The Yin-Yang Military: Ambidextrous Perspectives on Change in Military Organizations [1st ed.] 9783030524326, 9783030524333

This book examines change processes and the challenge of ambidexterity in military organizations. It discusses how milit

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The Yin-Yang Military: Ambidextrous Perspectives on Change in Military Organizations [1st ed.]
 9783030524326, 9783030524333

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-xii
Front Matter ....Pages 1-1
Resolving Contradictions in Military Operations via Ambidexterity (Patricia M. Shields, Donald S. Travis)....Pages 3-17
Unravelling the Process Dimension of Ambidexterity: Reinterpreting a Case of Collaborative Digital Servitization (Paul C. van Fenema, Dominik Mahr)....Pages 19-36
African Winds: Versatile Value Creation in the Military (Erik J. de Waard, Tom Bijlsma)....Pages 37-50
Front Matter ....Pages 51-51
Peace Operations in a Changed “Warscape”: A Call for Polydexterity (Georg Frerks)....Pages 53-67
Civil–Military Interaction Meets Civil–Military Relations: Confronting the Two Literatures in a Reflection on Ambidextrous Civil–Military Practices (Gwendolyn Bakx, Jori Kalkman, Myriame Bollen)....Pages 69-81
Bombing ISIS. Public Support and Public Dilemmas (Jan Van der Meulen)....Pages 83-99
Military Culture and the Challenge of Ambidexterity in Complex Operations (Chiara Ruffa)....Pages 101-109
Achilles and Odysseus in Non-fiction. Fact or Fiction? (Esmeralda Kleinreesink)....Pages 111-122
Front Matter ....Pages 123-123
The Different Soldiers: A Look at Diversity and Inclusion in Military Organizations (Delphine Resteigne, Philippe Manigart)....Pages 125-139
A Generic Officer Education Model for Producing Officers with Ambidextrous Competences and Skills (Erik Hedlund)....Pages 141-153
Carnival Mockery of the Locals: The Ambidexterity of Organizational Gossip in Print (Ad van Iterson)....Pages 155-168
The Influence of Cultural Differences on the Relationship Between Employee and Supervisor, and Employee Attitudes and Behavior (René Schalk, Kirsten van der Linden)....Pages 169-181
Controlling Material Resources in the Military: The Need for Ambidexterity (Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers)....Pages 183-196
Readjusting to Civilian Life. Beyond Service in an Ambidextrous Organization (Tessa op den Buijs, Manon Andres, Bart-Jan van Duijvenbode)....Pages 197-210
Front Matter ....Pages 211-211
In SHAPE We Trust! Trust Theory Put to the Test Within an Ambidexterious Headquarters (René Moelker)....Pages 213-224
America First? Ambidexterity in Safety and Security: A Study Across the World’s Fifteen Leading Military Powers, 2006–2016 (Marion Bogers, Robert Beeres, Myriame Bollen)....Pages 225-241
Back Matter ....Pages 243-248

Citation preview

Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers · René Moelker · Esmeralda Kleinreesink · Jan Van der Meulen · Joseph Soeters · Robert Beeres   Editors

The Yin-Yang Military Ambidextrous Perspectives on Change in Military Organizations

The Yin-Yang Military

Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers René Moelker Esmeralda Kleinreesink Jan Van der Meulen Joseph Soeters Robert Beeres •









Editors

The Yin-Yang Military Ambidextrous Perspectives on Change in Military Organizations

123

Editors Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers Faculty of Military Sciences Netherlands Defence Academy Breda, The Netherlands Esmeralda Kleinreesink Royal Netherlands Air Force Utrecht, The Netherlands Joseph Soeters School of Social and Behavioral Sciences Tilburg University Tilburg, The Netherlands

René Moelker Faculty of Military Sciences Netherlands Defence Academy Breda, The Netherlands Jan Van der Meulen Den Haag, The Netherlands Robert Beeres Faculty of Military Sciences Netherlands Defence Academy Breda, The Netherlands

ISBN 978-3-030-52432-6 ISBN 978-3-030-52433-3 https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3

(eBook)

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland

Prologue: Ambidexterity, Viability, and Identity

The military will need to be ambidextrous, which is being equally skillful in (seemingly) contradictory competencies. Joseph Soeters (2008:109)

Introduction Former professor in military management and organization, Joseph Soeters, is well acquainted with the military, both in The Netherlands and abroad. From 2008, in his research, he has spurred the military to be(come) ambidextrous, and this volume aims to explore this recommendation from several perspectives. Among others, the authors ask why we are in need of such ambidextrous military and what exactly this concept will contribute to military management practices? Others are interested in the ways in which ambidexterity and the military are related and in the implications of being an ambidextrous military. This current volume may well be considered a sequel to Managing Military Organizations. Theory and practice (Soeters et al. 2010), for, at the time, the underlying ethos were that future military leaders, in their education, were to develop in-depth knowledge on the nature of military organizations. To this end, from an interdisciplinary perspective, Soeters et al. applied generic and conventional management- and organization theories to military organizations, arguing (2010: 1) that the military is an organization with two faces. One deals with ‘cold’ peacetime and routine conditions, hence, resembling ‘conventional’ organizations. The other operates in ‘hot’ conditions, during crisis and peace operations or outright war. In the latter circumstances, the military have the authority on behalf of the state to use violence and compel people to do things they would probably not do without the military’s actions and instructions.

This volume takes it one step further, as today’s militaries have to operate continually in ever varying ‘cold’ circumstances and ‘hot’ conditions. They may be deployed in manifold ways, ranging from the defense of national or allied territories, the support of (inter)national authorities in case of natural disasters, fighting terrorism, or providing assistance in coping with cope with infectious diseases. Moreover, military operations have become increasingly dependent on cooperation v

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between civilian and military agencies and—at individual levels—between civilian and military men and women. Thus, armed forces and their military have had to transform into organizations with many faces and facial expressions—from smile and wave to shock and awe— operating in various structures, commands and networks, multitasking, performing multifaceted roles, working and living amid differing cultures, in Western and non-Western contexts.

Ambidexterity: Viability To us, these manifestations of modern military organizations are the essence of what this volume tries to capture by ambidexterity. Military has little choice but to manage and organize themselves ambidextrously to be able to achieve (seemingly) contradictory goals. It has to be noted, however, that in literature, ambidexterity is not exactly defined or described. Originally, ambidexterity is used to express an exceptional occurrence (i.e., the ability to use both one’s right and left hand/leg equally well). In professions, such as among musicians and among athletes, such as soccer players, ambidexterity is necessary. Perhaps ambidexterity presents us with the new ‘normal’. If so, we might dub ambidexterity as multitasking. In organizational and management sciences, organizational ambidexterity refers to the ability of an organization to successfully exploit the present and explore the future. In order to, according to O’Reilly III and Tushman (2013: 324), ‘compete in mature technologies and markets where efficiency, control, and incremental improvement are prized and to also compete in new technologies and markets where flexibility, autonomy, and experimentation are needed.’ In such organizations, typically, various commercial suppliers will recommend to implement novel processes, structures, and cultures to foster ambidexterity. The reader may have noted that ‘to explore and exploit’ are reminiscent of Stafford Beer’s Viable System Model, as developed in Brain of the Firm (Beer 1972), The Heart of Enterprise (Beer 1995) and Diagnosing the System for Organizations (Beer 1996). According to Beer, to remain viable, an organization must have the potential to both adapt and realize the primary activities that constitute its identity. To this end, Beer distinguishes three functions, to be performed by every organization to realize its primary activities (i.e., to exploit): primary activities, coordination, and control. Next, the author discerns three functions, to be performed by every organization to adapt its primary activities (i.e., to explore): control (once more), intelligence, and policy. The above five functions and their interlinkages constitute Beer’s answer to the question: What functions are necessary and sufficient for an organization to survive and what are the relations between those functions? (Achterbergh and Vriens 2010: 181). Ambidexterity, in the sense of Beer’s viability, is of essential importance to the military as, indeed to every organization. The military needs to be ambidextrous to support the survival of the society(ies) they are to serve and protect. If not, the military loses their relevance.

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Ambidexterity: Identity When it is deemed important for the military to embrace the concept of ambidexterity in managing and organizing, they should also be able to look at themselves ambidextrously to become sensitive to their transformed identity. Traditionally, the military is presented as a hierarchical, male, rule-based organization, preoccupied with security and secrecy, bringing a one-dimensional warrior ethos to the office (Shields and Soeters 2017: 325). Such presentation does not appear particularly promising when attempting to become skillful in achieving (seemingly) contradictory goals. An ambidextrous identity implies the ability to accept necessary change and to be ready to transform one’s efforts according to changes in time and situation. As a consequence, today’s militaries are to be enabled to anticipate on and adapt to constantly changing circumstances, regarding both enemies and friends, war- and peace-fare, civil and military practices, safety and security, and so on. In other words, in striving to become ambidextrous, the military not only needs its appearance, but definitely also the chameleon’s eyes.

Bonding and Bridging The dynamics in this volume, that all elaborate ambidexterity, are mainly based on tensions between dichotomous categories. Starting of with the gender dichotomy ‘male’ versus ‘female’, that in itself is theoretically and physiologically limited (because we now know that it all is more complex), all kinds of dichotomies are introduced. The main principle that transcends the paralyzing status quo of the dichotomy is the idea of bonding and bridging. Soeters put forward this idea to bring ‘change’ into the theoretical framework. Both bonding and bridging are valuable. Because bonding implies exploiting ones strength, whereas bridging implies exploring new venues, establishing new alliances and creating networks of weak ties that supersede the strong ties that at one point might slow one down. To achieve ambidexterity, bonding and bridging are the key concepts.

Outline of This Book In general, organizational and management literature focuses either on managing military organizations or on organizational ambidexterity. As to research connecting both subjects, there appears to be a void. For this reason, we have chosen to grant the participating authors as much leeway as possible, both to think creatively and to share their expertise. We have actively scouted scholars from different backgrounds. As editors, we thank all authors for their contributions, including everyone who attempted to do so. However, despite giving a free rein to all authors, at the end of the day, we have had to find a way to meaningfully group the different contributions. To this end, the volume is divided into four parts, serving as categories. The first category entails

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contributions that connect managing military organizations and the concept of ambidexterity at the organizational level (i.e., the structures and networks in which the military operate). The second category hosts contributions on ambidextrously combining different tasks and roles of and in military organizations. The third category presents studies on contextual cultural issues. The last category comprises contributions in which the international dimension is central. The book begins by a literature study, reflecting on the application of the concept of ambidexterity to the military. Patricia M. Shields and Donald S. Travis suggest that organizational ambidexterity offers numerous applications to facilitate innovation and to improve organizational effectiveness in military organizations. In Chap. 2, Paul C. van Fenema and Dominik Mahr expand on the innovation dimension by using ambidexterity theory to understand how organizations succeed in innovation through exploitation and exploration. To this end, the authors apply the theory in an empirical setting: collaborative digital services along the maritime value chain. Their findings reveal six strategic organizational processes that connect exploitation and exploration and encourage a shift from a strategic view on resources toward a view that considers processes enacted by resources. Improving the organizational effectiveness dimension is worked out by Erik J. de Waard and Tom Bijlsma in Chap. 3. They apply ambidexterity theory to analyze a unique military training program, also in the maritime domain, labeled African Winds. de Waard and Bijlsma make clear that an ambidextrous military needs individual, group, business unit, and concern-level coherence, with reciprocal interaction patterns between internal and external stakeholders, collaborating at the organizational frontline. Laying the grounds for Part II of the volume on tasks and roles, in Chap. 4, Georg Frerks suggests going beyond ambidexterity. According to Frerks, the political and military challenges and the lack of significant reform require the military to become polydextrous in order to accomplish at least a modicum of success in contemporary expeditionary peace operations. Next, in Chap. 5, Gwendolyn Bakx, Jori Kalkman, and Myriame Bollen argue that the attention in the literature for combining civil and military efforts has been on the modern expeditionary context, whereas civil–military interaction in other deployment contexts received less attention. In their chapter, they review the literature on civil–military interaction and use civil–military relations literature to set up a research agenda for studying ambidextrous civil–military interactions practices across deployment contexts. In Chap. 6, Jan Van der Meulen unravels public opinion about bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He observes that public support for bombing ISIS has been broad and almost global. However, beneath the surface of self-evident support, as Van der Meulen phrases it, difficult dilemmas can be discerned. In the chapter, he frames the air campaign against ISIS a risk-transfer war. Next, Chiara Ruffa, in Chap. 7, reflects on the issue that although military tasks have multiplied, it remains very hard for the military to shift from a focus on classical skills to the requirements of ambidexterity. In Chap. 8, Esmeralda Kleinreesink empirically examines the hypothesis whether distinct national operating styles of conflict resolution exist: Some countries tend more toward a warrior culture and others more toward non-violent means of conflict resolution. Such distinct national operational styles might help, in the words of Kleinreesink, to build ambidextrous international

Prologue: Ambidexterity, Viability, and Identity

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military organizations to be able to both wage and end war. Kleinreesink finds supporting evidence. Both Ruffa and Kleinreesink point at the influence of national and military cultural differences that build ambidextrous military organizations. Cultural issues take center stage in the Part III of this volume. First, Delphine Resteigne and Philippe Manigart, in Chap. 9, dive into the subjects of diversity and inclusion in military organizations using contemporary Belgian Defense Forces as a case study. They conceptualize and visualize the issues, identify problems, and find that diversity still is not well accepted or, at least, valued. Finally, they recommend organizational solutions. In Chap. 10, Erik Hedlund presents a generic model for officer education to produce officers with ambidextrous competences and skills. He develops a programme for a common model for the planning and execution of officer education in order to meet the ambidextrous requirements of both the military profession and of higher education. Ad van Iterson, in Chap. 11, focuses on the ambidextrous nature of organizational gossip. Gossip is both used to blame and to praise others. His interesting contribution shows that discourse ambidexterity can take on subtle forms of compliant and resistant organizational behavior. Chapter 12, by René Schalk and Kirsten van der Linden, quantitatively investigates the influence of cultural differences on the relationship between employee and supervisor, employee attitudes, and employee behavior. They use the results to discuss the implications for managing cross-cultural differences and ambidexterity. From a management control perspective, in Chap. 13, Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers sheds another light on employee behavior by empirically studying the impact of military culture on achieving careful—responsible and ethical—behavior with respect to material resources. The author finds that military culture has a positive impact on careful behavior. Discussing the empirical results of her investigation into both hard (formal) and soft (informal) controls, Heeren-Bogers concludes both types of controls need to be ambidexterously applied. In the final chapter of Part III, Chap. 14, Tessa op den Buijs, Manon Andres, and Bart-Jan van Duijvenbode, by means of a qualitative empirical study, address the question how ex-service personnel exploit existing social relationships while exploring new relationships in order to adapt to life beyond military service. The authors demonstrate that upon entering the armed forces, military ties are being formed and strengthened, while civilian ties are being weakened. After leaving the armed forces, military ties become weaker and less intense, whereas ties with the civilian family and friends are renewed or even rebuild. Entering and exiting the military appear quite an ambidextrous endeavor. Part IV of the volume—nations and allies—starts with Chap. 15 in which René Moelker reports on the results of a study into international military collaboration. An international team of researchers studied work processes, satisfaction, trust and effectiveness, and efficiency among military and civilian personnel within the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), whereas one in such an international setting would expect quarreling, strife, and miscommunication, resulting in low job satisfaction and high turnover, and this actually was not the case. René Moelker explains why. Chapter 16, by Marion Bogers, Robert Beeres, and Myriame Bollen, empirically investigates the extent to which the USA has operated ambidextrously in the safety and security domains over the period

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2006–2016. They compare absolute and relative contributions to different safety and security dimensions (i.e., defense, poverty, migration, and climate change) among the 15 largest global military powers. They find that the USA—compared to the reference group—almost persistently scores in the top 5 and conclude that during the Obama administration the USA indeed operated ambidextrously in the safety and security domains. Finally, in the Epilogue, Joseph Soeters wraps up the findings of the previous chapters. Taken together, the papers in this volume constitute a substantial contribution to investigate the relationships between ambidexterity and the military. However, these are not the last words on the subject—they cannot be. Robert Beeres René Moelker Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers Esmeralda Kleinreesink Jan Van der Meulen

References Achterbergh, J., & Vriens, D. (2010). Organizations. Social systems conducting experiments (2nd revised ed.). Dordrecht: Springer. Beer, S. (1972). Brain of the firm. London: Allen Lane the Penguin Press. Beer, S. (1995). The heart of enterprise. Chichester: Wiley. Beer, S. (1996). Diagnosing the system for organizations. Chichester: Wiley. O’Reilly III, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity: Past, present, and future. Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(4), 324–338. Shields, P., & Soeters, J. (2017). Peaceweaving: Jane Addams, positive peace, and public administration. American Review of Public Administration, 47(3), 323–339. https://doi.org/10. 1177/0275074015589629. Soeters, J. (2008). Ambidextrous military: Coping with contradictions of new security policies. In M. Den Boer & J. De Wilde (Eds.), The viability of human security (pp. 109–124). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Soeters, J., Van Fenema, P. C., Beeres, R. (Eds.) (2010). Managing military organizations: Theory and practice. Abingdon: Routledge.

