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  • 1.
    Alvinius, Aida
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för samhälls- och livsvetenskaper, Avdelningen för sociala studier.
    The Inadequacy of Bureaucratic Organizations: Organizational Adaptation through Boundary Spanning in a Civil-Military Context2012Ingår i: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 3, nr 1, s. 1-23Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Governmental bodies such as the Armed Forces are examples of bureaucratic organizations characterized by centralized hierarchical structure, rationality, stability, impersonal rules, clear boundaries, responsibility and authority. Critics claim that because of a rigid structure, organizations with a strict vertical hierarchy of authority do not function well in non-routine situations where creativity and flexibility are required. But hierarchy survives by incorporating elements that are not traditionally found in a classically bureaucratic structure. In the military context, liaison officers and military observers are examples of such elements, frequently operating with a high degree of independence between the boundaries of their own organization and its environment. The purpose of this study is to explore how bureaucratic, hierarchically structured organizations can function in a demanding and dynamic environment characterized by life and death situations? Twenty-one informants (mainly military officers) were interviewed. They had a variety of experiences and occupational roles in civil-military collaboration contexts. A grounded theory analysis of interview data shows that military organizations' adaptation to unpredictable environments can be empirically shown to be a balancing act between improvisation and flexibility on the one hand and the pursuit of structure and adherence to established hierarchical order on the other. For adaptation to be possible there must be actors (boundary spanners or links) to implement it, and meeting grounds (temporary organization) on which to work and get their act together.

  • 2.
    Fors Brandebo, Maria
    et al.
    Försvarshögskolan, Ledarskapscentrum.
    Larsson, Gerry
    Försvarshögskolan, Ledarskapscentrum.
    Influence of IED attacks on leadership: Dealing with the invisible enemy2012Ingår i: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 2, nr 3, Summer/ÉtéArtikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of leadership in military operations characterized by the presence of critical incidents (IED attacks). Twenty-one Swedish soldiers and officers (ranking from soldier to colonel) who had experienced IED attacks in Afghanistan during the period 2005-2008 were interviewed, and their responses were analyzed according to grounded theory methodology. A model was developed according to which the essence of military leadership immediately following an IED attack could be summarized as recapturing control over self, the group and the task. The model also illuminates the importance of selected pre-existing conditions and the leader's appraisal/ sensemaking processes. Nine leadership acts of balance were identified, including balanced grief (self), balanced focus on emotional and functional recovery (group), and balanced handling of safety versus necessary risk-taking (task).

  • 3.
    Weibull, Louise
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för ekonomi, kommunikation och IT, Avdelningen för arbetsvetenskap.
    Post-Deployment Disorientation: The emotional remains of uneventful Peace Support Operations2012Ingår i: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 2, nr 2Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely recognized that participation in high-intensity military missions abroad can result in discomforts, serious health conditions, and psychological consequences for the individual. This article, however, focuses on soldiers' experiences after service in two relatively calm mission areas. It aims to contribute to a discussion of the emotional price soldiers pay even when participating under these circumstances. It argues that although the general view among soldiers is that service abroad is a unique, rewarding and cherished experience, we should further recognize it as an accomplishment that also has other transformative properties. This is often manifested in what is here named 'Post-Deployment Disorientation' (PDD), invoking a different outlook on life and navigation in the social world. This article explores the soldiers' sense-making of this change by adopting an emotion-focused sociological perspective. Confirmation of assumptions made is presented through reference to interviews with 24 Swedish soldiers before, during and after their deployments to Kosovo and Liberia.

  • 4.
    Weibull, Louise
    et al.
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för ekonomi, kommunikation och IT, Avdelningen för arbetsvetenskap.
    Karlsson, Jan Christer
    Karlstads universitet, Fakulteten för ekonomi, kommunikation och IT, Avdelningen för arbetsvetenskap.
    'Don't fight the blue elephant': Humorous signs as protests and conductors of negotiations in Swedish Peace Support Operations2013Ingår i: Res Militaris, E-ISSN 2265-6294, Vol. 3, nr 3Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    This article focuses on the role of ”applied” workplace humor (Mulkay 1988) as used by Swedish soldiers deployed overseas. The data primarily refers to workplace signs encountered at military compounds in Liberia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan and interviews with Swedish soldiers before, during, and after deployment. The article aims to compare signs found in two types of military contexts; high and – low-intensity conflict areas respectively, and the findings show that differences in the nature of operations (i.e. threat level and duties) is reflected in the messages’ content. 

    Further, we see humorous exchanges during overseas missions as something that provide the scope for relieving various stresses arising from disillusions, and from being subordinated to rules, policies and designed roles, but also where barbed ideas inappropriate for ”serious” communication are vented (Fine 1988). Overall, the paper adds to the literature a description of humorous exchanges in two organizational settings where the need for sense making is always present.

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