Military staffs are composed of many smaller teams that are interdependent upon each other for a positive functioning level of the whole staff. Many factors can improve or harm the harmony of the staff. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the soft factors that may affect team performance. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the Big Five personality dimensions, political skill and perceived team performance in a multinational staff training event. The sample included 185 military staff officers (49% response rate). The results indicated that the personality dimension Emotional stability and Political skill had a limited, yet statistically significant, predictive power on team performance. Practical considerations and future research directions are suggested.
Claes Wallenius, Charlotte Bäccman and Gerry Larsson
Military staff performance may be inferior due to several reasons. The purpose of the present survey was to study the impact of stress reactions, personality factors, situation awareness, and maladaptive group dynamics on the quality of the decision-making in Swedish high-level military staffs. Participants were mainly captains and majors, but also lieutenant colonels and colonels took part (n = 256, 61 % response rate). A mainly self-made questionnaire was administered in two staff exercises. Maladaptive group dynamics, stress exposure, lack of situation awareness, and negative stress reactions were the strongest predictors of poor staff performance, while personality had less impact.
Numerous societal change processes such as globalization, professionalization and social and technical acceleration have challenged military organizations. The aims of this study were to (1) gain a deeper understanding of coping strategies used by the military leaders at the strategic level to manage everyday organizational demands and (2) relate these strategies to multidisciplinary models of organizational challenges. Owing to an insufficiently developed base of research, an inductive approach was used. Interviews were performed with 23 Swedish brigadier generals and colonels. Five coping strategies were found for handling the negative organizational aspects: repair work, catching up, reproducing, using formal and informal strategies and managing loyalties. The theoretical concepts of narcissistic, anorectic and greedy organizations were used as a framework when interpreting the inductively generated coping strategies. It was suggested that the specific connection found between individual-level coping strategies and theoretically framed organizational challenges is new. The results of this study are discussed theoretically and may be valuable in educational settings when evaluating the working conditions and performance of high-level officers.