Contents

Part I 1

2

3

Resolving Contradictions in Military Operations via Ambidexterity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Patricia M. Shields and Donald S. Travis

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Unravelling the Process Dimension of Ambidexterity: Reinterpreting a Case of Collaborative Digital Servitization . . . . . . Paul C. van Fenema and Dominik Mahr

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African Winds: Versatile Value Creation in the Military . . . . . . . . Erik J. de Waard and Tom Bijlsma

Part II 4

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Structures and Networks

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Tasks and Roles

Peace Operations in a Changed “Warscape”: A Call for Polydexterity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Georg Frerks Civil–Military Interaction Meets Civil–Military Relations: Confronting the Two Literatures in a Reflection on Ambidextrous Civil–Military Practices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gwendolyn Bakx, Jori Kalkman, and Myriame Bollen

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Bombing ISIS. Public Support and Public Dilemmas . . . . . . . . . . . Jan Van der Meulen

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Military Culture and the Challenge of Ambidexterity in Complex Operations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 Chiara Ruffa

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Achilles and Odysseus in Non-fiction. Fact or Fiction? . . . . . . . . . . 111 Esmeralda Kleinreesink

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Part III 9

Cultural Issues

The Different Soldiers: A Look at Diversity and Inclusion in Military Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125 Delphine Resteigne and Philippe Manigart

10 A Generic Officer Education Model for Producing Officers with Ambidextrous Competences and Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141 Erik Hedlund 11 Carnival Mockery of the Locals: The Ambidexterity of Organizational Gossip in Print . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155 Ad van Iterson 12 The Influence of Cultural Differences on the Relationship Between Employee and Supervisor, and Employee Attitudes and Behavior . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169 René Schalk and Kirsten van der Linden 13 Controlling Material Resources in the Military: The Need for Ambidexterity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183 Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers 14 Readjusting to Civilian Life. Beyond Service in an Ambidextrous Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197 Tessa op den Buijs, Manon Andres, and Bart-Jan van Duijvenbode Part IV

Nations and Allies

15 In SHAPE We Trust! Trust Theory Put to the Test Within an Ambidexterious Headquarters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213 René Moelker 16 America First? Ambidexterity in Safety and Security: A Study Across the World’s Fifteen Leading Military Powers, 2006–2016 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225 Marion Bogers, Robert Beeres, and Myriame Bollen Epilogue: Poly-Dexterity and Its Challenges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243

Part I

Structures and Networks

Chapter 1

Resolving Contradictions in Military Operations via Ambidexterity Patricia M. Shields and Donald S. Travis

Abstract Joseph Soeters applied the concept of organizational ambidexterity to military organizations as an innovative approach to support military planning and operations. Much like a basketball player who is skilled with using both hands, an ambidextrous organization is able to take into account long-run needs and simultaneously exploit the current environment. This useful concept is grounded in the pragmatism of Morris Janowitz, John Dewey, and Jane Addams. Organizational ambidexterity offers numerous applications to improve organizational effectiveness and facilitate melioristic changes in the turbulent, often contradictory, postmodern, yin-yang military. Keywords Pragmatism · Peacekeeping operations · Military strategy · Civil–military relations · Stability operations

1.1 Introduction Contemporary militaries function in environments filled with contradictions. Shortterm perspectives rely on violence and traditional means to defeat an enemy, while long-term goals of building a just, sustainable peace demand a different focus and skill sets. This chapter analyzes the works of Joseph Soeters to argue that effective militaries have the capacity for both. Clearly, militaries throughout time and space have honed the ability to deliver violence to defeat an enemy. Their capacity and mind-set to work toward a sustained and just peace are less well developed (Shields 2017b). As the ancient yin and yang symbol suggests that the light and dark need An abbreviated version of this essay appeared in the US Army War College Quarterly Parameters in 2017 (Vol. 47, No. 2). P. M. Shields Texas State University, San Marcos, USA e-mail: [email protected] D. S. Travis (B) Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, USA e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_1

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each other for wholeness, we examine how imbedded dualisms like enemy/friend, defeat/victory, and war/peace can be bridged and re-contextualized. Janowitz (1971/1971: 266) accurately predicted that under the global specter of nuclear annihilation future “wars will be limited wars.” The inevitable struggle between nations will be by “means other than total war.” This requires militaries to adopt a kind of organizational and conceptual flexibility captured in the concept “ambidexterity.” In addition, ambidexterity and the pragmatic philosophy that underpins it provide a fruitful lens to explore seeming contradictions which emerge in our postmodern, low-intensity war, security environment. The passage below exemplifies Soeters’ pragmatic approach in military affairs through the development of a concept known as ambidexterity: Peace operations are often mixed military and civilian and led by military forces, which bring a warrior ethos to the task. The warrior ethos includes rigid dichotomies such as friend/enemy, victory/defeat, strength/weakness, good/evil, and life/death. The seeming contradiction of warriors administering peace poses challenges for the administration of a positive peace. We also introduce the concept of an ambidextrous organization as a way to achieve seemingly contradictory goals (Shields and Soeters 2017: 325, 329).

Ambidexterity, a concept borrowed from business, implies something exceptional such as a soccer player who is equally skillful with his left and right foot. Soeters uses the concept to address seemingly contradictory goals imbedded in international peace operations that require versatility in the use of military skill sets to successfully carry out such operations. Ambidexterity embraces the culture of the warrior by helping the warrior to adapt in the face of difficult, complex missions. While Soeters was exploring organizational ambidexterity and observing its potential uses in peacekeeping missions, American army strategists were devising ways to train and employ soldiers to meet increasing deployment demands for complex and small-scale operations requiring peacekeeping skills (Shields and Travis 2017). The U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Peter Schoomaker captured the approach: We are developing a modular Army force that gives us much more rapidly deployable [and] more capable organizations…. What you will have is a team of pentathletes. I want a whole team of Michael Jordans who can play any position. We must… have this pentathlete team better organized, better led, better trained, better equipped, and more strategically agile (Donnelly and Waller 2005).

Schoomaker’s concept of the pentathlete is synonymous with ambidexterity; both imply a need for organizational change in environments where fewer soldiers can accomplish more types of missions. This vision calls for resilience through a multifaceted and agile military force that is proficient in a broad range of tasks and capable of accomplishing a variety of missions simultaneously. In this chapter, the concept of ambidexterity and its early links to the business literature is explored. The concept is then applied to military organizations through the works of Joseph Soeters. The application of ambidexterity to military organizations illustrates a deeper trend that is linked to the pragmatism of Morris Janowitz and John Dewey. This link is investigated particularly through Dewey’s analysis of

1 Resolving Contradictions in Military Operations …

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dualisms. Finally, many of the contradictions facing military organizations across the globe are captured through seemingly rigid dichotomies.

1.2 Ambidexterity in Business In 1997, Michael Tushman, a leading organizational behavior theorist from the Harvard Business School, along with Philip Anderson and Charles O’Reilly examined the problem of ensuring ongoing organizational innovation. They identified two types of innovation. Incremental innovations occur during routine business activities. Discontinuous innovations are needed to prepare for fundamental changes in technology or the market. Notably, the team determined that “ambidextrous organizations have multiple organizational architectures to concurrently nurture these diverse innovation requirements” (Tushman et al. 1997: 6). O’Reilly and Tushman (2004) subsequently brought widespread recognition to the concept of ambidexterity after examining the twin challenges of attending to routine matters or exploiting the current business environment and exploring opportunities to ensure future success. They note the difficulty managers encounter as they attend to exploitation and exploration simultaneously. Typically, a manager’s attention is focused on pressing daily activities leaving little time to contemplate future promises and pitfalls. The friction between current operations and the need to expand organizational capabilities can leave firms ill prepared for the future. The concept of ambidexterity helps to resolve the present/future choices facing managers. Successful organizations meet this challenge by placing these functions in separate divisions, which report to a single supervisor. This widespread management conundrum to accomplish these two seemingly contradictory challenges is endemic to the military. Because military organizations face such contradictory demands, Soeters (2008) introduced “ambidexterity” as a way for military leaders to cope with contradictions that invariably emerge. For example, the kinds of missions that dominate in “Gray Zone” security environments depend on cooperation and collaboration between militaries of different nations working alongside an array of civilian organizations (Popp 2017: 1).

1.3 Military Operations and Ambidexterity Joseph Soeters (2008) applied the concept of ambidexterity to contemporary military organizations by examining seemingly intractable dualisms and then showing how the concept helps resolve them. Take, for example, a pair of actions known as bonding and bridging. Soeters draws on a common experiential reference—traveling—to explain the relevance of these concepts for postmodern military operations. A person traveling alone often must rely on the help of other people along the way to

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successfully navigate a journey. The ability to effectively communicate and overcome cultural differences—bridging—could determine the journey’s success. On the other hand, a person traveling in a group might spend more time interacting with traveling companions, thereby establishing and reinforcing strong ties (bonding). Bonding is associated with tight-knit communities, whereas bridging occurs in cosmopolitan settings where people have fewer friends but more acquaintances and employ “weak ties” to connect with others and get things done. Bonding and bridging are viewed as a mutually exclusive fixed dichotomy (Granovetter 1983). Given the nature of multinational operations, military units must strive to practice bonding and bridging simultaneously. This proves difficult because soldiers are expected to battle enemy forces while also seeking peaceful options or solutions to reduce violence and save lives. Unit bonding strengthens soldier cohesion (Siebold 2011). Cohesion and bonding imply “that servicemen do not want to have anything to do with people outside their own unit” (Soeters 2008: 115). This is functional when the enemy is clearly defined and understood. Yet, amid ambiguity military units are often expected to operate alongside unfamiliar actors such as foreign coalition partners and even friendly local militia forces. The norm is that combat units take orders and respond in predictable ways, reflecting low expectations that they will demonstrate innovation. Groups with strong ties generally have “limited cognitive flexibility” and are “less receptive to innovative ideas” and new ways of thinking (Soeters 2008: 113). This explains why ambidexterity is not easy to attain; only skilled, competent, and disciplined soldiers and combat units will develop the ability to learn, adapt, and accomplish those countervailing actions and tasks that represent organizational ambidexterity in multinational operations. Bridging enables cooperation and collaboration across national and civil–military boundaries. The need to bridge, however, does not take away the importance of internal military cohesion. “Both bonding and bridging are required during multinational non-Article 5 crisis-response operations… Under those circumstances, the pattern of bonding without bridging clearly does not work as well” (Soeters 2008: 115). So, there is an inherent contradiction. First, bonding and bridging appear to be more or less mutually exclusive behaviors. Groups and people strongly gravitate toward one or the other. Second, contemporary military organizations dealing with the diverse, uncertain, postmodern environment need to be able to do both. Here is where Soeters makes the leap. He reinterprets new sets of literatures that show bonding and bridging can be compatible and then applies the concept of ambidexterity (O’Reilly and Tushman 2004). In pragmatic fashion, ambidexterity provides a way for military organizations to bond and bridge. Ambidexterity is understood in everyday experience, as Soeters (2008: 120) explains: Like piano players and percussionists who need to be equally skillful with their right and left hand, and soccer players who try to develop their ‘weak’ leg, organizations nowadays need to be ambidextrous; good at dealing with contradictory demands at the same time. This unequivocally also applies to the military, being urged to combine bridging and bonding practices in today’s peacekeeping missions.

So how do military organizations develop the weak leg? Soeters proposes structural and contextual ambidexterity. Structural ambidexterity is observed within the

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architecture of the organization. Here, distinct roles are assigned to different types of military units. One might orient more toward “bonding” and focus on “war-fighting, terrorist hunting and other activities that imply the use of violence” (Soeters 2008: 121). A second unit’s tasks would orient more on bridging by carrying out peacekeeping, civil–military cooperation, humanitarian relief, and nation building actions and missions. The dual role of bonding and bridging in military operations was recognized by Janowitz (1971/2017: 418—430) when he described the need to conduct “constabulary” missions under limited war situations. More recently, Barnett (2004: 299—302) recognized the need for such a dual role, calling for organizing military forces into two functions by type of unit: the Leviathan specializing in “high-tech big violence war” and the System Administrator specializing in “low-tech security generation and routine crisis response.” Ambidexterity can also be contextual, which means individuals, particularly those at the top, should be skilled at both bonding and bridging. “They need to have a broad view of their work, being culturally intelligent as well as being alert to opportunities and challenges beyond the confines of their jobs. They need to act like brokers, always looking to build internal and external linkages, and if needed they have to be comfortable wearing more than one ‘hat’. Most of all they need to be able to immediately switch from communicating and negotiating to the actual repelling and use of violence” (Soeters 2008: 122). Contextual ambidexterity can move down the chain of command. This was recognized but not fully realized by American military leaders as a requirement for US combat forces waging three-block wars: armed combat, peacekeeping, and humanitarian relief conducted at the same time by the same Marines in the same battlespace (Krulak 1999). Shields and Soeters (2017) applied the concept of ambidexterity to the challenge of defining and achieving peace. Peace scholarship distinguishes between positive and negative peace. Negative peace or the absence of war (and violence) is the most commonly used definition. Positive peace incorporates concepts like social justice and equity, and focuses on relationship building as a long-term process. Functioning societies work to achieve a positive peace knowing all the while that it is perhaps an impermanent goal requiring perpetual diligence (Rissler and Shields 2019). Peacekeeping missions are tasked with moving a society from the sphere of negative peace to positive peace. During such turbulent transitions, soldiers need to use ways of thinking and skills that are seemingly contradictory (Soeters 2018). They may need to be “shooters” and “talkers.” In the pragmatic sense, ambidexterity helps the soldier to reconcile some of the contradictions imbedded in the uneven process of moving from negative to positive peace (Shields and Soeters 2017). It is not enough to simply recognize the dualisms fraught in warfare. Soeters’ ambidexterity is a pragmatic concept that addresses seemingly contradictory dualisms that appear to confound both theory and practice. The pragmatic approach can help to clarify the fog and friction of bureaucratic inertia. Applied to military operations, pragmatism can orient thinking to improve the understanding of national security practitioners (both civilian and military). Soeters’ recognition of this treatment of contradictory dualisms is illustrative of a larger pattern in his scholarship which incorporates the underlying

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pragmatism that, as a way of thinking, can impact approaches to accomplishing or achieving peace and stability while striving to maintain our humanity.

1.4 The Pragmatism that Underlies Ambidexterity Pragmatism is a philosophy of common sense born in the USA soon after the Civil War that was a response to dogmatic thinking that propelled the bloody conflict. Using purposeful human inquiry as a focal point, pragmatism represents a continual process of discovery and doubt that acknowledges the qualitative nature of human experience as problematic situations emerge and are recognized. Pragmatism embraces doubt and uncertainty and focuses attention on practical effects. Janowitz (1971) employed it to challenge military problems: The uncertainties of warfare are so great that the most elaborate peacetime planning and the most realistic exercises are at best weak indicators of emerging imponderables. Dogmatic doctrine is a typical organizational reflex reaction to future uncertainties… (24). The constabulary concept provides continuity with past military experiences and traditions, but also offers a basis for the radical adaptation of the profession. The military establishment becomes a constabulary force when it is continuously prepared to act, committed to the minimum use of force, and seeks viable international relations, rather than victory … The constabulary outlook is ground in, and extends pragmatic doctrine (418).

Pragmatists akin to Janowitz approach challenges with a spirit of inquiry, critical optimism, and cooperation using experimental logic—or purposeful human inquiry grounded in a problematic situation to challenge existing belief systems and ways of doing things (Dewey 1938). Accounting for the qualitative nature of human experience, the uneasy, doubtful feeling preceding problem recognition and the problematic situation are recognized and reconciled through the transformations of inquiry, which involve “critical reasoning, empirical investigation and actions that are assessed in light of practical consequences” (Shields 2011: 206). Philosophers C.S. Pierce, William James, John Dewey, and Jane Addams pioneered pragmatism. In two articles, Peirce sparked a philosophy that embraced doubt and uncertainty and focused attention on practical effects (Peirce 1877; 1878). From the Dewey School, Janowitz applied pragmatism to military challenges. Pragmatism uses an experimental logic, which is part of a larger theory and process of inquiry captured in a problematic situation (Dewey 1938). The problem is situated in experience and culture. Problematic situations often challenge existing belief systems and ways of doing things. Pragmatism also takes into account the qualitative nature of human experience. An uneasy or doubtful feeling precedes problem recognition. Doubt and the problematic situation are recognized and reconciled through the transformations of inquiry, which involve “critical reasoning, empirical investigation and actions that are assessed in light of practical consequences” (Shields 2011: 206). Inquiry reduces uncertainty, facilitates the next steps, and links the problematic situation to an end-in-view—a flexible, practical goal with meaning in the real world that cannot be separated from human experience. Pragmatism’s “experimentalism

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uses a forward-looking view of science. The goal is not to find eternal principles (and achieve certainty), rather to use an ongoing experimental and experiential process to develop plans for action that are evaluated in light of practical consequences. Hence, inquiry usually contains an inherently social component—knowledge that is gained through inquiry is a social product of communities engaged in dialogue about common problems” (Shields 2011: 206). Pragmatism approaches all problematic situations with a spirit of critical optimism. This “is the belief that the specific conditions which exist at one moment, be they comparatively bad or comparatively good, in any event may be bettered” (Dewey 1957: 179). Critical optimism has the capacity to recognize evil yet never be stuck in the paralysis of pessimism (Shields 2003). Although people bring different skills and knowledge to the process of defining and resolving a problematic situation, the community involved should be defined broadly. From the simple concept of a community coalescing around a problem, Dewey and Addams develop and apply a sophisticated theory of participatory democracy: a theory where the community is involved in shaping or characterizing the problematic situation, developing approaches to resolve the problem, defining and refining the end-in-view—and, potentially, being transformed in the process. These are exactly the characteristics Howard (2008) associates with successful peacekeeping operations.

1.5 Resolving Dualisms Ambidexterity is offered by Joseph Soeters as a way to resolve seemingly contradictory, intractable dualisms facing postmodern military organizations. Pragmatism is noted for its approach to philosophical dualisms. Here, we examine two key types of philosophical dualisms—the psycho-philosophical and moral. Psycho-philosophical dualisms deal with the separation of mind and body and incorporate dichotomies such as theory/practice and thought/action. Moral dualisms take into account notions of good and evil. Rigid moral dualisms can be an ongoing impetus to violent conflict.

