Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Trust in a military context: What contributes to trust in superior and subordinate leaders?
Försvarshögskolan, Ledarskapscentrum.
Försvarshögskolan, Ledarskapscentrum.
Försvarshögskolan, Ledarskapscentrum.
Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway.
Show others and affiliations
2013 (English)In: Journal of Trust Research, ISSN 2151-5581, E-ISSN 2151-559X, Vol. 3, no 2, 125-145 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim was to explore which components military personnel in peacekeeping operations perceive as contributing to trust in their superior and subordinate leaders during international or national operations or exercises. Data were collected among 591 military officers and cadets from Norway and Sweden using a questionnaire with open-ended questions. Two superior categories emerged: Individual-Related Characteristics and Communication- and Relationship-Related Characteristics. The former is made up of the higher-level categories Personal attributes and Experience and competence. The latter is derived from the higher-level categories Consideration and inspiration and Effective communication. In turn, all higher-level categories are underpinned by a number of subcategories (13 altogether). When comparing trust in superior leaders with trust in subordinate leaders, the results show that trust in superiors is characterised to a greater extent by Communication- and Relationship-related characteristics and also by Experience and professional knowledge. Trust in subordinate leaders is characterised to a greater extent by Personal attributes and Management competence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group , 2013. Vol. 3, no 2, 125-145 p.
Keyword [en]
trust, military, character-based trust, relationship-based trust, leadership
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37244DOI: 10.1080/21515581.2013.820029OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-37244DiVA: diva2:844240
Available from: 2014-04-28 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2015-09-18Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Military Leaders and Trust
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Military Leaders and Trust
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to study trust in military leaders. Empirical data was gathered through interviews and questionnaires with military personnel mostly from Sweden, but also from four other European countries.

Paper I illustrates that trust in military leaders can be theoretically understood in terms of a hierarchical system of categories, higher-level categories and two superior categories labelled Individual-related and Communication- and relationship-related characteristics.

Paper II examines how trust between military leaders and their subordinates is related to negative critical incidents in international operations. The results show that trust can be affected by pre-existing influences, of both an individual and contextual nature. The level of trust that develops between leaders and subordinates appears to have an influence on perceptions and re-evaluations of leaders’ trustworthiness during and after involvement in critical incidents.

In Paper III, an instrument, Destrudo-L, was developed to measure destructive leadership behaviours on five different dimensions: Arrogant, unfair, Threats, punishments, overdemands, Ego-oriented, false, Passive, cowardly, and Uncertain, unclear, messy.

In Paper IV the relationship between constructive and destructive leadership behaviours and trust is examined. The results show that constructive leadership contributed most to trust in the immediate supervisor. A great deal of trust in immediate supervisors can be understood by evaluating both constructive and destructive leadership behaviours.

This thesis contributes with context-specific knowledge on trust in leaders in a military context and knowledge of psychological processes and individual dispositions that shape and change the willingness to trust leaders. The main findings presented in this thesis are the identification of characteristics of the trustor, the trustee, and the context which influences trust in military leaders.

Abstract [en]

Armed forces often perform tasks in life or death situations, bringing the issue of trust in military leaders to a head. Dependence on and trust in military leaders entails considerable risk, as any mistakes made by the leader may result in serious injury or death. Obeying orders is an essential aspect of the military profession and trust is critical since individuals are expected to give up their right to self-determination and follow orders (i.e. trust the leader). Refusal not only puts the individual soldier at risk, but also his or her team members and leaders. The hierarchical military system puts subordinates in a vulnerable position in relation to the leader.

The aim of this thesis is to study trust in military leaders. Empirical data was gathered through interviews and questionnaires with military personnel mostly from Sweden, but also from four other European countries.

This thesis contributes with context-specific knowledge on trust in leaders in a military context and knowledge on psychological processes and individual dispositions that shape and change the willingness to trust leaders. The main findings presented in this thesis are the identification of characteristics of the trustor, the trustee, and the context which influences trust in military leaders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstads universitet, 2015. 194 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2015:37
Keyword
military leadership, trust, destructive leadership, constructive leadership, Destrudo-L
National Category
Psychology Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
Research subject
Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden; Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-37236 (URN)978-91-7063-655-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-10-02, Sjöströmsalen, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

Avhandlingen skrevs i samarbete med Försvarshögskolan i Stockholm i ämnet Ledarskap under påfrestande förhållanden

Available from: 2015-09-18 Created: 2015-08-03 Last updated: 2015-10-06Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Larsson, Gerry
In the same journal
Journal of Trust Research
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 24 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link