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Civil and Military Leadership Processes in Situations of Extreme Environmental Demands
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the studies included in this thesis has been to develop the knowledge about civil and military leadership processes and the conditions for these in situations characterized by extreme environmental demands.

The main part of the thesis is based upon empirical data gathered through semi-structured qualitative interviews with Swedish civil and military leaders. The studies, published in four articles, focused leadership during situations characterized by extreme environmental demands. The fourth article aimed at validating the theoretical model that was developed in study one. The thesis has pursued an integrated view in seeking to understand leadership and environment interactions during the conduct of international humanitarian aid and military peacekeeping operations. Hence it has been a matter of considering the individual leader in relation to the organisational and the external environment in order to study human adaption to meet the challenges and demands of disasters and conflicts.

The results show that leadership during international humanitarian aid and military peacekeeping operations is a highly complex and demanding task. Premises for the processes involve a great number of environmental factors. In order to restore system balance within a larger system, there has to be congruence between individual appraisal of the organizational and the external environment to achieve successful task completion. Inconsistency among the environmental factors influencing leadership processes may evoke adaptional struggles characterized by both positive and negative stress responses that may affect performance and task completion. Reappraisal processes are shown to involve continuous assimilation processes of, and accommodation processes to, the environment, illustrating the shifting balances between environmental forces, organizational pressures, and individual initiative.

 The findings on stress responses are in line with earlier research, demonstrating that stress reactions exhibit great similarities regardless of hierarchical level while also indicating a double-edged pattern concerning the overall development of stress reactions. However, it does seems that hierarchical differences exist with regard to moral stress, while moral stress appears to lack the double-edged pattern since no positive reactions are reported even at moderate levels of stress impact.

Taken together, future civil and military leaders need education in complex person-environment interactions in order to get a holistic picture of the underlying mechanisms, thus promoting the development of their adaptive capabilities.

It is suggested that this thesis can be regarded as a context-specific contribution to complex system theory by providing insight into the organizational and external environmental factors/demands that influence civil and military leadership.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University , 2011. , 83 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2011:57
Keyword [en]
Leadership processes, context, stress, humanitarian aid operations, military peacekeeping operations
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8571ISBN: 978-91-7063-395-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-8571DiVA: diva2:451516
Public defence
2011-12-16, 9C203 Nyquistsalen, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
Projekt 1. Räddningsverkets internationella insatser: Analys och utveckling av ledningssystemet. Projekt 2. Försvarsmakten FoT 7-område Ledarskap och stress.
Available from: 2011-11-29 Created: 2011-10-14 Last updated: 2011-11-29Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A civil contigencies agency management system for disaster aid: A theoretical model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A civil contigencies agency management system for disaster aid: A theoretical model
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Organizational Analysis, ISSN 1934-8835, E-ISSN 1758-8561, Vol. 18, no 4, 412-429 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop a deeper theoretical understanding of a civil contingencies agency that, as part of its ordinary task, executes humanitarian aid and rescue operations following disasters in an international milieu, from a management perspective.

Design/methodology/approach: The approach takes is a qualitative interview study using a grounded theory approach to analysis.

Findings: A theoretical model was developed consisting of a hierarchical system of codes, categories, and superior categories. One superior category labelled underlying conditions consists of factors influencing the operative organisation abroad, such as political rule, availability of financiers, and the everyday activities of the organisation. Another superior category labelled the operation contains the dimension of time (before, during, and after the operation). Two core variables underlying rationale and resource structure of the operation were identified, whereby underlying rationale may be efficiency- and humanity-related, whilst the resource structure of the operation consists of person-related qualities and physical, administrative, and material-logistic related qualities. A cross-tabulation of these two core variables is the most developed part of the model.

Research limitations/implications: In terms of providing evidence, the theoretical model has limited value, as it has been developed through a qualitative grounded theory approach. Thus, there is a need to test its universal applicability.

Practical implications: The findings may serve as a starting point for a better understanding of civil contingencies agencies from a management perspective and as such provide a theoretical instrument of analysis for improved humanitarian aid and rescue operations.

Originality/value: The theoretical model of a civil contingencies agency management system for disaster aid executing humanitarian aid and rescue operations within the frames of supranational or international organisations in an international milieu is new and can be regarded as a context-specific contribution to complex system theory of organisations.

 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2010
Keyword
Disasters, contingency planning, international aid
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8549 (URN)10.1108/19348831011081886 (DOI)
Projects
Räddningsverkets internationella insatser: Analys och utveckling av ledningssystemet
Available from: 2011-10-26 Created: 2011-10-14 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved
2. Moral Stress in International Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Operations: A Grounded Theory Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Moral Stress in International Humanitarian Aid and Rescue Operations: A Grounded Theory Study
2011 (English)In: Ethics and behavior, ISSN 1050-8422, Vol. 21, no 1, 49-68 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Humanitarian aid professionals frequently encounter situations in which one is conscious of themorally appropriate action but cannot take it because of institutional obstacles. Dilemmas like this are likely to result in a specific kind of stress reaction at the individual level, labeled as moral stress.In our study, 16 individuals working with international humanitarian aid and rescue operations participatedin semistructured interviews, analyzed in accordance with a grounded theory approach. Atheoretical model of ethical decision making from a moral stress perspective was developed. Thepractical implications of the study are discussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2011
Keyword
Moral stress, moral dilemma, ethical decision making, humanitarian aid operations
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8550 (URN)10.1080/10508422.2011.537570 (DOI)000287031100004 ()
Projects
Räddningsverkets internationella insatser: Analys och utveckling av ledningssystemet
Available from: 2011-10-26 Created: 2011-10-14 Last updated: 2011-11-29Bibliographically approved
3. When the going gets tough, the tough get going: Senior leader stressors and challenges in a multinational envrionment
Open this publication in new window or tab >>When the going gets tough, the tough get going: Senior leader stressors and challenges in a multinational envrionment
2010 (English)In: Enhancing human performance in security operations: International and law enforcement perspectives / [ed] Paul T. Bartone, Bjorn Helge Johnsen, Jarle Eid, John M. Violanti, Jon Christian Laberg, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas Publisher, Ltd. , 2010, 399-423 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The Swedish Armed Forces have been rather well-represented in international military operations for many years. Following the end of the Cold War and a dramatic alteration of the threat panorama, this tendency has been increasingly salient. Such an inclination has brought about a growing number of high-ranking Swedish officers in international staffs, which in contrast to the Swedish engagement at lower hierarchical levels abroad, is a comparatively new phenomenon. This study aims at bringing order into the various stressors and challenges experienced by Swedish high-ranking officers as compared to those experienced by military personnel serving at the lower levels of the military hierarchy. Nine Swedish officers were selected for interviews. The results shows that there is a multifaceted spectrum of stressors at executive or strategic level, which appear to differ markedly when compared to those affecting soldier at lower levels of organisation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springfield, Illinois: Charles C Thomas Publisher, Ltd., 2010
Keyword
Military peacekeeping operations, stressors, challenges, strains, multi-level
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8566 (URN)978-0-398-07951-2 (ISBN)
Projects
FoT grupp-7 området Ledarskap och Stress, delprojekt Ledarskap och beslutsfattande under stress
Available from: 2011-10-25 Created: 2011-10-14 Last updated: 2011-11-29Bibliographically approved
4. A Civil Contingencies Agency Management System for Disaster Aid: Qualitative Validation of an Empirically Grounded Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Civil Contingencies Agency Management System for Disaster Aid: Qualitative Validation of an Empirically Grounded Model
2013 (English)In: International Journal of Organizational Analysis, ISSN 1934-8835, E-ISSN 1758-8561, Vol. 21, no 2, 154-175 p.Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of this article is twofold: (1) validation of a theoretical model of a civil contingencies agency management system, and (2) methodological development by employing qualitative means for analysis.

Design/methodology/approachThe theoretical model to be validated serves as a starting point for a qualitative reanalysis of logic-deductive character, aimed at verification of the pre-existing theory that is already discovered and developed. Data from three previously published case studies was used as a frame of reference.

Findings – The theoretical model of a civil contingencies management system for disaster aid is validated in most respects. The qualitative testing for high trustworthiness proved reasonable with regard to selected reference studies.

Research limitations/implications – Qualitative testing techniques will not attain equally large-scale samples as quantitative methods. The process of model validation provides an alternative to more traditional quantitative approaches.

Practical implications - The model validation contributes to evidence-based knowledge concerning critical factors for success when managing large and complex aid and rescue operations.

Social implications – The findings of this article might improve disaster management during international humanitarian aid- and rescue operations and thus better the quality of life of individuals that are affected by disastrous events.

Originality/value – The theoretical model of a civil contingencies agency management system for disaster aid was mostly confirmed and partly modified when being compared to empirical data and models from three previous case studies. Also, the qualitative approach to validating the theoretical model is, to the best knowledge of the authors, new.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013
Keyword
disaster management, civil contingencies agency, international humanitarian aid and rescue operations, qualitative validation
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-8570 (URN)10.1108/IJOA-08-2011-0502 (DOI)
Projects
Räddningsverkets internationella insatser: Analys och utveckling av ledningssystemet
Available from: 2011-10-26 Created: 2011-10-14 Last updated: 2017-07-04Bibliographically approved

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