1.5.1 Psycho-philosophical Dualisms Dewey’s perspective on psycho-philosophical dichotomy arose from his organic and holistic model of experience (Hildebrand 2008: 12). Early on Dewey (1886) criticized the reflex arc—or a model that reduces behavior to discrete and separate “stimulus” and “response.” A child who puts her hand over a flame (stimulus) withdraws it quickly feeling the fire (response). Dewey criticizes the reflex arc because, first, it artificially detaches events into discrete components. Sensory stimulus, central response, and action are parsed into separate units. Second, the reflex arc misrepresents how people interact with their environs. Organisms do not passively receive a stimulus and then become active responders. Organisms interact continuously with

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their environment in a cumulative and mutually modifying manner. Finally, this model too rigidly identifies a clear starting and ending point. “Both stimulus and response are enmeshed in an ongoing matrix of sensory and motor activities. A stimulus comes from somewhere and a response leads elsewhere—to further coordination and integration of both sensory and motor responses” (Hildebrand 2008: 15–16). Dewey is not suggesting that terms like stimulus and response are not useful. Rather, stimulus and response occur “in a wider dynamic context” (culture) that incorporates aims and interests. Stimulus and response occur “in and because of an environment, which contains the problems and surprises that spur us on to grow” (Hildebrand 2008: 15–16). Dewey (1896) suggested a coordinated circuit as an alternative. Dichotomies like stimulus and response “merely disguises ancient psychophysical dualisms” such as mind/body, thought/action, ends/means, and theory/practice (Hildebrand 2008: 16–17). These common dualisms are rooted in erroneous and radical separations of the perceiver from the world. “Dewey’s model rejects this inner/outer model from the start. His is an ecological model—mind, body and world are mutually created by their ongoing interaction” (Hildebrand 2008: 21). The ecological model where mind, body, and world are created by their ongoing interaction is a model that focuses on relationships. Dewey steps back from viewing stimulus and response as discrete disconnected components and shows how they relate to each other within a larger environment. So too, Soeters places bonding and bridging into the new, complicated, multinational, postmodern military missions (Soeters 2008). In addition, the environment that surrounds the reflex arc is akin to the culture that surrounds human interaction.

1.5.2 Moral Dualisms As mentioned earlier, pragmatism was partly a reaction to rigid moral positions that propelled the US Civil War. For example, Southern honor was tied to a devotion to the slave system. To threaten slavery was to threaten honor, which justified and compelled a violent response (Wyatt-Brown 1982). Jane Addams, who is also a philosopher of peace, clearly articulated problems with rigid moral perspectives. She reacted to the moral paternalism that bound women to the home and excluded them from the public sphere (Shields 2006; Soeters 2018). It should be noted that rigid moralisms contain implicit dualisms because for each “right” there is a contrasting “wrong”; each “enemy” has corresponding “friends.” Rigid moral perspectives also carried with them the weight of moral superiority with little room for human frailty or weakness. As a result, the concerns of the weak and dispossessed can be marginalized. Such a disposition can offer the seeds of terrorism. It is perhaps not surprising that the 70 years of relative peace after WWII saw a reconfigured enemy/friend dichotomy emerging after September 11, 2001. Addams offers sympathetic knowledge as an alternative to the kinds of inflexible moral certainty that often result from organized violence. Sympathetic knowledge

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is a willingness to suspend judgment, and listen and “see the size of one another’s burden” (Addams 1902: 6). “When we sympathetically and affectively understand the plight of others, we are more likely to care and act in their behalf” (Hamington 2009: 74). Addams wants us to incorporate our emotions into our sense of knowledge. In so doing, we can bring emotional kindness and imagination to encounter with others (Shields 2017a). Almost inevitably, violent conflict contains intractable moral dualisms such as friend/enemy, oppressed/oppressor, capitalism/communism, and Muslim/Christian. Violent conflicts often involve disputes about opposing or contradictory moral narratives. To resolve or move beyond them can contribute to the puzzle of ending violence. Violent conflict is a puzzle taken on by Joseph Soeters (2005).

1.6 Soeters’s Pragmatism Philosophical pragmatism permeates the works of Joseph Soeters, as his work demonstrates a “coherent set of thematic concerns and common logic of inquiry” consistent with philosophical pragmatism (Burk 1991: 1). Examining the contributions of military sociologist and pragmatist, Morris Janowitz, shows how his intellectual lineage can be traced back to Dewey through the University of Chicago. Janowitz (arguably the father of military sociology) extended the “logic of a pragmatic approach to the study of modern society” particularly in military sociology (Burk 1991: 1–3). Soeters effectively extends this legacy. One key aspect of his approach is how he recognized reciprocal stereotyping between groups, where opposing poles of moral dualisms resulted in the groups assigning greater values to self-associated qualities: This process of stereotyping is inevitably reciprocal. Consequently, a process of polarization of group formation emerges, in which the unique qualities of one’s own group are increasingly stressed and the demands to other groups steadily increased. This is called ‘ethnic outbidding. [It is a] self-propelling process of ideological escalation (Soeters 2005: 84).

Soeters’s search for a “coherent set of thematic concerns and common logic of inquiry” is consistent with philosophical pragmatism that is traced from Dewey to Janowitz (Burk 1991: 1, 3). Samuel P. Huntington focused on this separation between civilian and military groups and the paradoxes that emerge from that detachment (Huntington 1957; Travis 2017, 2020). By contrast, Janowitz acknowledges the separation but focuses on their societal interpenetration and the societal context within which both operate. The “relations” notion is the focus and approach that veers away from absolutism (Janowitz 1971/2017; Travis 2020). Even though Janowitz’s pragmatic analysis of the military and society ended in the 1970s during the cold war, his theories regarding the need to employ military forces to carry out constabulary missions continue through the studies of peacekeeping operations by Soeters; something Soeters acknowledges in a chapter that links contemporary peacekeeping operations and philosophical pragmatism. “Dewey, Addams and Janowitz stressed this pragmatic approach in their seminal works. On today’s international stage, their

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example, insights and recommendations may provide vital methods and direction for military personnel mediating regional conflicts, bringing them closer to achieving effective and successful peacekeeping operations. Peacekeeping efforts guided by inflexible or absolutist doctrine can no longer effectively address the needs of people in turmoil. A flexible or pragmatic approach to peacekeeping, on the other hand, offers a way to achieve this critically important end-in-view” (Shields and Soeters 2013: 105).

1.7 Framing and Reframing Dualisms An obvious way Soeters’ work can be connected to pragmatism is through his consistent and persistent analysis of dualisms. Multinational peace operations are his chosen venue, where contradictions and tensions inherent in this dichotomy are a ripe source for scholarly investigation. How armies defeat enemies and set the conditions for peace reflects the values inherent in the societies they serve. Soeters understood this and discovered a way that pragmatism, as a way of thinking, could achieve better results for more people. First, among his research examining dualisms is the role and function of interpreters for peace operations in Bosnia and Afghanistan. In a mechanical sense, interpreters are tools to translate words across different languages. Familiar military slang—translation machines—captures this perfectly (Bos and Soeters 2006: 264). The “translation machine” model has a built-in active/passive dualism. The soldier communicating with host nationals is an active participant in the communication. The interpreter passively relays the words. But Soeters and his colleagues challenge this metaphor and harken back to Dewey’s criticism of the reflex arc and how conventional wisdom oversimplifies and even mischaracterizes “stimulus–response” events (Dewey 1896). To prevent or elude a “strategic faux pas,” overreliance on such “machines” must be avoided in favor of reintegrating soldiers and interpreters into a more organic model of experience, with all persons (sides) engaged in negotiations to allow for continuous interaction with each other and their environment in a cumulative and mutually modifying way (Bos and Soeters 2006; Dijk et al. 2010). Because something as basic as interpretation has significant impacts on peacekeeping operations, interpreters should be supported to facilitate effective communication because they take into account cultural differences in communication style between the “direct” Dutch military and the “less explicit” and more ambiguous Afghanistan counterparts. This explains the importance of building trust. “The experience of locally hired interpreters, the military displayed a precarious balance of trust and distrust toward them. The local interpreters generally felt trusted when it came to language mediation in concrete interactions with the local population. However, they were given the cold shoulder in the compound, as strangers who were close and distant at the same time” (Bos and Soeters 2006: 266).

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Second, there is the vexing dualism associated with Western militaries’ attempts to transition from what many believed was a relatively stable bipolar world of largescale conventional defense forces to smaller, more flexible and agile “expeditionary” and crisis response forces of the twenty-first century. Such tasks expose a problematic “paradox of duality” that results from underlying challenges of organizational flexibility in military organizations striving to adapt (Travis 2020: 73–78). Too much flexibility can lead to chaos and too little to rigidity and an inability to adapt. Organizations often face power struggles between stability and change, so organizational sensing enhances functional flexibility. This was examined in the Netherlands’ armed forces as a case study that determined “within highly turbulent crisis response missions, organizational sensing becomes the predominant driver, stimulating ad hoc solutions that challenge existing structures, available technology and standard procedures” (Waard et al. 2013: 577, 579). This certainly resonates with insights from pragmatic inquiry. A third example of dualisms in Joseph Soeters’ inquiry into civil–military relations and military sociology involves the examination of demobilization of Eritrean fighters and their subsequent integration into the civil service (fighter/non-fighter) (Tessema and Soeters 2006). Ambidexterity is applied to the challenges facing the Eritrean military. “Military leaders should be ready for action, violent action if need be. At the same time they are requested to hold their fire when they operate in peacekeeping missions in which talking to people is more important than shooting” (Waard and Soeters 2007: 191). Fourth, the concept of ambidexterity was applied to the examination of the effect-based method of planning and operations used by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Contradictory approaches to leadership were applied—intuition versus assessment-driven approaches—that influence mission implementation strategies and challenges (Rietjens, Soeters and Klumper 2011). A metaphor used by Hofstede and Hofstede (2005) to describe the culture of the mind as software and the organization (the body) as hardware was questioned. Soeters and colleagues asserted that “The implicit body versus mind analysis doesn’t work out because culture comprises body, soul and mind” (vom Hagen et al. 2006: 7). One could not ask for a better example of a rejection of a potentially disastrous psycho-philosophical dualism. Joseph Soeters employed the tenets of classical pragmatism in other ways. Regarding the United Nations peace operation mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC), he and Ingrid van Osch explored how, in spite of sustained international commitment and resources, “the relationship between MONUC and the host national population is so strained?” (Osch and Soeters 2010: 78). After examining what institutional theory revealed about how organizations gain public acceptance and legitimacy, they turned to the ideas of pragmatism. They found the four P’s of pragmatism (practical, pluralism, participatory, and provisional) as introduced by philosopher/psychiatrist Brendel (2006) are particularly useful. The four P’s enabled them to “locate the sore spots of MONUC’s reputation and legitimacy. By framing MONUC by the four P’s the theoretical value of the case becomes visible

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[and] contributes to our understanding of the relation between UN missions and host nationals in general” (Osch and Soeters 2010: 79).

1.8 Conclusion The significance of Soeters’ work on military sociology regarding the relationship between philosophical pragmatism, moral dualisms, ambidexterity, and military operations is convincing. He understands the importance of inquiry and the profound influence of dichotomies in issues of war and peace. In pragmatic fashion, he remarks how “there is no simple emotional or rational understanding of the incredible events taking place around the world” (Soeters 2005: vii). By asking how violent ethnic conflict comes about, he does not seek certain answers, but identifies how dichotomies such as micro-/macro-factors, lone/group, us/them, tough/soft, male/female cultures, economic growth/environment, collectivism/individualism, victim/perpetrator, and identification/dis-identification sometimes provide frameworks that make useful analytical distinctions (micro-/macrofactors) or provide illustrative examples (child soldiers as victim/perpetrator). Other dualisms depict cultural rigidities that contribute to violence (male/female cultures). In sum, dichotomies matter. Soeters also recognizes the problems with moral dualisms associated with rigid belief systems. Like the US Civil War, rigid conceptions of honor can contribute to violence. “In a cultural respect, the ‘honour’ factor plays a significant role. As a consequence of often rather trivial occurrences, people, usually men, may feel [they are] treated unfairly.” They are offended by events that could be trifling or profound. “Due to such an event, a personal reputation or the honour of a family may be at stake, which demands revenge and retribution, possibly leading to blood and murder” (Soeters 2005: 63). Just as Jane Addams is noted for introducing the concept of sympathetic knowledge to approach dualisms that contribute to dysfunctional conflict, Soeters explores sympathy (or empathy) as a “cement” to enhance cooperation (and dispel dysfunctional conflict) within peace operations (Moelker et al. 2007). In regions similar to Afghanistan, Dutch Muslim servicemen are found to be particularly effective working with host nationals because “these men were able to approach the local population in an empathetic and trustworthy manner” (Bosman et al. 2008). Thus, Joseph Soeters’ work does not function in isolation. The concepts emphasized herein reveal theoretical concepts that apply to contemporary war-fighting experiences (Soeters 2018, 2020). This is illustrated by the second Iraq war, continuing operations in Afghanistan and other limited wars around the world that confirm the importance of understanding harsh dichotomies, moral dualisms, ambidextrous organizations, and the concomitant applicability of positive peace in all sorts of military operations. For example, beginning with the December 2003 troop rotation in Iraq, combat, stability, and enable civil authority operations were intermingled, forcing NATO commanders and soldiers to step outside of their comfort

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zones to stabilize a deteriorating society. Artillery batteries performed military police duties, Armor companies became scouts and infantryman, transportation units fought running battles along main supply routes, and nearly every soldier assumed nation building and advise and assist roles to support a fledgling Iraqi government. When developing war plans, going in with an army of pentathletes might be better than creating pentathletes ad hoc (Global Security 2004; Cloud and Jaffe 2009: 90–91, 286–288; Shields and Travis 2017). Military institutions must do more to improve war-fighting capabilities that achieve melioristic ends. “Frankly, humans still do not know enough about how to prevent, ameliorate or resolve international disputes, regional conflicts and terrorist threats. Adopting a flexible, pragmatic attitude to practical inquiry, which is participatory and provisional, constitutes a first step toward muddling through such problems in a search for resilient solutions” (Shields and Soeters 2013: 105). In fact, the insights of Joseph Soeters and his applied pragmatism represent a fusion of European perspectives with American pragmatism that can support strategic thinkers who dichotomize military challenges and provide ways for military organizations to approach these contradictions with ambidexterity. In the spirit of Janowitz, Soeters’ willingness to embrace uncertainty illustrates his understanding of the provisional nature not only of social science scholarship but also of the real world, where theory can be tested to challenge conventional wisdom in the search to optimize organizational effectiveness (Warren 2015). The practical problems associated with managing and leading military organizations call on leaders to recognize and work with inherent contradictions and to develop ambidexterity within the force structure—the yin-yang military.

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Shields, P., & Soeters, J. (2017). Peaceweaving: Jane Addams, positive peace, and public administration. American Review of Public Administration, 47(3), 323–339. https://doi.org/10.1177/027 5074015589629. Shields, P. M., & Travis, D. S. (2017). Achieving organizational flexibility through ambidexterity. Parameters, 47(2), 65–76. Siebold, G. L. (2011). Key questions and challenges to the standard model of military group cohesion. Armed Forces & Society, 37(3), 448–468. Soeters, J. (2005). Ethnic conflict and terrorism: The origins and dynamics of civil wars. New York: Routledge. Soeters, J. (2008). Ambidextrous military: Coping with contradictions of new security policies. In M. Den Boer & J. de Wilde (Eds.), The viability of human security (pp. 109–124). Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press. Soeters, J. (2018). Sociology and military studies: Classical and current foundations. New York: Routledge. Soeters, J. (2020). Management and military studies: Classical and current foundations. New York: Routledge. Tessema, M., & Soeters, J. (2006). Practices and challenges of converting former fighters into civil servants: The case of Eritrea. Public Administration and Development, 26(4), 359–371. Travis, D. S. (2017). Saving Samuel Huntington and the need for pragmatic civil-military relations. Armed Forces & Society, 43(3), 395–414. Travis, D. S. (2020). Decoding Morris Janowitz: Limited war and pragmatic doctrine. Armed Forces & Society, 46(1), 68–91. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X18760272. Tushman, M. L., Anderson, P., & O’Reilly, C. (1997). Technology cycles, innovation streams, and ambidextrous organizations: Organization renewal through innovation streams and strategic change. In M. Tushman & P. Anderson (Eds.), Managing strategic innovation and change: A collection of readings (pp. 3–23). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Waard, E., & Soeters, J. (2007). How the military can profit from management and organization science. In G. Caforio (Ed.), Social sciences and the military: An interdisciplinary overview (pp. 181–196). New York, NY: Routledge. Waard, E., Volberda, H., & Soeters, J. (2013). Engaging environmental turbulence: Drivers of organizational flexibility in the armed forces. European Security, 22(4), 576–594. Warren, J. (2015). The centurion mindset and the army’s strategic leader paradigm. Parameters, 45(3), 27–38. Wyatt-Brown, B. (1982). Southern honor: Politics and behavior in the old south. New York: Oxford University Press.

