Leader Experience and the Identification of Challenges in a Stability and Support Operation
Interim rept. Feb 2005-Dec 2006
ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
Pagination or Media Count:
This paper describes exploratory research that examined the impact of military leadership experience on how individuals frame a type of operating environment encountered by Soldiers deployed to the Middle East. Sixteen captains and 25 cadets from the United States Military Academy watched a film depicting a food distribution operation in Afghanistan and then indicated the key leadership challenges and decisions that they believed were present in the scenario. Content analysis resulted in 21 dimensions of leadership activities and four higher-level categories representing tactical decision-making, managing relationships with subordinates and other Soldiers, situational challenges, and handling local civilians and warlords. Consistent with previous research on expert-novice differences, experienced leaders placed significantly more emphasis on tactical and leadership concerns than did inexperienced cadets. Officers answers to open-ended questions also displayed more integrative thinking than cadets. Contrary to expectations, however, officers and cadets did not differ with respect to how they framed cultural issues embedded in the film. Results of the paper have implications for how instructors can help build the expertise of their students.
- Administration and Management
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations