Problem Solving of Mid-Career Army Officers: Identifying Natural Reasoning.
Final rept. Jun 96-Aug 98,
HUMAN RESOURCES RESEARCH ORGANIZATION ALEXANDRIA VA
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Military officers face diverse problems on the battlefield, during training, and in garrison. Doctrine specifies stepwise procedures as guidance for problem solving. However, these models are often not appropriate for varying circumstances. Further, other research Pounds Fallesen, 1997 demonstrated that these models do not represent methods actually used by tactical leaders. This project focussed on identifying officers actual problem solving processes. Phase One of this project identified how situational variables affected officers approaches to problems. Phase Two elaborated on the influence of familiarity on strategy use. Strategy use was also examined related to conflicting tactical goals of force protection and mission accomplishment. Although most participants stated that the strategy of identifying a specific goal was important to their thinking, a content analysis of interview transcripts revealed that the specific goals identified were of very diverse content. Examination of transcripts also revealed a variety of new naturalistic strategies and organizing themes. These were defined and illustrated by examples. Recommendations are made for self-development and personal awareness to leverage existing knowledge to cope with novel situations.
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Military Forces and Organizations