Chapter 2

Unravelling the Process Dimension of Ambidexterity: Reinterpreting a Case of Collaborative Digital Servitization Paul C. van Fenema and Dominik Mahr

Abstract Shifts in technologies and economic structures impel organizations to innovate within their boundaries and with external partners. We consider ambidexterity theory a useful perspective to understand how organizations succeed in innovation through exploitation and exploration. While most ambidexterity research focuses on resources, this chapter takes a process view. Theorizing about processes that capture the dynamics of organizational functioning is useful in large-scale, longterm innovation. In these projects, multiple organizations contribute complementary competences and simultaneously engage in closed (not in the public domain) and/or open innovation projects (involving companies, government and academia). The case of collaborative digital services along the maritime value chain provides our empirical setting. We focus on participating organizations by identifying processes that enable their exploration and exploitation activities and, more specifically, how interorganizational exploration can be dynamically embedded in their organizations. The findings reveal six strategic organizational processes that forge a connection between exploitation and exploration, and encourage a shift from a strategic view on resources towards a view that considers processes enacted by resources. The specific processes show how exploration with external partners relates to exploitation inside an organization, thereby moving beyond traditional research distinctions into short-term exploitation versus long-term exploration, and closed versus open innovation. Keywords Ambidexterity · Exploration · Exploitation · Interorganizational cooperation · Process theory P. C. van Fenema (B) Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] D. Mahr Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management, Service Science Factory, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Relationship Marketing and Service Management, Department of Marketing, Hanken School of Economics, Helsinki, Finland © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_2

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2.1 Introduction An ambidextrous organization pursues exploration and exploitation simultaneously to obtain superior financial performance (Gibson and Birkinshaw 2004). While both types of activities are important, their concurrent execution creates paradoxical challenges (March 1991). Research has delved into various mechanisms to address these challenges such as dual structures, sequential pursing, top management integration or different innovation outcome foci. Innovation increasingly demands “open innovation”, so drawing the knowledge and resources from multiple organizations together to explore new opportunities, while at the same time each organization performs internal exploitation to improve its innovation performance (West and Bogers 2014). Open innovation is often organized in academia–business–government consortia (Leydesdorff and Ivanova 2016; Reypens et al. 2016). Striking the balance between explorations through new collaborative endeavours while exploiting within one organization is difficult since overemphasis on either external exploration or internal exploitation most likely inhibits the other activity and jeopardizes overall innovation performance. To explore this challenge, we investigate one of a series of open innovation research projects on collaborative digital servitization in the maritime service logistics industry, Table 2.1 (Keers 2017). The MaSeLMa Bridge project studied in this chapter was a brief follow-up to the multi-year MaSeLMa project. Its ambition was to reflect on outputs from the preceding years and prepare for an applied project (awarded early 2019) called Marconi. It is a contemporary example of interorganizational exploration which involves the development of a new value creation method (in our case predictive maintenance) and new collaborative governance modes (in our case networked customer–supplier interaction). So far, the collaborating organizations have been relying on a transactional mode of exchange and standardized technologies, but they seek to transform their current way of working into a more collaborative networked mode essential for data-driven, advanced predictive technologies for maintenance. This context poses the challenge for each collaborating organization of how to synchronize participation in such a form of interorganizational exploration with their own ongoing operations and innovation efforts. Table 2.1 Open research projects Project title

Time frame

Website

1. MaSeLMa (some insights were used in this chapter)

2012–2015

https://www.dinalog.nl/en/project/ maselma/

2. MaSeLMa Bridge (focus of this chapter)

2016–2018

https://platformservicelogistiek.nl/pro ject/maselma-bridge/

3. Marconi

2019–2022

https://www.nwo.nl/en/news-and-eve nts/news/2018/12/four-research-pro jects-awarded-funding-within-integr ator.html

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Conceptually, interorganizational exploration in relation to organizations’ internal routines and innovation can be understood as a challenge of ambidexterity. The literature on ambidexterity, literally the human ability to use the left and right hand equally well, suggests that organizations need to exploit and explore to survive in their environment (O’Reilly III and Tushman 2013). Organizations involved in our case study faced the challenge of exploiting and exploring equally well because participating organizations also have external innovation projects beyond the open innovation project we report on. These are typically closed, bilateral trajectories, such as a supplier trying out new techniques in its relationship with a particular customer. So how can organizations become ambidextrous when engaging in interorganizational exploration? They may equip their resources to do both, or they can invest in internal specialization. The latter path implies that some parts of the organization work on exploitation (operations), while others focus on exploration (innovation). So how can organizations avoid separation but benefit from spillovers between the activities? Ambidexterity theory offers insights into structural and resource dimensions of ambidexterity; it remains virtually silent, however, on the process dimension of ambidexterity. Specifically, current research seems to be lacking insights into the evolution of and interaction between exploitation and exploration within interorganizational relationships. In other domains of organizational science, researchers have highlighted the importance of a processual perspective on organizational operations (Feldman and Pentland 2003), change (Langley et al. 2013) and innovation (Crossan and Apaydin 2010). A process perspective draws attention to social construction, in our case social construction of strategic choices pertaining to interorganizational exploration. The process dimension of ambidexterity can support a better understanding of how organizations incorporate their participation in interorganizational exploration into their own ongoing operations and innovation efforts. The aim of our research is to examine the process dimension of ambidexterity theory in order to detect processes that enable balancing between interorganizational exploration and intraorganizational exploitation. To achieve this, we first review relevant literature about ambidexterity, especially its processual dimensions and within interorganizational relationships and servitization, especially in a digital context. Collaborative digital servitization is a novel, still incompletely understood mode of value creation. Hence, we develop our methodological approach and examine social construction of collaborative digital servitization within organizations in our empirical case, with insights from the participating organizations. The subsequent findings present six processes how interorganizational exploration can be dynamically embedded in organizations, before we conclude the chapter. This chapter’s general contribution lies in developing a processual sensemaking perspective on ambidexterity. In an applied sense, we provide a framework for analysing initial steps of interorganizational exploration in the context of collaborative digital servitization. This framework allows for, first, a better understanding of organizational-level challenges associated with interorganizational exploration.

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Second, it enhances the legitimacy of interorganizational exploration from an organizational point of view by including various “voices” of intraorganizational stakeholders (Kazadi et al. 2016). And finally, the framework we develop contributes to research in the area of open innovation in academia–business–government consortia. We complement research in this area that tends to focus on evaluation and explanation (Reypens et al. 2016) with insights in innovation processes themselves and their embeddedness in exploitative routines. Our processual take on ambidexterity may offer a complementary lens on these challenges.

2.2 Literature Background and Research Framework Ambidexterity Ambidextrous organizations balance exploitation (e.g. learning via local search and reusing existing knowledge) and exploration (e.g. learning through distant search and experimentation), aiming for better innovation and financial performance (Simsek 2009). Exploration helps organizations to overcome structural inertia that results from exploitation, while exploitation avoids innovation activities without gaining benefits resulting from exploration (Levinthal and March 1993). Building on existing work, our study acknowledges the value of each activity but also the conflicting nature among both of them. The difficulty in performing both activities is even amplified in an open innovation setting (Chesbrough 2003) where multiple organizations collaborate that are diverse in culture, beliefs and goals (Reypens et al. 2016). Various mechanisms have been proposed to address this challenge. While a behavioural approach argues for organizational adaptability in changing towards different innovation outputs, a structural approach emphasizes different organizational designs such as separate units for each activity. Yet, as O’Reilly and Tushman suggest “the crucial task here is not the simple organizational structural decision in which the exploratory and exploitative subunits are separated, but the processes by which these units are integrated in a value enhancing way” (O’Reilly and Tushman 2008: 17). Hence, our research focuses on the processes that support development and management of ambidextrous organizations over time. Such a dynamic perspective is in particular suited for complex innovation settings where multiple organizations collaborate over a longer period of time. However, ambidexterity research involving inter- and intraorganizational levels has mainly focused on structural elements such as network centrality, tie diversity and position in the value chain (Simsek 2009). To extend this literature, we adopt a process perspective to examine ambidexterity in an open innovation setting. It is focused on servitization, a strategic shift of interorganizational exchange relationships that is permeating many industries (Vendrell-Herrero et al. 2017).

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2.3 Servitization Increased competition and stronger demand for more customized offers drive firms’ focus from product sales towards provision of customer-centric solutions through servitization (Vandermerwe and Rada 1988). Servitization is a key priority in manufacturing enterprises in mature economies because it can represent a successful differentiation strategy for avoiding the commodity trap and resulting competitive pressures from the economies with lower production costs (Neely 2008). Underlying features of servitization are: first, a shift from a product towards service-dominant processes that focus on value creation for and with the user. Second, the nature of organizational interactions shifts from a transaction towards a relationship basis. Technology is a key enabler of servitization (Kowalkowski et al. 2013). For example, the turbine manufacturer Rolls-Royce has pervasively implemented sensors to monitor the airplane turbine status. This increases customer value through better service planning, maintenance efficiency and deeper customer relationships. The digitization of services also fosters development of service ecosystems as a mode for innovation for at least three reasons. First, the modularity of digital services enables developing add-on services via platforms that serve diverse customer needs (Cenamor et al. 2017). Second, network effects foster rapid evolution of few large systems of organizations rather than individual firms (Möller and Rajala 2007). Third, the disruption of the value chain offers opportunities for new value chain constellations for existing firms and new entrants (Kowalkowski et al. 2013). We consider collaborative digital servitization an ambition of multiple organizations to rewire their mutual value creation processes leveraging emerging technologies.

2.4 Methodology 2.4.1 Design MaSeLMa Bridge was intended to leverage results from MaSeLMa for developing a collaboration consortium subject to funding by the Dutch National Science Organization (NWO). The contemporary nature of the project and the limited number of organizations led to a case study set-up. Given the interorganizational nature of the research project, we developed a multiple case design with several organizations as primary units of analysis. As we were interested in the views from different representatives of each organization, an embedded multiple case design was adopted (Yin 2009).

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2.4.2 Framework for Empirical Research To operationalize a process perspective on ambidexterity, we distinguish two modes of sensemaking: retrospective understanding of organizational experiences (Weick et al. 2005) and prospective sensemaking that facilitates imagination of future courses of action in relation to environmental trends (MacKay 2008). These two modes of sensemaking help us to empirically better understand how organizations operate, change and think about embedding collaborative digital servitization. Our research is set up as follows. We introduce the literature on interorganizational exploration, ambidexterity and a process perspective. Subsequently, our empirical work consists of two steps, moving from the organizational to the interorganizational level (Fig. 2.1). As a first step, we held organizational-level roundtable discussions relying on the research framework shown in Fig. 2.1 (see methods for a detailed protocol). At participating organizations, a roundtable discussion with multiple representatives was conducted to elicit organization members’ views on collaborative digital servitization. The results were used for a workshop during which multiple organizations discussed their views. In this chapter, as a second step, we interrelated results conceptually to generate a concept of interorganizational exploration that is grounded in organizational sensemaking. For this step, as explained in the next section, we used a hermeneutical approach to interpret results across the organizational and interorganizational levels (Hansen and Rennecker 2010).

Fig. 2.1 Framework for empirical research: ambidexterity as a research space for embedding interorganizational exploration

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2.4.3 Details on Data Collection The first author teamed up with a senior consultant as well as a student from the Ministry of Defence who used the project to write his MSc thesis at a technical university in the Netherlands. MaSeLMa Bridge consisted of three work packages covering different topics: technology degradation, operations research and business organization. Our work concerned the latter package and consisted of roundtable discussions and a workshop. This chapter reports primarily on the roundtable discussions with PBCo, EngineCo and InstruCo. A protocol was developed based on the study’s objective, its conceptual background and multiple interactions among the researchers. The protocol was then externally validated by discussing it with several organizations participating in the roundtable discussions. The final version is shown in Table 2.2 and was used from top to bottom (three steps) and left to right (strategic analysis, business planning, innovation and cooperation). We used the protocol as a background check, not in a rigid manner. As the protocol shows, we used retrospective and prospective sensemaking to reflect with professionals on their business evolution so far and their future plans. Before using the protocol, the roundtable discussions were pre-discussed at DMI (navy maintenance) and Alewijnse (maritime electronics supplier) to validate the protocol. Next, organizations participating in the core set of roundtable discussions included PBCo, EngineCo, InstruCo (data of these three organizations was used for this chapter) and other organizations participating in the project. These organizations are considered pivotal players in the maritime business-to-business (B2B) and government-to-business (G2B) industry. In most cases, multiple representatives attended, including logistics, service and procurement professionals. All discussions were recorded and transcribed in full.

2.4.4 Analysis Our analysis consisted of two steps. First, we analysed three roundtable transcripts using the model shown in Fig. 2.1. We read interview transcripts and checked our notes, probing for data elements pointing towards processual themes that would substantiate the model. As the arrows suggest, we focused on each organization’s perspective on (inter)organizational exploitation and exploration. We looked for data elements showcasing retrospective and prospective sensemaking. As a second step, we conceptually interrelated results across organizations, using a hermeneutical approach: The hermeneutic circle is essentially a systems-oriented concept whereby an individual engaged in an interpretive effort must move between understanding a part (e.g., a word or phrase) with respect the whole (e.g., an entire text), and understanding the whole by grasping its composite parts. The “circle” implies the continuous movement back and forth between a constitutive element and the text as a whole (Hansen and Rennecker 2010).

Positioning in +3 and +7 years

Step 2 decision-making

Developing strategic analysis, analysing impact of the environment Developing strategy Positioning in +3 (short-term innovation) and +7 years (long-term innovation) in relation to current business

Step 1 understanding

Strategic process

Translation of strategy to business planning Planning for business model and performance transformation Organizational (business) change Co-funding

Translating strategy into business planning Considering the impact of: • JIT maintenance as a service • Maintenance management as a service Customer differentiation Transforming interorganizational cooperation and organizational strategy Business planning and organizational capabilities

Business planning process

Evolution of internal and external stakeholders’ roles

Digitization and service logistics innovations Reflection on type of innovator Linkages, technological, service logistics and business innovations

Innovation process

Table 2.2 Protocol for roundtables: topics for discussion with each organization’s representatives

(continued)

Reflecting on organizational strategy and interorganizational cooperation Operationalizing interorganizational cooperation Interorganizational dimension vis-a-vis organizational interest

Transforming interorganizational cooperation Developing a vision on forms of cooperation +3, +7 yearsa Innovation context and drivers Value drivers of cooperation Mutual perspective

Cooperation process (with other organizations)

26 P. C. van Fenema and D. Mahr

Organizational change Experiencing of and dealing with possible organizational tensions

Business planning process

Cooperation process (with other organizations)

Commitment for network cooperation Positioning and matching in relation Expectations from and own role in the to the staircase of forms new open innovation project Consideration of success drivers Development of innovation road map Innovation support needs and success drivers

Innovation process

We used the so-called staircase from Andy Neely (Cambridge University) to show forms ranging from traditional towards advanced services, based on the transition from a goods-dominant logic towards a service-dominant logic (Randall et al. 2010)

Coordination across these four processes

Positioning in +3 and +7 years

Step 3 actionability

Strategic process

Table 2.2 (continued)

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We moved between the parts—data elements of organization-level interviews— and the whole (interorganizational processes). This analytical conceptualization process resulted in a model elaborated upon in the next section. It was in turn used to query the remaining transcripts with keywords. The hermeneutical approach used in our work helped us to connect sensemaking at organizational and interorganizational levels. Next, we present results from our analysis.

2.5 Findings: A Process View on Ambidexterity In the MaSeLMa Bridge project, the first author organized with a senior consultant and master student a series of roundtable discussions to brainstorm on organizations’ current positioning, challenges, ambitions and perspective on collaborative digital servitization organized as an open innovation project. Our inductive analysis led to six processes across internal–external and temporal dimensions (Fig. 2.2). From left to right, we depict a continuum ranging from exploitation towards shortand long-term exploration. Vertically, we start on top with organization-level strategic processes (i.e. internal focus), down to the organization’s participation in the open innovation project (i.e. external focus). We followed the two hermeneutical steps

Fig. 2.2 Findings: a process view on exploitation and exploration

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mentioned in the methods section. The map of processes represents organizational wrestling with being and becoming ambidextrous. Each process is elaborated upon over the next sections.

2.6 Organizational Strategizing Encompassing Both Exploitation and Exploration We are still figuring out what our core capabilities are—PBCo

Participants at the roundtables told us about their current strategizing. They had difficulty explicating their innovation needs and actively making demands from the open innovation project known. Most organizations were hooked up in their ongoing exploitation with little room for innovation. Commercial firms tended to work with specific customers—most of them outside the open innovation project—on incremental innovations. Intraorganizational strategizing on exploitation and exploration appeared vague. It involved multiple internal stakeholders with different views. Ongoing internal discourses evolved around competing practice models, such as “are we a product and/or a service company?” and “are we an orchestrating customer organization or do we retain operational activities?”

2.7 Creating Value in an Exploitative, Routine Sense Customers are cost focused. We don’t have references showing how (collaborative digital servitization) will generate real euros—InstruCo

Most participants were simply speaking “extremely busy” with their daily operations. Commercial firms earned their living with traditional modes of value creation: selling and delivering products and responding to service requests. PBCo was recovering from major budget cuts and plagued by an ageing workforce and low levels of business process maturity. Academic concepts such as advanced, predictive services seemed to represent a truly different world from participants’ current operations and attention zone. At the same time, exploitation provided signals to companies indicating emerging demand. Supplier companies seemed highly sensitive to such market changes moving in the direction of non-traditional service contracts (e.g. data-driven support). Some are also critical of their customers’ decision processes which seemed very focused on the ratio between product/service and cost. Exploitation resembles a stable balancing of mutual distrust. From this angle, customers would expect exploration from their suppliers and seem reluctant to pay or participate; suppliers do not want to invest in exploration for which customers are not willing to pay.

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2.8 Closed Organizational Exploration We started with the ingredients but do not yet have a pizza—EngineCo

2.8.1 Currently Active Organizational Efforts to Develop Short-Term Value Creation Organizations invest in new practices but look at open innovation to help them out, to supplement their internal efforts. They displayed a tendency to prioritize exploitation, with limited appetite for spending time and money on “next practices”. Possibly, intraorganizational performance systems direct efforts towards exploitative routines to satisfy current demands. Another explanation could be limited competition in the maritime B2B and G2B market, and slow replacement of ships, including its various technologies. At times, suppliers do offer new product/service features, or users on the customer side would spot such features at another organization. For instance, users at the Ministry of Defence are excited about a new product offered by the defence industry. When they make an internal acquisition request to the procurement or acquisition project department, these requests are often declined because they do not fit in long-term innovation and acquisition programmes. These institutionalized programmes appear to be the main vehicle for intraorganizational strategic decision-making on new technologies and innovation initiatives at large. From the perspective of the open innovation project, seemingly limited exploration within each organization remained obscure: only minimal information was shared.

2.8.2 Long-Term Strategic Orientation, Repositioning and Innovation Strategy Most participants had vague notions of long-term innovation. They were thrilled by forward-looking examples from role model firms such as Rolls-Royce.1 As a general strategic thought set, they embraced strategic performance themes such as cost reduction, asset availability and using (rest) capacity. Commercial firms were keen on business continuity and strengthening their positioning in the supply chain. The open innovation project resonated and triggered discourses on appealing ideas such as just-in-time maintenance as a service and monetizing new technologies. Such discourses resembled talking with excitement about possible toys. Organizations also carefully follow changes in market demands and technologies. They realize the gap between what it will take to enact these innovations and their existing knowledge, capabilities and resources. Some organizations have started to invest to catch up but 1 We showed during a session the following video which seemed to capture the dreams of participants

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg0A9Ve7SxE&t=15s.

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refrained from showing much detail in the open innovation space. Translating longterm strategic orientation into actual innovation opened up a new world of complexity, since it would require resource investments and changes to institutionalized financial decision-making, and it would change routines currently (still) generating value. The latter immediately touches an open nerve of companies: exploration should not put exploitation at risk. At the same time, companies know that insufficient exploration is also very risky for their strategic positioning.

