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The Psychological Dynamics of Civil Military Collaboration

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Technical Report

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Humansystems Incorporated Guelph, ON Canada

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This research was conducted in support of a Defence R and D Canada Toronto DRDC Toronto applied research project ARP examining civil-military relations in operations. Military engagements today often require the coordinated efforts of civilian and military assets. Close collaboration with civilian actors may, however, present challenges for militaries, including the Canadian Forces CF. Previous research suggests a number of potential barriers to effective collaboration among civilian and military actors, including a lack of respect and shared power Thomson, Adams, Hall, and Flear, 2010 Thomson, Adams, Hall, Brown, and Flear, 2011. Thus, the current research explored psychological dynamics of civil-military collaboration with a focus on the role of respect and power in terms of the process and outcomes of collaboration, through a scenario-based laboratory study. CF personnel and individuals representing non-governmental organizations NGOs worked through two operational scenarios using Skype. Scenarios represented CF jurisdiction project security scenario PS scenario and NGO jurisdiction refugee camp scenario RC scenario. Results suggested that NGO personnel felt less respected and reported having less power in the RC scenario compared to the PS scenario. Correlational analyses also showed relationships between respect and power and the process of collaboration and outcomes. For example, greater perceptions of being respected and having some power and influence within the negotiation was related to a more integrative negotiation and a more positive perception of ones counterpart and the counterparts organization, as well as more satisfaction with the negotiation.

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