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Psychological Characteristics of Swedish Mandatory Enlisted Soldiers Volunteering and Not Volunteering for International Missions: An Exploratory Study
ASV Psychology, Lillehammer University College (HiL), Norway.
Department of Security, Safety, and Leadership, National Defense College (FHS), Karlstad, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4596-1174
2013 (English)In: Psychological Reports, ISSN 0033-2941, E-ISSN 1558-691X, Vol. 112, no 2, p. 678-688Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this study was to assess personality traits, psychological fitness, and hardiness among conscript soldiers volunteering for international missions (n = 146), by comparing them with conscripts from the same year class and unit who did not apply for international missions (n = 275). The sample consisted of all mandatory enlisted soldiers assigned to a supply and maintenance regiment. There were no demographic differences between the groups. The volunteers reported greater stress tolerance, concern for others, extraversion, and self-confidence than the non-volunteers. There were no differences between the groups in orderliness, temper instability, or independence. Volunteers repeatedly reported greater psychological fitness for military missions and greater hardiness over the period of military service compared to the non-volunteers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2013. Vol. 112, no 2, p. 678-688
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Social Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66125DOI: 10.2466/17.02.PR0.112.2.678-688ISI: 000319334200029PubMedID: 23833893OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-66125DiVA, id: diva2:1180614
Available from: 2018-02-06 Created: 2018-02-06 Last updated: 2018-07-27Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. We want you as our new recruit: Prerequisites for recruitment to and retention in the Swedish Armed Forces
Open this publication in new window or tab >>We want you as our new recruit: Prerequisites for recruitment to and retention in the Swedish Armed Forces
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis was to study the prerequisites for the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) in order to recruit sufficient numbers of suitable individuals to the organization, and to retain those within the organization.

The thesis comprises three studies (Study 1-3) where Study One comprises data gathered, with a longitudinal design, when Sweden relied on conscription for the manning of the Armed Forces. Results show that those wanting to do international military service assessed themselves higher for required qualities than those individuals not volunteering for international military service. Study Two shows that job satisfaction, according to Hackman and Oldham´s Job satisfaction model, is higher when job characteristics are good, and they in turn affect the Critical Psychological States, as proposed by Hackman and Oldham. Study Three indicates that there is a relation between performance orientation, job characteristics, job satisfaction and retention. In sum, this thesis suggests that there are different incentives for recruiting and retaining personnel to a conscripted force, and an all-volunteer force. Furthermore, the thesis indicates that an all-volunteer force concept is not the best way of manning the armed forces, for Sweden and countries with similar society, size and likewise a critical geopolitical position.

Abstract [en]

On 1 July 2010, conscription was made to rest in Sweden, in favor of an all-voluntary force, in so doing leaving a 100-year tradition. There were several reasons for this transformation of the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF), most important was the new security situation in Europe after the Cold War, which led the SAF focusing more on participation in multinational missions abroad. This thesis focuses on the recruitment and retaining of soldiers during the period when Sweden shifted the manning system for their armed forces. Results suggest that there are different incentives for staying in the SAF depending on manning system. In a conscription system, personality is a more prominent predictor of retention than in a voluntary system. The findings in this thesis emphasize the possibility to get the best from the two manning systems; to use the compulsory military service as a pool for recruitment to officer programs and NCOs, and the AVF system’s work on improving the psychosocial working conditions in order to retain personnel. At the completion of this thesis, the SAF again changed the manning system, this time to a gender-neutral conscription, as the system with voluntariness failed in providing the SAF with sufficient numbers of soldiers with the right qualities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2018. p. 71
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2018:8
Keywords
conscription, recruitment, all-volunteer force, retention, Swedish Armed Forces
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-66086 (URN)978-91-7063-837-4 (ISBN)978-91-7063-932-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-03-16, 11D257, Agardhsalen, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-03-05 Created: 2018-02-02 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved

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