2.9 Desire to Understand and Transfer Exploitation Originating Elsewhere Diversity might be the problem of the maritime sector. We offer performance-based contracts to agricultural customers. We know how they use installations, the load factors—EngineCo

Professionals participating in the roundtables often referred to examples of innovative practices elsewhere. They seemed strong believers in other sectors’ success narratives and the availability of replicable models or standards elsewhere. From their perspective, these cross-industry cases of exploitation come across as innovative. For instance, PBCo referred to cooperation between ASML and Zeiss with seemingly high levels of trust and collective innovation, Air France–KLM (example of alliance) and Bosch car parts (example of car manufacturers’ outsourcing). EngineCo knew of a business unit serving the agricultural sector with performance-based contracts. These cases triggered various emotions. Some expressed fear of companies like Google Analytics attacking a sector and rendering companies superfluous. Others showed initial excitement or came across as being somewhat puzzled and frustrated about their sector’s inability to replicate these exploitation cases. They often cited with some resignation the unique properties of the maritime sector which explained its traditional stance. Subsequent discussions highlighted the differences between forms of cooperation and sectors, including the public dimension of PBCo.

2.10 Experiences of Organizational Participation in Open Innovation While science is happy with the progress, some companies think there are no tangible results—Minutes Steering Committee MaSeLMa, January 11, 2018

Open innovation provided access to new ideas and led to a general level of shared enthusiasm. The roundtables, structured by basic models of sourcing and servitization options, helped to elicit organizational views on their closed and open innovation. Moreover, the different people joining the roundtables showed the internal structure of organizations. We gained insight in innovation-induced tensions both

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within organizations and between organizations and their external stakeholders. The role and importance of open innovation in organizational exploration varied. During an informal talk, a senior executive of one of the participating organizations, for instance, expressed a realist attitude: open innovation is not for ready-to-use innovation, but a low-cost, low yield option. Other organizations had higher expectations of academics in the sense of coming up with innovations that could be tested at their site and soon become actionable. Numerous earlier discussions explored differences between this view, and one held by academics which stressed co-creation and limited, abstract innovation outputs. At the same time, in terms of innovation process, participants and academics agreed on the usefulness of pilots (also called “proeftuin” or experimental field) as a confined, collaborative space for exploration. In these pilots, business needs and academic expertise could intersect. Surprisingly, the role of intraorganizational exploration (our 3a process) remained obscure in relation to the pilot. This “fog” around open innovation pilots could be enacted to protect strategic organizational interests.

2.11 Organizational Expectations from and Experiences of Working with Academics and Consultants on Open Innovation What I am looking for is … not just academic messing around, but a completed pilot and a conclusion whether the pilot was successful or not—PBCo

A strongly felt expectation of participants was that academic researchers would have access to ready-made examples of collaborative digital servitization elsewhere (including “road maps” and “barriers”), repackage these for the maritime sector and test them at participating organizations by means of pilots. Academics would be bringers of hope: appropriating solutions in use elsewhere and enabling participating organizations to understand their barriers and even overcome them. Open innovation would take care of a tangible, elaborate new practice (exploration) that would be validated and could alter current practice (exploitation). During the discussion at PBCo, we reflected on and challenged this mantra. Academics engage for their research in conceptual discourses; they pursue explanatory or design research questions to develop new theory and—in a sense as a by-product—contribute to practice with generic insights. Switching to practitioners, their need is knowledge applicable to their situation and addressing critical needs.

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2.11.1 Afterthoughts: Order to Ambidexterity’s Multiple Processes? Our case study revealed several processes at two dimensions: exploitation versus exploitation and intraorganizational versus open innovation (see Fig. 2.2). These dimensions helped us to order our findings. Which specific relationships could be pinpointed? For one, exploitation has a double meaning in the sense of not only current interactions among organizations, but also a breeding ground for future practices. Conversely, exploration processes—especially those with long-term orientation—have a complex relationship with current and future exploitation. First, pilots shield off exploration from exploitation. Academics struggle to develop tangible, actionable outputs from exploration for future exploitation, frustrating practitioners looking for the next success. Second, even when promising exploration outputs are available in the eyes of a customer’s operational users, customer organizations have an intricate internal decision-making process that weighs pros and cons in financial and strategic terms and does not share user excitement with new product/service features. Finally, while academic research may alleviate participants’ innovation burden, open innovation seems a mixed blessing. Academic and practitioner orientation and their ways of thinking and working diverge. Academics gain access to real-life organizations as a source of inspiration, yet they need to generate outcomes pleasing journal readers and funding agencies. Practitioners like the inspiration from new ideas, but they get disappointed when academics do not deliver in the sense of translating ideas into near-future exploration. This makes participants in an open innovation project vulnerable to internal criticism “when does this project deliver?” Literally, one organizational representative was not being allowed to continue participation in the project. Thus, exploitation and exploration involve external agency for academics and practitioners beyond the immediate arena of an innovation project (Bakker et al. 2011).

2.12 Discussion The objective of this chapter was to develop the process dimension of ambidexterity theory. As a context for our study, we used our work in an open innovation project on collaborative digital servitization. We organized roundtable discussions at several organizations (one at a time, to gain insight in each organization’s own views) with representatives from different domains to discuss how they wanted to co-explore collaborative digital servitization. Our results suggest six main processes that may contribute to the process dimension of ambidexterity. This process perspective complements the structure-based foundation of ambidexterity theory. Our work draws attention to how resources understand and act. The case study presents a challenging context for exploration

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as organizations participate in an open innovation project. How would resources understand and act in this context? Reverting to the two strategies advocated in ambidexterity theory, first, “dualuse” resources are expected to participate in the processes mentioned. Dual use would refer to individuals included in both exploitation and exploration. We suggest a dense network of individuals with responsibilities for exploitation–exploration both within and beyond organizational boundaries. Achieving depth seems unlikely, and reliance on the sixth process—external academic researchers and consultants—could offer a way out. Second, specialization implies that innovators take on an internal and external role, especially the third, fourth, fifth and sixth processes. These innovators may lose touch with current exploitation, especially when they put substantial effort into external contacts. Our study has implications for research on boundary spanners. Studies in this area tend to focus on the roles of boundary spanners (Levina and Vaast 2005), institutional change (Zietsma and Lawrence 2010), crafting new meanings (Bechky 2003; Vlaar et al. 2008) and leadership qualities (Fleming and Waguespack 2007). Our study emphasizes value creation as a context for boundary spanners. Moreover, for exploration, we distinguish innovation within and beyond reach, thus refining the expected roles of boundary spanners. In a related sense, the dimension of time is significantly related to exploitation and exploration. We found that organizations struggle to shift their weight to new modes of exchange, even as they realize that a lack of exploration could lead to outmanoeuvring in value chains as vivid examples from the past have shown. Refining current research gaps pertaining to the temporal dimension of interorganizational collaboration (Lumineau and Oliveira 2018), researchers can investigate how organizations deal with the relationship between on the one hand long- and short-term exploration, and on the other present exploitation. Supplier and customer perspectives could differ in this respect. A limitation of our study is its reliance on organization-level data, except for outputs from the workshop preceding the roundtable discussions. Interpretation of organizational-level results was confined to the researchers, rather than being validated by practitioners. Future research should invest in academic–practitioner reflection on the process side of ambidexterity. Moreover, a process perspective tends to ignore concepts and technologies that are in use for daily business and that are being developed (Van Fenema and Keers 2020).

References Bakker, S., Van Lente, H., & Meeus, M. (2011). Arenas of expectations for hydrogen technologies. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 78(1), 152–162. Bechky, B. A. (2003). Sharing meaning across occupational communities: The transformation of understanding on a production floor. Organization Science, 14(3), 312–330. Cenamor, J., Rönnberg Sjödin, D., & Parida, V. (2017). Adopting a platform approach in servitization: Leveraging the value of digitalization. International Journal of Production Economics, 192, 54–65.

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Chesbrough, H. W. (2003). Open innovation: The new imperative for creating and profiting from technology. Boston: Harvard Business School Press. Crossan, M. M., & Apaydin, M. (2010). a multi-dimensional framework of organizational innovation: A systematic review of the literature. Journal of Management Studies, 47(6), 1154–1191. Feldman, M. S., & Pentland, B. T. (2003). Reconceptualizing organizational routines as a source of flexibility and change. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(1), 94–118. Fleming, L., & Waguespack, D. M. (2007). Brokerage, boundary spanning and leadership in open innovation communities. Organization Science, 18(2), 165–180. Gibson, C. B., & Birkinshaw, J. (2004). The antecedents, consequences, and mediating role of organizational ambidexterity. Academy of Management Journal, 47(2), 209–226. Hansen, S., & Rennecker, J. (2010). Getting on the same page: Collective hermeneutics in a systems development team. Information and Organization, 20(1), 44–63. Kazadi, K., Lievens, A., & Mahr, D. (2016). Stakeholder co-creation during the innovation process: Identifying capabilities for knowledge creation among multiple stakeholders. Journal of Business Research, 69(2), 525–540. Keers, B. B. M. (2017). Alliance strategy: Context, process, and requirements (Doctoral Dissertation). Twente: Twente University, The Netherlands. Kowalkowski, C., Kindström, D., & Gebauer, H. (2013). ICT as a catalyst for service business orientation. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 28(6), 506–513. Langley, A., Smallman, C., Tsoukas, H., & Van de Ven, A. H. (2013). Process studies of change in organization and management: Unveiling temporality, activity, and flow. Academy of Management Journal, 56(1), 1–13. Levina, N., & Vaast, E. (2005). The emergence of boundary spanning competence in practice: implications for implementation and use of information systems. MIS Quarterly, 29(2), 335–363. Levinthal, D. A., & March, J. G. (1993). The Myopia of learning. Strategic Management Journal, 14(S2), 95–112. Leydesdorff, L., & Ivanova, I. (2016). “Open innovation” and “triple helix” models of innovation: Can synergy in innovation systems be measured? Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 2(1), 1–12. Lumineau, F., & Oliveira, N. (2018). A pluralistic perspective to overcome major blind spots in research on interorganizational relationships. Academy of Management Annals, 12(1), 440–465. MacKay, R. B. (2008). Strategic foresight: Counterfactual and prospective sensemaking in enacted environments. In L. A. Costanzo & R. B. MacKay (Eds.), Handbook of Research on Strategy and Foresight (pp. 90–112). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing. March, J. G. (1991). Exploration and exploitation in organizational learning. Organization Science, 2(1), 71–87. Möller, K., & Rajala, A. (2007). Rise of strategic nets—New modes of value creation. Industrial Marketing Management, 36(7), 895–908. Neely, A. (2008). Exploring the financial consequences of the servitizaton of manufacturing. Operations Management Research, 1(2), 13–18. O’Reilly, C. A., III, & Tushman, M. L. (2008). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator’s dilemma. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 185–206. O’Reilly, C. A., III, & Tushman, M. L. (2013). Organizational ambidexterity: Past, present, and future. Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(4), 324–338. Randall, W. S., Pohlen, T. L., & Hanna, J. B. (2010). Evolving a Theory of performance-based logistics using insights from service dominant logic. Journal of Business Logistics, 31(2), 35–61. Reypens, C., Lievens, A., & Blazevic, V. (2016). Leveraging value in multi-stakeholder innovation networks: A process framework for value co-creation and capture. Industrial Marketing Management, 56, 40–50. Simsek, Z. (2009). Organizational ambidexterity: Towards a multilevel understanding. Journal of Management Studies, 46(4), 597–624.

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Vandermerwe, S., & Rada, J. (1988). Servitization of business: Adding value by adding services. European Management Journal, 6(4), 314–324. Van Fenema, P. C., & Keers, B. B. M. (2020). Rediscovering strategic content in ‘strong process’ research on business network innovation. Industrial Marketing Management. https://doi.org/10. 1016/j.indmarman.2019.01.005. Vendrell-Herrero, F., Bustinza, O. F., Parry, G., & Georgantzis, N. (2017). Servitization, digitization and supply chain interdependency. Industrial Marketing Management, 60(SI), 69–81. Vlaar, P. W. L., Van Fenema, P. C., & Tiwari, V. (2008). Cocreating understanding and value in distributed work: How members of onsite and offshore ISD vendor teams give, make, demand and break sense. MIS Quarterly, 32(2), 227–255. Weick, K. E., Sutcliffe, K. M., & Obstfeld, D. (2005). Organizing and the process of sensemaking. Organization Science, 16(4), 409–421. West, J., & Bogers, M. (2014). Leveraging external sources of innovation: A review of research on open innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(4), 814–831. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research: Design and methods. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Zietsma, C., & Lawrence, T. B. (2010). Institutional work in the transformation of an organizational field: The interplay of boundary work and practice work. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(2), 189–221.

Chapter 3

African Winds: Versatile Value Creation in the Military Erik J. de Waard and Tom Bijlsma

Abstract This chapter introduces four different forms of ambidexterity, namely (1) cyclical, (2) structural, (3) contextual, and (4) reciprocal ambidexterity. The typology is used to analyze a unique Dutch military training program, labeled African Winds. With African Winds, the Royal Netherlands Navy wanted to test its versatility. Under the heading of a single military exercise, not only traditional combat maneuvers were trained, but also a trade mission and a development program were conducted. The focal area for this endeavor was West Africa. From an organizational ambidexterity perspective, the African Winds case study clarifies that striving for ambidexterity is not an either-or trade-off, with one specific form of ambidexterity playing the upper hand. Instead, a comprehensive ambidexterity system emerged, with individual, group, business unit, and concern-level coherence, but also with reciprocal interaction patterns between internal and external stakeholders, collaborating at the organizational frontline. Keywords Cyclical ambidexterity · Structural ambidexterity · Contextual ambidexterity · Reciprocal ambidexterity · Military

3.1 Introduction In order to remain competitive, organizations continuously have to ask themselves: What do our customers value most? Clearly, losing track of the customer can be a very precarious situation to be in for any organization. Think of Nokia that suddenly became a laggard after having been a market leader for years in mobile telecommunications. Basically, Nokia was too late in recognizing that customers would so rapidly and decisively exchange their traditional mobile phone for a smartphone. In hindsight, it is easy to judge Nokia for its lacking anticipatory capacity. Yet, staying E. J. de Waard (B) · T. Bijlsma Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] T. Bijlsma e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_3

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in tune with your strategic customers is easier said than done, because the competitive rivalry is increasingly based on disruption. In short, opposed to finding out what customers actually value, organizations now deliberately try to shake up the market by proactively creating a completely new customer need or business model. That is precisely what happened with the introduction of Apple’s iPhone, marking Nokia’s decline. Although the public sector is not about competitive positioning, the challenge of value creation has gained importance in this domain as well (Kearns 2000). Today’s articulate citizens demand transparency, speed, reliability, efficiency, and added value from their public service organizations. As a result, customer orientation has become a cornerstone of many service delivery processes in the public sector (Elg et al. 2017). In this respect, one could think of widening the opening times of local government offices, developing e-portals to offer services 24/7 online, and actively pursuing participation of local citizens in infrastructural projects. Nevertheless, for some public organizations directly interacting with citizens comes more natural than for others. Looking at the military, its relationship with society primarily has an indirect character, where, generally speaking, the national government decides and acts on behalf of an entire country. Still, staying in touch with the public is also crucial for the military. After all, it is the people that elect the next government. During the Cold War, the added value of the military was hardly contested. Nowadays, the security environment is less clear, making the role and added value of the armed forces more ambiguous and a topic for public debate. Concentrating on the Netherlands Armed Forces, each decision to deploy troops is accompanied by a fierce political discussion and generates major media attention. Although one of the three main tasks of the armed forces is to promote the international rule of law and stability, the organization has had a hard time convincing people in the Netherlands of the importance of this task. The recent financial crisis has made the situation even worse. Many people openly posed the question: Why spending so much money on far-off military interventions, when financial resources can also be used for purposes closer to home, such as improving national health care, education, and social security? Within this context, the Netherlands Royal Navy planned and executed a new type of military training program, labeled African Winds. The key aim of African Winds was to show the Navy’s versatility by simultaneously delivering value for taxpayer’s money in different areas. Under the heading of a single military exercise not only traditional combat maneuvers were trained, but also a trade mission and a development program were conducted. On a more abstract level, the setup of African Winds strongly resonates with the concept of ambidexterity introduced in strategic management literature (O’Reilly and Tushman 2008). In short, ambidexterity means two-handedness in the sense that organizations should combine their striving for search and exploration with safeguarding organizational stability and exploitation (Benner and Tushman 2003; He and Wong 2004; Holmqvist 2004; Rivkin and Siggelkow 2003; Tushman and O’Reilly 1996). African Winds has been designed to combine the training of traditional modus operandi (exploitation) like jungle warfare and maritime maneuvers

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with experimentation of novel tasks (exploration), such as civil–military collaboration to fuel foreign trade and to support developing programs in fragile African states. This chapter’s aim is to contribute to the development of ambidexterity as a theoretical construct by expanding on the ambidexterity typology that Simsek et al. (2009) have introduced. The chapter is structured as follows. First, a theory section will discuss the different types of ambidexterity that management scholars have identified. These theoretical insights will, then, be linked to the typology of Simsek et al. (2009). Second, the empirical context of African Winds will be explained. Particularly, the setup and different lines of operation will be made clear. Third, the hypothesized ambidexterity typology will be related to the real-life setting of African Winds. Fourth, based on the African Winds case study, the chapter will conclude with a recommendation to strengthen the theoretical foundation of organizational ambidexterity.

