Cultural Barriers to Multinational C2 Decision Making
WRIGHT STATE UNIV DAYTON OH
Pagination or Media Count:
National cultural differences present barriers to successful coalition command and control. The challenge is compounded by distributed decision making that characterizes many operations. If U.S. military personnel are to work effectively in coalition operations, they have to understand the complexities presented by national cultural differences. This paper reviews cultural differences that can disrupt situational awareness, decision making, coordination, and communication in multinational coalitions. These differences are in power distance, dialectical reasoning, counterfactual thinking, risk assessment, uncertainty management, and activity orientation. The authors propose a Cultural Lens concept that captures cultural differences in reasoning, judgment, and authority structure. A Cultural Lens is a metaphor to allow those involved in C2 operations to see their world as if through the eyes of other participants. They will understand how options are conceptualized and evaluated. This ability to decenter supports anticipation of actions, accurate judgments, and effective negotiation of differences. A Cultural Lens will strengthen common ground and the coordination of action. It aims at enhancing understanding, grounding training, and optimizing the design of decision support systems. As multinational coalitions account for more of military operations and Operations Other Than War OOTW, national culture differences will need to be managed.
- Sociology and Law
- Unconventional Warfare
- Command, Control and Communications Systems