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  • 1.
    Magounakis, Filip
    Swedish National Defence College. Theresan Military Academy .
    Leadership in Theory and Practice: A Comparative Study of Military Officers’ Basic Education in Sweden and Austria2015Independent thesis Basic level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    The academic basic education and training of military officers is still very young in both Sweden and Austria compared to other professions such as lawyers and physicians. As the training of officers has changed to meet academic requirements throughout Europe, so has the approach to educating and training of leadership. Contemporary research has stressed that weaknesses in interaction between theory and practice often result in polarisation and consequently a poor understanding of how academic knowledge should be put to use in action. In this thesis the measures of cross-fertilizing theory and practice at the Swedish Officers’ Programme and the Austrian ‘FH-Bachelor Programme Military Leadership’ are investigated.

    The methodological approach is of qualitative descriptive design and the data used are mainly derived from syllabuses, official documents and two in-depth interviews which are conducted with the directors of the respective academies leadership education and training sections. First, the author analyses how leadership is modelled and conceptualised, secondly the modules containing leadership education and training are reviewed and finally the didactic methods applied are examined.

    The results indicate that Sweden and Austria have two widely different means of modelling leadership as well as of cross-fertilizing theory and practice. Austria lays more emphasis on intercultural competence and bringing in officers from the field whereas Sweden currently is reshaping its present concept raising the requirements on the background of the teachers. Based on the research and its results, the author suggests that Sweden could draw inspiration from the Austrian model of educating and training leadership in order to promote the intertwining effect of theory and practice.

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