3.2 Theory Ambidexterity finds a substantial part of its origin in the influential work of Thompson (1967), pointing to the fundamental organizational trade-off between efficiency and adaptability. With this dilemma in mind, contingency thinkers argued that organizational viability depends above all upon the fit between environmental dynamics and organizational characteristics (Mintzberg 1993). As such, organizations primarily competing on costs in stable and mature markets were believed to be best off with mechanistic structures, whereas organizations confronted with high levels of environmental complexity and dynamism were to rely on organic forms of organizing (Burns and Stalker 1961). In subsequent work, March (1991) argued that organizations are increasingly confronted with competitive pressures that ask for a multi-dimensional organizational approach. Efficiency-based exploitative qualities are needed to reap economies of scale in the present competitive battle, but at the same time changebased, explorative qualities are crucial to prepare for future contingencies. March’s ideas have been adopted by leading strategic management scholars and further developed into the theoretical concept of organizational ambidexterity (Tushman and O’Reilly 1996). When searching for the term ambidexterity on the Internet, one straightaway comes across YouTube videos in which people are shown that are equally capable of using both the left and the right hands. Moreover, in most of these videos, both hands are used simultaneously when drawing a beautiful picture. The analogy of twohandedness has been transferred to the context of organizations, where one hand stands for exploitative skills and the other one for explorative skills, and both skill types need to be pursued in parallel (Benner and Tushman 2003; He and Wong 2004; Holmqvist 2004; Rivkin and Siggelkow 2003; Tushman and O’Reilly 1996). The question of how this combined effort works out in organizational practice has been the focal point of ambidexterity research, resulting in a typology of four different

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types of ambidexterity, namely (1) cyclical, (2) structural, (3) contextual, and (4) reciprocal ambidexterity (Simsek et al. 2009). Cyclical ambidexterity relates to punctuated equilibrium theory, as part of the strategic management debate, hypothesizing that most firms go through a recurrent pattern of long-term stability with only small-scale incremental adjustments punctuated by short ruptures of radical change (Tushman and Romanelli 1985; Gersick 1991). From an ambidexterity perspective, the punctuated equilibrium view suggests that long periods of predominantly exploitative organizational action are followed by bursts of explorative activity. Typical business contexts in which cyclical ambidexterity is the norm are fashion apparel and the software industry. Also, mature organizations that have for a long time exploited existing strengths and capabilities and, as a result, have unknowingly lost track of their customers are forced to go through a short phase of high pressure, in which radical changes have to be made to rapidly turn the downward spiral of performance drops around. Companies like IBM (O’Reilly et al. 2009), HP (House and Price 2009) and Amazon (Ritala et al. 2014) are suitable examples because they all have introduced far-reaching changes in their core businesses at decisive moments in time to safeguard viability. Structural ambidexterity points to the role of organizational design mechanisms in the search for ambidexterity (Hanssen-Bauer and Snow 1996; Ilinitch et al. 1996; Staber and Sydow 2002). Especially structural differentiation is often mentioned as an architectural principle that enables firms to simultaneously pursue innovation and organizational stability (Gilbert 2005; Jansen et al. 2009). This principle relates to Lawrence and Lorsch’s (1967) seminal work that explains architectural differentiation being a result of varying characteristics of the task environment between different functional organizational departments. In concrete terms, this leads to a situation in which R&D and production activities, for example, are clustered into separate departments that rely on specific design mechanisms in order to, respectively, develop exploratory or exploitative skills. Contextual ambidexterity places the center of gravity of ambidexterity at the individual and group level (Lavie et al. 2010). Originators, Gibson and Birkinshaw (2004), point to the incurring coordination problems of cyclical and structural ambidexterity when organizations have to shift between, respectively, phases or departments in the exploitation–exploration trade-off. They argue that it would be better for organizations to accomplish ambidexterity through four behavior-framing attributes—discipline, stretch, support, and trust—that Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994: 95) have introduced. These factors combined should offer a cultural context, in which individuals are encouraged “to make their own judgments as to how best divide their time between the conflicting demands for alignment and adaptability.” Contextual ambidexterity is believed to be a more sustainable form because exploitative and explorative action materializes in the actual behavior of people and, thereby, permeates more naturally throughout the organization. Brunner et al. (2009) refer to Toyota’s philosophy of multi-level perturbation, where individual organizational members are deliberately challenged to disrupt daily routines, operational processes, and strategic assumptions, to explain that standardization and innovation can form a symbiotic relationship within frontline workgroups, process departments, and

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management teams. In addition, Wang and Rafiq (2014) have found a significant relationship between a culture of diversity combined with a shared vision and contextual ambidexterity in UK- and Chinese-based high-tech firms. Reciprocal ambidexterity approaches the exploitation–exploration trade-off from a network perspective, arguing that ambidexterity is the result of a reciprocal relationship between exploitation- and exploration-oriented units in an organizational network (Blarr 2012). An important foundation for this form of ambidexterity is the tendency of organizations to keep concentrating on what has made them successful, with the exploitation of experience-based behavioral patterns outweighing the will to truly explore new directions (Barnes et al. 2004). Although in comparison with the other types of ambidexterity, reciprocal ambidexterity has attracted relatively little scientific attention, some interesting studies are worth discussing here. For example, Lin et al. (2007) have studied alliance formation and found that, especially, large firms benefit from an ambidextrous network composition. In another study, Lavie and Rosenkopf (2006) have uncovered an interesting dual formation pattern. On the one hand, organizations with strong cash flows are more willing to engage in risky new R&D network alliances, while at the same time, they team up with organizations that resemble previous partners to exploit the ruling modus operandi. More recently, Hill and Birkinshaw (2014) have studied the role of corporate venture units (CVUs) in pursuing ambidexterity. They have come to the conclusion that the reciprocal relationship between the CVU and the parent organizations has fueled the ambidextrous posture of both. Based on these four types of ambidexterity, Simsek et al. (2009) have developed an ambidexterity typology. Two distinct dimensions form the heart of this typology. First, the temporal dimension deals with the question as to whether ambidexterity has a simultaneous or sequential character. Second, the structural dimension is about the notion of ambidexterity either being pursued within an independent organizational unit (this could be a business unit or small to medium-sized firm) or within interdependent organizational units (one could think of a multi-divisional firm or an inter-organizational alliance). When the two dimensions are confronted within a 2 × 2 matrix, the picture below emerges. This matrix and its underlying theory will be used to analyze African Winds, which was more than just an international naval exercise (Fig. 3.1).

3.3 African Winds African Winds 2013 was a unique deployment for the Dutch military. It is built on the concept of and supported by Africa Partnership Station (APS), which is the flagship maritime security cooperation program of the U.S. Naval Forces Africa. The focus of APS is to develop maritime safety and security on the African continent by increasing maritime awareness, response capabilities, and infrastructure (U.S. Africa Command 2019). APS activities consist of joint exercises, port visits, handson practical courses, professional training, and community outreach with the coastal

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Fig. 3.1 A typology of organizational ambidexterity (derived from Simsek et al. 2009: 868)

nations of Africa. The first American APS deployment was from the fall of 2006 until the spring of 2007. At the end of 2009, the first APS deployment led by a non-US country started with the Dutch frigate HNLMS Johan de Witt that mainly conducted port visits to Senegal, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. The aim of African Winds 2013 was formally described as “a Dutch-led deployment which encompasses APS objectives as well as Dutch training goals and activities in support of development and diplomacy” (Final Exercise Report 2013: 2). The official aim has been popularly re-phrased in “3D from the sea,” where the Ds refer to defense, development, and diplomacy-related activities. The period of the exercise was from August 25 until November 15, 2013. The following African countries participated in the exercise: Morocco, Senegal, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, and Cameroon. Six Lines of Operation (LoO) were identified to give the exercise clear practical guidance. LoO 1 is quite traditional and straightforward, namely to train and exercise all embarked troops, Dutch as well as from partner countries. LoO 2 fits APS’ military support area of interest, which particularly focused on operations in coastal waters for fishery protection and anti-piracy. LoO 3 was about development, conducting APS civil–military cooperation (CIMIC) activities and offering customized CIMIC support to governmental and non-governmental organizations, and international organizations. LoO 4 was the diplomacy track, which focused on building regional relationships, both political and economic, with the national governments involved and a wide variety of interested commercial parties. Giving commercial parties a platform through military channels is quite uncommon for the regular US-led APS programs; so, this made it a typically Dutch approach. LoO 5 concentrated on enhancing regional maritime situational awareness, for example, by mapping drug trafficking routes. Finally, LoO 6 is about the security of the vessel and all deployed personnel at sea, on land, and in the air, which was operationally translated in training safety SOPs on board the HNLMS Rotterdam, conducting helicopter MEDEVAC exercises, and practicing hospital routines.

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HNLMS Rotterdam, a landing platform dock amphibious warship, was African Winds’ flagship. A wide variety of international troops and civilian parties participated in the exercise. To list some of them: the Dutch 23rd Royal Marines Raiding Squadron (107 soldiers), a company of UK 45 Commando Royal Marines (51 pax), a Ground Combat Element (60 pax) and an Air Combat Element (33 pax, including two Huey helicopters) from United States Marine Corps, and a Spanish Marines Platoon (25 pax). From other Dutch military branches, there were training, support, and hydrographic teams from the Royal Navy, elements from 1 Civil–Military Interaction Command, and Role 1 and 2 medical teams. These were all sailing aboard the HNLMS Rotterdam. Civilian collaborating actors on shore were from the several Dutch and American embassies in the countries visited, the Netherlands-Africa Business Council, and some NGOs (e.g., Project Hope and American Board of Medical Specialists).

3.4 Data Collection Different events were targeted to gather empirical data, concerning the preparation, implementation, and evaluation phase of African Winds. The first moment of data collection was a meeting at the Dutch Navy headquarters in Den Helder, which served as a platform to learn about the mission setup and become acquainted with the Dutch officers in charge and the APS point of contact. From this date on, a number of informal talks and email conversations took place between the researchers and key representatives of both APS and the Royal Netherlands Navy. Second, in the spring of 2013, a multi-day meeting at the Navy barracks in Amsterdam was organized. Most actors, such as the Dutch African Winds military staff, the American liaison of Africa Partnership Station, and many representatives of the African countries to be visited, participated in this meeting. On one of these days, the second author conducted informal interviews with relevant stakeholders and observed workshops and assemblies. Third, from the start of this research project, in the beginning of 2013, till the writing of the final exercise report, a wide variety of documents were studied, such as project plans, deployment orders, assessment plans, first impression reports, afteraction reviews, and individual evaluation reports. Fourth, in September 2013 both authors embarked the HNLMS Rotterdam in Accra for a nine-day field visit in Ghana. A month earlier, a fellow researcher (Prof. Dr. Soeters) had visited the Senegalese part of African Winds, embarking in Senegal for a ten-day stint. During their stay on board, all researchers conducted many informal talks with individual sailors and soldiers, commanders of different branches, key visitors, such as the Dutch military attaché of the embassy of the South Sahel region, and several Dutch businessmen and entrepreneurs. In addition, several CIMIC activities ashore were visited in Senegal and Ghana to collect data.

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3.5 Analyzing African Winds from an Organizational Ambidexterity Perspective For analyzing this case, African Winds is seen as an international project under the umbrella of APS, coordinated and largely implemented by the Dutch Navy, while the execution phase took place in a number of African countries, both in their waters and on land. Because the lines of operation resulted in a mixture of traditional (e.g., military training activities) as well as new activities (e.g., participating in tailored diplomatic, commercial, and CIMIC projects), it could be argued that the success of African Winds depended on a certain level of organizational ambidexterity.

3.5.1 Contextual Ambidexterity Contextual ambidexterity places the center of gravity of ambidexterity at the individual and group level and therefore can be perceived as a fundamental competence that each serviceman or woman has to possess. In essence, military success means to outsmart the opponent. As such, creativity and innovative thinking are crucial from the individual level up to the higher organizational echelons. At the same time, to remain effective under the threat of violence, standard operating procedures are a critical foundation for each soldier in order to respond instantly and instinctively. This combination of creative outside-the-box thinking and standardized professionalism predominates throughout one’s military career, be it in training programs, operational deployments, educational courses, or job changes. Contextual ambidexterity, being ingrained in the DNA of every soldier, surfaced during African Winds as well. For example, the CIMIC cell concluded: the NLMARFOR command and staff element proved to be very flexible and goal-driven. This behavior materialized in the promptness of action when unforeseen chances arose as the exercise unfolded. Especially in a less structured region like Africa, such an attitude ensures that non-planned opportunities can be properly seized. When it comes to being open-minded and making arrangements for last-minute changes the flexibility of the NLMARFOR staff was a valuable asset (Final Exercise Report 2013: appendix).

3.5.2 Cyclical Ambidexterity When relating African Winds to the notion of cyclical ambidexterity—suggesting that long periods of predominantly exploitative organizational action are followed by bursts of explorative activity—an interesting aspect emerges that sets the military aside from commercial organizations. Namely, the military, in general, is organized around a cyclical process of training–deployment–recuperation. As a result, new experiences or ideas learned or surfaced during operational deployment can filter back via adjustments in the existing training programs into the organization’s stable

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operational core. Also, new equipment or processes can be experimented with when organizational units go through their regular period of training. Both examples make clear that innovation can be initiated without jeopardizing organizational stability. African Winds can particularly be related to the latter example. HNLMS Rotterdam was scheduled for a regular training period, but this preset time slot was grabbed as an opportunity to try out a new, more comprehensive, training framework. An argument expressed quite often was that the ship would go on maneuvers anyhow, so why not try to increase the value for taxpayer’s money by doing different operational tasks simultaneously and integrated? Still, to what extent the lessons identified during African Winds find their way back into the overarching organizational cycle of training–deployment–recuperation, becoming lessons learned, remains to be seen. The dominant feeling is that the innovative comprehensive training framework primarily suits the organizational context of the Navy. Above all, the fact that the Navy can use its ships as flexible platforms, from which a wide variety of activities can be undertaken, but that also makes it possible to autonomously cross large distances, and thus visit different countries in a relatively short period of time, can impossibly be matched by the other branches. As a consequence, the chances are considerable that the adoption of the comprehensive African Winds setup will stop at the Navy’s organizational boundary.

3.5.3 Structural Ambidexterity Applying the idea of structural ambidexterity to the African Winds exercise results in a rather ambiguous delineation. The reason for this ambiguity is that existing theory suggests that there is a strict structural division between units that focus either on exploitation or on exploration. For example, a multi-divisional firm can decide to establish a corporate venture unit in order to develop innovative technologies, products, or services, while the rest of the organization keeps concentrating on exploiting the ruling market position. However, by allocating the distinction between exploitation- and exploration-related organizational units at this rather high level of aggregation—a division or a single firm in a network—all activities that happen inside these large organizational elements remain unnoticed. African Winds, as an empirical case, has made clear that structural ambidexterity’s assumption of divisions or other larger organizational elements being totally committed to either exploitation or exploration is too easy. After all, the Royal Navy can be seen as a separate division of the overarching armed forces organization. What the Navy is primarily concerned about is that its units, when in their regular training period, go through the necessary steps to achieve operational readiness. As such, the Navy’s main concern seems to be exploitation. The idea to partner up with APS and pursue a new comprehensive training approach was initiated by commanders of a subsidiary level. To get the plan approved, some serious negotiations took place with the higher echelon to convince the Navy’s Director of Operations that the innovative African Winds concept would not jeopardize the regular training goals. With the formulation of distinct lines of

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operations, the subsidiary level could make explicit that regular compulsory training practices and new activities would take place concurrently. There would be no competition over resources between them; on the contrary, if possible synergy would be pursued. When the supreme level approved the comprehensive African Winds setup, an organizational constellation was built, in which exploitative and explorative activities were allocated to units at the military tactical and technical level. For example, training the 23 Raiding Squadron (part of LoO 1) was strongly related to exploitation, with practicing regular military routines, such as jungle training, maritime assaults, beach landings, and foreign internal defense. CIMIC and diplomatic tasks (LoO 3 and 4, respectively) had a more explorative character. These tasks were not primarily about skills and drills training, but far more about building new relationships and combining different sources of knowledge and expertise to offer customized help for unique, local societal and economic issues. As such, the African Winds training program has shown that the structural division between exploitative and explorative activities can be distributed as far down as the organization’s frontline.

3.5.4 Reciprocal Ambidexterity Reciprocal ambidexterity, being the result of a reciprocal relationship between exploitation- and exploration-oriented units in an organizational network, forms the heart of both the preparatory phase of the African Winds exercise and the execution of the actual training program. Regarding the former, deploying under the APS umbrella requires the will to explore and execute non-traditional military activities in a region quite unknown to many Western armed forces. Some of the necessary competencies and expertise are available in house, but other critical insights and skills have to be attracted from outside the organization. The most important external knowledge provider was the leading American APS organization. It offered an enormous knowledge base from which the Royal Navy could draw relevant know-how. Because of the exercises that APS yearly carries out in Africa, within the same overarching framework of short- and long-term goals, it has a lot of experience to offer, and connections to tap into, on how to start, conduct, and wrap up an APS deployment. From the start of the African Winds project in the Netherlands, there was a special APS representative assigned that visited all meetings to mediate in the discussion on the mission setup. Basically, this representative ensured that the knowledge output of earlier APS iterations was transformed into appropriate input criteria for new ones. Focusing on the latter, regarding the execution of the actual training program, a strong connection with structural ambidexterity emerges. Especially the notion that during African Winds the organization’s operating core consisted of a wide variety of units with different areas of expertise is important to mention in this respect. Ambidexterity, basically, materialized in the synergetic outcome of various collaboration efforts between the mixtures of parties involved in the exercise. For example, the details of foreign diplomacy are largely unknown to the Navy. By involving the Dutch military attaché for Western Africa (at that time this was an

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army officer), the Navy gained access to formal and informal diplomatic paths that facilitated collaboration with the embassies in the visiting countries. The Dutch Navy and the embassies of the countries of visit could use the input of the other embassies to customize the program to fit local circumstances best. In total, eleven embassies were proactively consulted, five Dutch, four American, and two British. Next, when looking at the commercial side of the African Winds program (LoO4), the Netherlands African Business Council (NABC) played a key role. Just like diplomacy, economy-related activities are not a natural aspect of military operations. Because strengthening economic ties between the Netherlands and the different African countries involved in the African Winds training program could be a win-win situation for both sides, conscious action on this terrain was worthwhile. This resulted in a Line of Operations specially designed to bring Dutch investors, entrepreneurs, and businesses in contact with relevant actors, public and commercial, in the different countries of visit. To streamline LoO4, the Navy teamed up with NABC. Regarding this economy-driven approach, a Dutch political officer at the Senegalese Embassy stated the following: The presence of the Rotterdam is a unique opportunity to raise attention in Senegal about Dutch (maritime) knowledge, products, and services. Therefore, the Netherlands Embassy in Dakar simultaneously organizes a trade mission for 25 companies in cooperation with the NABC. The objective of this commercial mission is to familiarize Dutch entrepreneurs with business opportunities in Senegal, in sectors such as agro-business, infrastructure, energy, and water (Embassy Questionnaire: African Winds 2013: 6).

