Integrating Staff Elements, Personality Type and Groupthink
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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This monograph presents original research that seeks to reveal the relationship between individual personality type, as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI, and individual attitudes about the Military Decision-Making Process MDMP. It contends that the relationship between individual personality types and attitudes towards the MDMP has evolved since the late 1990s in concert with the changing composition of personality types within the U.S. Army officer corps. Accordingly, the monograph questions the relevance and validity of the current MDMP process. In addition, the monograph considers the role of personality types within the integrating staff elements of Division-level and higher staffs, and offers practical suggestions for avoiding groupthink within integrating staff elements. Isabel Briggs-Myers and Katharine Briggs developed the MBTI as a system to describe individual personalities by their self-reported traits. Briggs and Myers describe these traits in terms of 8 preferences and 16 types. The U.S. Army has been using the MBTI for individual development and as a research tool since the 1980s. The personalities of people involved in the MDMP are as important as the process itself. Understanding the role of type diversity in staff work will enable leaders to carry out more complete and effective planning. According to various researchers, effective staff work requires the development and use of cross-functional teams, and the most effective cross-functional teams consist of members who have a variety of personalities. Cross-functional teams make up the integrating cells that are central to the MDMP. Unfortunately, the predominance of certain personality types in the U.S. Armys officer corps limits the effectiveness of these integrating cells. The lack of variety in individual perspectives and approaches to planning and problem solving inhibit effective staff work and can lead to groupthink.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations