzes how and when their objectives coincide with those of nation-states. Literature suggests that many nations are currently pursuing cyberwarfare capabilities, oftentimes by leveraging criminal organizations and irregular forces. Employment of such non-state actors as hacktivists, patriot hackers, and cybermilitia in state-on-state cyberspace operations has also proved to be a usable model for conducting cyberattacks. The paper concludes that cyberspace is emerging as a new tool for state power that will likely reshape future warfare. However, due to the lack of concrete cyberwarfare experience, and the limited encounters of legitimate cyberattacks, it is hard to precisely assess future effects, risks and potentials.

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