The HNLMS Rotterdam served as a physical platform for hosting these gatherings where African as well as Dutch commercial interests could meet in a distinctive setting. Also, the participation of Civil–Military Interaction (CMI) Command is relevant to mention in relation to reciprocal ambidexterity. CMI units are not organized like typical military formations, and they mainly consist of reserve officers with special areas of expertise (e.g., education, employment, agriculture, law, veterinary medicine), who are commissioned, based on their expertise, for a specific mission, project, or training program. For example, during African Winds, the CMI detachment was involved in a project to build additional classrooms for a local school in a Senegalese coastal town. This was the town where the amphibious landing of the international constellation of Marines, participating in the African Winds program, was planned to take place. With the help of NABC for sponsoring and assisting the coordination between the Dutch Senegalese Embassy, a local contractor, and the Royal Dutch Navy, the CMI team made sure this project became a comprehensive successful effort with a positive societal impact, winning the hearts and minds of the local community for the military maneuvers in their coastal waters. Another CMI example is the fishery conference. Early in the preparation phase of the African Winds program, the Senegalese Navy was asked to put forward a culturally and politically sensitive issue that could be addressed in a one-day conference facilitated by CMI. Illegal, unregulated, and unregistered (IUU) fishery was mentioned by the Senegalese representatives as a pressing topic. By co-hosting this conference, CMI aimed to endorse the Senegalese Navy’s authority on IUU-related issues and to help

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them establish a footprint within the network of local authorities, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations in Dakar. Dakar was targeted as the host city for the conference because it houses an important UN regional headquarters. Apart from the National Department of Fisheries, the World Wildlife Fund and several international fishery consultancy firms joined the conference too. Moreover, with the conference, the CMI team also intended to set a long-term mark. The results of the workshops were handed over to COMFISH, a US NGO that promised to follow up on the conference outcome with concrete action plans. The last case of reciprocal ambidexterity to discuss refers to the interaction between the Royal Navy and the participating African armed forces organizations. The seed for fruitful cooperation between the mixture of participating units and the African militaries was planted in the preparatory phase of the training program. African military representatives were invited to join the introductory meetings in Amsterdam to express their wishes and concerns, explicate their operational potential, and also offer alternative solutions in case Western training ambitions where too high. Generally speaking, this explorative exchange of relevant local information had to set the basis for the reliable execution of the training program later on. After the introductory meetings, an advance party traveled to the different host countries to discuss the plans with senior local officials, verify if earlier promises were still agreed upon, and check if the necessary military equipment and additional assets were available. All these preparatory actions were primarily initiated to prevent start-up problems from occurring. During the execution of the actual training program, the well-considered and broadly shared overall plan served as a solid point of reference from which local disturbances and deviations could be effectively addressed.

3.6 Conclusion and Discussion Recapitulating, in the African Winds training program all different forms of ambidexterity can be recognized. Above all, however, the case study makes clear that striving for ambidexterity is not an either-or situation, where one specific form of ambidexterity has to be pursued by an organization. Instead, African Winds has uncovered a comprehensive ambidexterity system, with individual, group, business unit, and concern-level coherence, but also with reciprocal interaction patterns between internal and external stakeholders, collaborating at the organizational frontline. This deduction sheds new light on Simsek et al.’s (2009) typology. Since Simsek et al. (2009) approach organizational ambidexterity from a strategic management perspective, the conclusions they draw are of a high level of aggregation, for example, tying cyclical ambidexterity to fashion apparel or the software industry, linking structural ambidexterity to a firm’s architectural design, relating contextual ambidexterity to organizations with independent professionals in their operating core, or connecting reciprocal ambidexterity to multi-firm network structures. As such, a plausible view on the microdynamics of ambidexterity at the tactical and operational level remains hidden from sight. The African Winds program seems to suggest that strategic-level

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ambidexterity can only come about when at lower organizational levels ambidextrous behavior is also stimulated and supported. However, the present case study only offers a quick scan of how ambidexterity unfolds within an organization. Additional research, in other sectors, industries, and organizational contexts, is required to further test the assumption, of ambidexterity being a comprehensive system of interrelated hierarchical levels and different organizational units and teams. Also, the two dimensions of Simsek et al.’s typology deserve further academic attention. Especially the structural dimension, suggesting ambidexterity is being pursued either within an independent organizational unit or within interdependent organizational units, appears to be too broadly formulated. Many relevant intra- and inter-organizational relationships between individuals, groups, teams, units, and departments at the lower organizational levels are missed out when this definition of structural ambidexterity is followed.

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House, C. H., & Price, R. L. (2009). The HP phenomenon: Innovation and business transformation. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Ilinitch, A. Y., D’Aveni, R. A., & Lewin, A. Y. (1996). New organizational forms and strategies for managing in hypercompetitive environments. Organization Science, 7(3), 211–220. Jansen, J. J., Tempelaar, M. P., Van den Bosch, F. A., & Volberda, H. W. (2009). Structural differentiation and ambidexterity: The mediating role of integration mechanisms. Organization Science, 20(4), 797–811. Kearns, K. P. (2000). Private sector strategies for social sector success; the guide to strategy and planning for public and nonprofit organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Lavie, D., & Rosenkopf, L. (2006). Balancing exploration and exploitation in alliance formation. Academy of Management Journal, 49(4), 797–818. Lavie, D., Stettner, U., & Tushman, M. L. (2010). Exploration and exploitation within and across organizations. The Academy of Management Annals, 4(1), 109–155. Lawrence, P. R., & Lorsch, J. W. (1967). Organization and environment: Managing differentiation and integration. Cambridge: Harvard Business School Press. Lin, Z., Yang, H., & Demirkan, I. (2007). The performance consequences of ambidexterity in strategic alliance formations: Empirical investigation and computational theorizing. Management Science, 53(10), 1645–1658. March, J. G. (1991). How decisions happen in organizations. Human-Computer Interaction, 6(2), 95–117. Mintzberg, H. (1993). Structure in fives: Designing effective organizations. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. O’Reilly, C. A., III, & Tushman, M. L. (2008). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the innovator’s dilemma. Research in organizational behavior, 28, 185–206. O’Reilly, C. A., III, Harreld, J. B., & Tushman, M. L. (2009). Organizational ambidexterity: IBM and emerging business opportunities. California Management Review, 51(4), 75–99. Ritala, P., Golnam, A., & Wegmann, A. (2014). Coopetition-based business models: The case of Amazon.com. Industrial Marketing Management, 43(2), 236–249. Rivkin, J. W., & Siggelkow, N. (2003). Balancing search and stability: Interdependencies among elements of organizational design. Management Science, 49(3), 290–311. Simsek, Z., Heavey, C., Veiga, J. F., & Souder, D. (2009). A typology for aligning organizational ambidexterity’s conceptualizations, antecedents, and outcomes. Journal of Management Studies, 46(5), 864–894. Staber, U., & Sydow, J. (2002). Organizational adaptive capacity: A structuration perspective. Journal of management inquiry, 11(4), 408–424. Thompson, J. D. (1967). Organizations in action. New-York: McGraw-Hill. Tushman, M. L., & Romanelli, E. (1985). Organizational evolution: A metamorphosis and model of convergence and reorientation. In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (pp. 171–222). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. Tushman, M. L., & O’Reilly, C. A. (1996). Ambidextrous organizations: Managing evolutionary and revolutionary change. California Management Review, 38(4), 8–29. U.S. Africa Command. (2019). www.africom.mil. Accessed 12 Feb 2020. Wang, C. L., & Rafiq, M. (2014). Ambidextrous organizational culture, contextual ambidexterity, and new product innovation: A comparative study of UK and Chinese high-tech firms. British Journal of Management, 25(1), 58–76.

Part II

Tasks and Roles

Chapter 4

Peace Operations in a Changed “Warscape”: A Call for Polydexterity Georg Frerks

Abstract The current warfare and peace-fare are radically different from how they were imagined after World War II when the United Nations (UN) was established and the foundations for international peace (keeping) operations were formulated. Though peace (keeping) operations have over the years evolved into different generations to adapt to changing circumstances, they are seriously challenged to keep up with the fundamental changes witnessed today. This chapter discusses some of the current political and military challenges affecting peace operations. It is argued that in order to remain relevant and effective, further changes are needed both in the way operations are framed politically and designed and implemented in military practice. UN Reforms till date, however, were only able to deliver such changes partially. As Joseph Soeters noted in 2017, this means for the military to become ambidextrous to employ different military skill sets concurrently (Shields and Travis 2017: 66). This article argues that even more is needed: The political and military challenges and the lack of significant reform require from the military in the field and at headquarters to become “polydextrous” in order to accomplish at least a modicum of success in contemporary peace operations. Keywords Military · Peace operations · Peacekeeping · United Nations (UN) · Reform

4.1 The Origins and Precursors of Current Peace Operations In the UN Charter signed on the 26th of June 1945, it was famously stated that “We the Peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind” and “for these ends … to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security.” (United Nations 1945: 2). In order to do so, the parties to the Charter G. Frerks (B) Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_4

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set up an international organization called the United Nations that had the following main purpose: To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace (United Nations 1945: 3).

In Chaps. 6 and 7 of the Charter, the UN gave itself the means to deal with those situations either by peaceful means (Chap. 6) or by force (Chap. 7). As Bellamy and Williams observe, the UN Charter did not use or define the notion of peacekeeping or peace operation (Bellamy and Williams 2010: 14). Till this very day Chap. 7 and the procedures laid down therein are the only legal way to use force to deal with threats to peace or aggression through a mandate of the Security Council. In the past, there have been precedents to modern peace operations. One example is the Swedish-Norwegian force that interfered in the Schleswig-Holstein war in 1849–1850, and in the interbellum, a multi-national peacekeeping force was sent to Saarland in 1934–1935 by the League of Nations, while a monitoring mission was launched after the Spanish Civil War in 1938–1939. The League of Nations had—mutatis mutandis—a similar mandate as the UN “to respect and preserve as against external aggression the territorial integrity and existing political independence of all Members” and promoted disarmament recognizing “that the maintenance of peace requires the reduction of national armaments to the lowest point consistent with national safety” (League of Nations 1919, Art. 10 and 8). The League of Nations managed to (help) resolve a fair number of disputes around the world, but proved to be impotent to deal with the largest risk of Nazi Germany, while it also continued to face internal institutional and political problems hampering its effectiveness. Though it was attempted to avoid a number of the League’s problems in the institutional and procedural setup of the United Nations, this organization was also bound to face its own series of challenges. In the next section, I shall review the changes of the UN peace operations over the last seven decades and highlight its checkered history. It deals with how UN peace operations have evolved into several generations and what the current state of affairs is. The following section deals with the challenges emerging from the current “warscape.” The section after that outlines the reforms that have been undertaken to deal with challenges, while the last section provides the conclusions of this chapter. Before reviewing the UN peace operations, a preliminary conceptual remark must be made. Conceptually, the notion of peacekeeping or peace operation is ambiguous. As stated by Diehl and Balas, “discussions of peace operations are notorious for their conceptual muddles” (2014: 3). Bellamy and Williams (2010: 14) argue that this has to do with diverging political views and interests of the member states and different tasks, activities and functions that different political actors, including the UN itself, have shared under peace operations in the course of time. One way of dealing with this confusion is to categorize peace operations under different peacekeeping

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generations over time or into different types, though this does not completely resolve the issue, as according to Bellamy and Williams (2010: 16), such categorizations become self-referential, while in concrete operations, tasks and activities may shift, or different types are carried out simultaneously or alternated between rendering these categorizations more a type of paper exercise than having much empirical traction.

4.2 Changing Peace Operations Over the Last Seven Decades Set up in May 1948, the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) was the first peacekeeping operation established by the United Nations. The mission’s role was to monitor the Armistice Agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Since then, UNTSO military observers have remained in the Middle East to monitor ceasefires, supervise armistice agreements, prevent isolated incidents from escalating and assist other UN peacekeeping operations in the region to fulfill their respective mandates (United Nations 2019a). In the years that followed till the end of the Cold War, the UN carried out 18 missions, compared to a total of 57 till date. During the Cold War, it was difficult to get consensus in the UN Security Council (UNSC) on peace operations due to the contradictions between the two superpowers, the USA (US) and the Soviet Union, or more generally between the capitalist and communist blocs. The peacekeeping operations of that era are often described as traditional or the first generation peacekeeping. They were characterized by the three basic principles that continue to define UN peacekeeping operations as a tool for maintaining international peace and security and that are interrelated and mutually reinforcing: consent of the parties; impartiality; and non-use of force (United Nations, 2019b). The traditional peacekeepers can be defined as neutral and lightly armed interposition forces following a cessation of armed hostilities. They operate with the permission of the state on which territory these forces are deployed in order to discourage a renewal of military conflict and promote an environment under which the underlying dispute can be resolved. This implies that they were usually deployed after conflict erupted and had little preventative ambition, except to prevent the conflict from escalating or recurring again. Traditional peacekeeping was also focused on peace between states and not between non-state actors or the state and a non-state actor, as happened after the end of the Cold War. As the first-generation operations were based on the consent of parties and their neutrality was accepted, a limited military capability sufficed, as no enforcement was needed. Some of those missions were even completely unarmed. Their main role was to divide the conflict parties, to check on compliance, and to promote confidence-building measures. The principles of state sovereignty and non-interference in domestic affairs were maintained under this first-generation mission.

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As observed by Diehl and Druckman (2012: 26), “Coinciding roughly with the end of the Cold War, however, traditional peacekeeping evolved to include a broader range of missions beyond merely preventing the recurrence of violence.” These have been referred to as “new peacekeeping” or “second-generation” missions to distinguish them from their predecessors. These missions had more variegated aims and hence were called “multi-dimensional” or “multi-mandate” missions. Often there was no cease-fire agreement to maintain and no consent of the parties. The conflicts were more often intrastate, and due to the lack of consensus, the mission not rarely became involved in the conflict, if not a party to the conflict itself. Compared with the first generation, these missions were more ambitious, but showed a mixed record in practice, while some of them resulted in outright failures, as exemplified by the cases of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. The even more ambitious third-generation peace operations emerged from the mid-1990s onwards.1 Apart from stabilization, i.e., bringing about a modicum of security and public order, they aimed at rebuilding failed states. These statebuilding missions included all spheres of public activity and comprised both military and civilian personnel. These missions often included regional arrangements where the implementation of the mission was carried out under the responsibility of a regional organization according to Chap. 8 of the UN Charter, or implemented by UN and regional forces jointly, known as “hybrid missions.” Activities included both peace enforcement (i.e., these missions had a “robust” mandate allowing the use of force), peace building focusing on conflict resolution and the removal of root causes of conflict, as well as statebuilding, reinforcing the state to carry out its necessary functions and delivering the essential political goods to its population (Rotberg 2007). According to Rotberg, nations do not stumble into failure, but their failure is the result of human agency. Bad leadership and mal-governance are key factors in the causation of state failure (Rotberg 2007: 85, 91–92). Though this agential aspect opens the opportunity to redress state failure, it must at the same time be acknowledged that these processes have been long in the making and are the consequence of a complex set of conditions that often confound solutions at short notice in practice. Due to the combination of stabilization, peace- and statebuilding tasks, thirdgeneration missions became highly complex and difficult to implement successfully. On its Web site, the UN admits that: … peacekeeping faces several challenges that undermine its ability to deliver on its mandates. Political solutions are often absent, and missions seem to have mandates that lack focus and clear priorities. Complex threats in several environments are causing a rise in fatalities and injuries of peacekeepers, and missions have sometimes lacked the personnel and equipment to meet these threats. Peacekeeping operations have also faced challenges in delivering on protection mandates and in contributing to long-term, sustainable peace, and in achieving coherence with other actors operating in the same contexts (United Nations 2019c).

In the next section, I shall further highlight some of the challenges in contemporary peace missions. 1 In the literature, more fine-grained categorizations prevail. Van der Lijn, for example, distinguishes

five generations (2006: 15–23). Also, Kenkel (2013: 125–137) identifies five generations, though Kenkel’s descriptions of the generations do differ significantly from those of van der Lijn.

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4.3 The Challenges of a Changed “Warscape” and Divisive Politics Peace operations are facing challenges of all kind. Some have to do with the changing nature of conflict and warfare. Others have their origin in deteriorating geopolitical relations and adversarial perceptions leading to dissent in the UN Security Council. Others are inherent in the nature of missions comprising soldiers of numerous troop contributing countries (TCCs) leading to problems of coherence and coordination that bear on effectiveness. As it is not possible in the scope of this article to discuss all challenges UN missions have faced, I make a selection of six major ones. This selection is to a certain degree arbitrary, but is nonetheless grounded in the recent literature on developments in UN operations.

4.3.1 New Security Threats The old and well-known security threat of a clear-cut communist enemy is something of the past. Security perceptions already shifted from a state-centric security perception to one in which more attention was paid to human security in the mid1990s (UNDP 1994). The Copenhagen School asserted that security was not only something of, for and by the state, but concerned the security of “human collectivities.” It extended the originally restricted notion of physical security with political, economic, social and environmental security. The Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy added the notion of flow security to denote the importance of free flows of capital, labor and information (WRR 2017: 67). All these trends boil down to a much more complex and comprehensive security concept than existed earlier. Moreover, in the field of international security, we witness fundamental changes often coined as game-changers. Several of those did not fit in the prevailing premises and approaches and hence were not properly anticipated by western governments, intelligence services and parliaments. They became known as strategic surprises, such as the sudden annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Federation, the creation of the separatist so-called People’s Republics Donetsk and Lugansk in the Eastern Ukraine with the help of Russian troops or proxies, the rapid emergence and downfall of the Islamic State (ISIS), but also, the Brexit and the election of US President Trump fit into this collection of unforeseen events. This is a worrisome indication of the weak political antennas and prognostic capabilities of western institutions and services. It is clear that such developments pose significant challenges to the UN, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU). Next to the above-mentioned strategic surprises, there are several other threats that are known, but still difficult to tackle as no effective approaches are available or, if they do, are hampered due to international dissent and lack of political will to act. Examples include the migration crisis, religious disputes, terrorism, climate change

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and struggles over scarce natural resources, extremist nationalism, ethnic discrimination and exclusion, and economic disparities and marginalization. It hardly needs any further clarification that this wide variety of security threats forms a formidable challenge to civilian and military peacekeepers. Even if they can be analyzed or predicted in time, there are frequently no known or demonstrably effective remedies for dealing with them.

4.3.2 Changing Nature of Warfare Recent decades have seen significant changes in the nature of conflict and warfare. First of all, since the end of the Cold War, the major conflicts have not been interstate struggles between the armies of national states as arguably was the case earlier, but intrastate conflicts where one of the conflict parties or both are violent non-state actors. Kaldor (1999) has made the well-known distinction between “old” and “new wars,” though currently, it is generally acknowledged that this is an analytical difference rather than a clear-cut empirical distinction as the boundaries between the two types may blur in practice. Yet, this overall change from old to new wars was associated by a range of other factors and issues. Where classical warfare was relatively clear and fixed and based on the control of territory and the defense of state interests, “new wars” are dynamic and ever-changing, based on group identities, narratives and perceptions, and hence less amenable to a straightforward assessment. Timewise, those new wars tend to be protracted affairs often prolonging into several decades. Also, the geographical and institutional context differs radically. Many of these new wars take place in failed states where functioning public structures are lacking and societies are fractured and have fallen prey to economies of violence. Instead of regular armies, enemies are now terrorist groups, warlords, militias, guerrilla movements and (criminal) gangs, which change the warfare from symmetrical and conventional to asymmetrical and non-conventional. The theater of war muted from a defined battlefield to hit-and-run, urban warfare or guerrilla warfare that pose completely different demands on the military forces. Where earlier there was a clear distinction between combatants and non-combatants, this distinction has blurred in those new wars creating additional juridical and ethical problems, also because of the use of child soldiers. A final distinction relates to international rules. War Law, International Humanitarian Law, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, etc., are not known or ignored by these unruly fighting units, whereas international peace missions are obviously bound to observe these, creating a unilateral disadvantage for the latter. The combination of conventional and non-conventional weapons of war now includes also economic, juridical, cyber, disinformation instruments, etc., and is currently known as hybrid warfare. UN forces that are basically recruited from traditional national armies face difficulties in dealing with and adapting to those new forms and weapons of war.

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4.3.3 A Shifting International Order Apart from the changes in warfare per se, there are also issues and dynamics in the international order that affect the possibility of effective peace operations. A longstanding issue is the composition of the UNSC itself. As Haass (2019: 28) notes: “No one today would design a UN Security Council that looked like the current one.” At the end of WWII, the victorious major allied powers gave themselves a permanent seat in the SC with veto powers, but this started at a certain moment to cause friction when also other states emerged as major political and economic powers. Countries like Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa felt excluded, already alone on the basis of their numerous populations and regional predominance. It also could be argued that major European heavyweights like Germany, Spain and Italy deserve a similar influence in the UN as France and the UK, even though they belonged to the wrong side during WWII seventy-five years ago. It is, however, not likely that this imbalance will be redressed soon, as no easy solution is imaginable without opening a Pandora’s box. Moreover, as Haass (2019: 28) says: “… real reform is impossible, since those who would lose influence block any changes.” A more recent development is the reshuffling of the global balance of power due to the emergence of China and new Russian assertiveness. This is combined with the retreat of the USA from international custodianship and international treaties and agreements. This leaves at present a vacuum in international leadership and leads to doubts about the viability of the global international (neo-)liberal order and its institutions. US president Trump has repeatedly criticized the UN and has by that, according to some observers, undermined the UN’s authority and effectiveness. Experts differ whether this situation will endure or whether the neo-liberal system will be able to reinvigorate after a new US president will take over in the future. The January/February 2019 issue of Foreign Affairs devoted a series of articles on this topic under the caption “Who will Run the World? America, China and Global order.” Expectedly views differ. Rose argues that “the rumors of the liberal order’s demise are greatly exaggerated,” as that order is deeply entrenched and delivers more benefits than any alternative would (Rose 2019: 8). Haass on the other side believes that the order cannot be revived and that “managing its deterioration” is the only sensible option, while introducing “measures that account for changing power dynamics and new global problems” (Rose 2019: 29). Time will tell what is going to happen in a couple of years, but that challenges lie ahead for the international order and its centerpiece, the UN, is without doubt.

4.3.4 Dilemma Management In their well-known edited volume, The Dilemmas of Statebuilding, confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations, Paris and Sisk (2009: 311) argue that the current peace operations are beset by a set of contradictions, conundrums and

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dilemmas for which no (easy) solutions exist, but which must be understood “in order to inform the process of devising more nuanced and effective statebuilding strategies.” Hence, in their concluding chapter, they recommend to carry out “dilemma analyses” (2009: 310). In this short, Chapter I cannot discuss all details of their insightful contribution but will only briefly indicate the contradictions and dilemmas they have identified (see Table 4.1) in order to show the problems peacekeepers and statebuilders face nowadays. Whereas the contradictions do not require much explanation and the inherent tensions are clear, I shall briefly elaborate on the five dilemmas listed in Table 4.1. The footprint dilemma has been described by Edelstein and “refers to not only the number of intervention forces, but also to their degree of intrusiveness within the domestic affairs of the state” (2009: 90). The dilemma comprises the fact that foreign military forces may need to be large and intrusive to establish security and be successful, but that this may simultaneously provoke nationalist resistance (Edelstein 2009: 90). The duration dilemma implies that the population may initially welcome foreign forces, but the longer they stay the wearier the population becomes. Edelstein calls this the problem of “obsolescing welcome” (2009: 83). Participation dilemmas refer to the question as to whom involve in peace negotiations and peacebuilding and statebuilding efforts. Leaders are often not representative of the population, while additional problems may arise from spoilers that undermine the peace efforts (Stedman 2001). Dependency dilemmas refer to the risk that local elites, population and governments become dependent on the international presence. In such a case “statebuilding missions risk working against their own ultimate goal of fostering self-government in the society” (Paris and Sisk 2009: 308). In this connection, Suhrke has analyzed how Afghanistan has become a rentier state that for its security and budget has become nearly totally dependent of foreign assistance (2009: 231). The coherence dilemma includes two aspects. Organizational coherence “involves the need for coordination among the myriad actors involved in such operations” and the “legitimate representatives of the host society itself.” Missions, however, are running the risk of an “over-emphasis on elites based in the capital to the expense of regional and local Table 4.1 Contradictions and dilemmas of peace operations (based on Paris and Sisk 2009: 305– 309) Contradictions

Dilemmas

Outside intervention is used to foster self-government

Footprint dilemmas

International control is required to establish local Duration dilemmas ownership Universal values are promoted as a solution for local problems

Participation dilemmas

Statebuilding requires both a clean break with the Dependency dilemmas past and a reaffirmation of history Short-term imperatives often conflict with longer-term objectives

Coherence dilemmas (organizational and normative)

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institution-building” (Paris and Sisk 2009: 309). A second aspect is called normative coherence. Here, dilemmas arise from “disjunctures and inconsistencies in the values that statebuilders articulate” and “the actual policies they pursue in the field” (Paris and Sisk 2009: 309).

4.3.5 Coordination and Unity of Effort Partly as a result of the above contradictions and dilemmas, military peace operations face serious challenges in attaining sound levels of coordination and unity of effort in their work. De Coning and Friis (2011) argue that the nature and complexity of current crises ask for action by multiple agencies, but is hampered by inter-agency rivalry, competition, duplication and sub-optimal economies of scale, leading to low success rates and low sustainability. Hence, these agencies aim for harmonization and synchronization of activities across analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation of peace operations. In policy practice “whole-of-government,” 3-D, “integrated” and comprehensive approaches have been adopted by a variety of actors to deal with this challenge, including national governments, UN, EU and NATO (De Coning and Friis 2011: 247–251). These authors observe, however, that most actors seem to have a fairly technical approach, ignoring more deeply rooted hurdles concerning “conflicting values, principles and mandates grounded in conflicting ideologies, identities, theories of change and politics” (De Coning and Friis 2011: 252). They distinguish four levels of coherence: intra-agency, whole-of-government, inter-agency and international-local (De Coning and Friis 2011: 253–254); and six types of relationships on a scale from united to competitive: actors united (unified action, structure and command and leadership), integrated, cooperation, coordination, co-existence, competition (De Coning and Friis 2011: 255–257). De Coning and Friis state that there are limitations to resolve coherence issues due to the tension between long-term strategic impact considerations and short-term maximization of outputs (impactoutput limitation); conflicting values, principles and mandates; and external/internal power imbalances (2011: 261–270). Moreover, coherence should be understood as a scale of relationships, and the most appropriate and realistic level of coherence that can be achieved will depend on the exact constellation of organizations in an interdependent relationship in that specific operational context (De Coning and Friis 2011: 244). They conclude that a “partial” or “second best” coherence may be the highest result attainable (2011: 260). Whereas the above issues raised by De Coning and Friis give already much to ponder about, other authors have added further issues to the problem of coordination and coherence. Serwer and Thomson (2007: 382) have stressed the importance of critical leadership responsibilities, i.e., in order to attain unity of purpose among actors/stakeholders and to formulate integrated plans based on the peace agreement and/or mandate that specify outcomes, strategies, roles and responsibilities, coordination mechanisms and key metrics for monitoring and determining effectiveness and progress. Bellamy distinguishes unity of command (forces functioning under one

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single point of authority (2015: 18) which is generally not possible in multi-national, multi-agency and multi-mandate peace UN operations (Bellamy 2015: 25) and unity of effort defined as “coordination and cooperation of all forces, not necessarily part of the same command structure, toward a commonly recognized objective” (Bellamy 2015: 18). He asserts that unity of effort is crucial to the success of UN peacekeeping (Bellamy 2015: 25). Bellamy continues to identify five principles of unity of effort and ways to improve it (2015: 26–30). Like De Coning and Friis, Bellamy admits, however, that unity of effort has often proven elusive due to all types of frictions and incompatibilities that appear in practice (Bellamy 2015: 30–34). What this brief selection from the literature shows is that coordination and coherence problems are inherent in the complex missions and environments at stake. Though they cannot easily be resolved and partial coherence may be the most one can aspire, a number of positive steps have been outlined that can be taken to at least increase unity of effort.

4.3.6 Too High or Realistic Ambitions A final word needs to be said about the (too) high ambitions that are set for peace operations, especially those of the third generation. It goes without saying that the ambitions to create a neo-liberal order or a working democracy in contexts with a complete different tradition and history are task of tall order. Only rarely are the local conditions fully or even partly amenable to such an endeavor. Many authors have pointed this out and have convincingly shown the mixed record at best or the outright failures at worst of such attempts. Also, the above sections on dilemma management and coherence highlighted the limitations of what can realistically be achieved. In a recent overview article, in Foreign Affairs Autesserre observes that UN peacekeepers too often fail to meet their most basic objectives (2019: 101). Barnett, Fang and Zürcher have concluded that most peacebuilding efforts lead to what they call “compromised peacebuilding” which usually includes some mixture of liberal and illiberal outcomes. Interestingly, they do not consider this to be a failure, asserting that “Compromised peacebuilding, if done right, might be the best of possible worlds” (Barnett et al. 2014: 616). They mention as an advantage of compromised peacebuilding that “it provides greater opportunity for local voices to participate and affect a process that is supposedly ‘owned’ by them” (Barnett et al. 2014: 617). Another, more cynical, option for intervening parties to deal with the lack of success is to simply ignore or understate the inconsistencies and failures of international peacebuilding or statebuilding. In this connection, Egnell (2010) has applied the idea of “organized hypocrisy” to international statebuilding efforts. Organized hypocrisy functions as a means to make sense of inconsistencies and contradictions and to meet contradictory normative demands simultaneously. To do so, parties resort to organized hypocrisy by using talk, decisions and actions that are inconsistent. Often this happens deliberately, but sometimes, it emerges also contingent to prevailing conditions.

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4.4 Reforms and Future Directions In the last decades, recognition of the limitations of international peace operations has grown and several attempts have been launched to deal with those by a variety of reforms and initiatives undertaken by the UN. I cannot do justice to the extensive reports, evaluations and studies made in this respect and limit myself to the main initiatives. These comprise the so-called Brahimi Report, the capstone doctrine, the New Horizon Report and the HIPPO report, all developed within the UN framework. The Brahimi Report was the outcome of an effort initiated by UNSG Kofi Annan to rethink UN peace operations and to prevent the failures of the 1990s by setting up the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, chaired by the former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi. The panel was asked to identify the principal weaknesses in UN peace operations and to make recommendation to overcome these. The report published in 2000 made numerous recommendations, categorized by Bellamy and Williams under four headings: improving decision-making at UN headquarters; mandating and resources; rapid and effective deployment; and effectiveness of deployed forces (Bellamy and Williams 2010: 129–133). Though several of the recommendations were welcomed, there was reluctance among member states to embrace the more political aspects of the report; especially, the propagated robustness of peacekeeping was approached with caution. Bellamy and Williams provide an implementation scorecard of the Brahimi Report showing both progress and no progress on several items (Bellamy and Williams 2010: 134). Despite lack of progress on major items, these authors conclude that: the Brahimi Report marked a significant step forward for UN operations, not least by redefining the core tasks of peacekeeping, refocusing basic principles, and setting out a relatively comprehensive programme of UN reform. Although some significant gaps remained, it helped set the agenda for twenty-first century peacekeeping and laid the foundations for the UN to respond to heightening demands for peacekeepers (Bellamy and Williams 2010: 137).

Further reforms such as recommended by the High-Level Panel (2004) and the formulation of the so-called capstone doctrine (2008) also faced reluctance among UN member states, and their proposals were only accepted in diluted form. Bellamy and Williams state that as a result the proposed capstone doctrine was less authoritative and progressive than it had been conceptualized, but that the formulation of “principles and guidelines” itself helped clarify the nature and purpose of UN peace operations as well as best practice (2010: 143). The New Horizon Report of 2009 focused on the cooperation between different stakeholders within the UN, the TCCs and other agencies by, inter alia, improving communication, faster deployment, clarifying the concept of robust peacekeeping and cooperation with regional organizations, thereby reiterating elements of the Brahimi Report (Diehl and Balas 2014: 63). The High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) report (United Nations 2015) reiterates many of the themes addressed in earlier reports, but underlines the urgency to address them, as

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The HIPPO report recommends four essential shifts in the future design and delivery of UN peace operations, among which the notion that political solutions should guide the design and deployment of UN peace operations; that the full spectrum of UN peace operations be drawn upon; more inclusive peace and security partnerships; and more field-focused and people-centered operations. In addition, the report asks attention for conflict prevention and mediation, protection of civilians, the use of force, political vigilance in order to sustain peace, clear direction and forging common purpose, and improving the speed, capability and performance of uniformed personnel. Many of those recommendations echo suggestions made in earlier reforms. In an overview of progress made on HIPPO recommendations, a Clingendael study finds that progress on a number of important issues discussed in the HIPPO report varies across different areas. Importantly, permanent SC members show little willingness to seek meaningful cooperation with other important stakeholders, while also, the so-called Christmas tree mandate dilemma, where many tasks routinely appear in mission mandates, has not yet been overcome. Force generation remains problematic and changing UN bureaucratic processes and preparing troop contributing countries will require long-term investment. The study notes that it appears that there is less progress on the implementation of HIPPO recommendations when these affect power relations. This is particularly significant when it involves member states – permanent members of the Security Council, troop- and police contributing countries, or finance-contributing countries – that fear their positions are affected. Power is the predominant explanation for why the working methods of the Security Council particularly and focused and sequenced mandates are so difficult to change (Van der Lijn et al 2017: 45).

The report adds: Furthermore, in a number of areas, progress cannot be expected overnight, … because adjusting organizational and bureaucratic structures, changing mentalities, establishing funding mechanisms, as well as building new or strengthening existing capacity, takes time (Van der Lijn et al. 2017: 45–46).

The same general picture emerges as in earlier attempts at reform. Reform is at most incremental and slow and is most successful at technical and bureaucratic processes managed by the UN itself, while the larger political issues remain the most difficult ones to tackle.

4.5 Conclusions The implications of the above described trajectory of slow UN reform are that military missions in the field continue to struggle on and muddle through in what have

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been deemed among the most difficult tasks in the contemporary peace and security realm. As shown in this chapter, UN missions have been evolving along different generations creating additional tasks and burdens for peacekeepers and statebuilders in an increasingly complicated world with new security challenges, changing types of warfare (hybrid war), a changing international order with new contenders (China) or renewed assertiveness (Russia) combined with lack of US global leadership and custodianship, sometimes coupled with an active undermining of the institutions underlying the post-WWII neo-liberal order, including the UN. This set of contextual factors compound contemporary peace operations, while in the meantime, peace operations are needed more than ever. Also, the challenges they face in the field are formidable. Above the contradictions and dilemmas they have to deal with, were listed. For none of them exist easy solutions, and dealing with them requires sound assessment and dilemma analysis. It was also stated that the aims set for these missions are often too ambitious leading to self-inflicted failure, while the required unity of purpose and levels of coordination and coherence not rarely prove to be elusive. All in all, demands put on the military in the field are of a tall order. They must be something like a Swiss knife that can accomplish all type of jobs at once. This recalls the well-known Huntington–Janowitz dialogue on the military professional, with Janowitz calling for a politically sensitive military professional with an “enlarged politico-military responsibility” (Roennfeldt 2019: 61–62). The US Marine Commandant General Charles Krulak famously coined the “strategic corporal” in the January 1999 Marines Magazine. Krulak argued that: The inescapable lesson of Somalia and of other recent operations, whether humanitarian assistance, peace-keeping, or traditional war fighting, is that their outcome may hinge on decisions made by small unit leaders, and by actions taken at the lowest level. … These missions will require them to confidently make well-reasoned and independent decisions under extreme stress - decisions that will likely be subject to the harsh scrutiny of both the media and the court of public opinion. In many cases, the individual Marine will be the most conspicuous symbol of American foreign policy and will potentially influence not only the immediate tactical situation, but the operational and strategic levels as well. His actions, therefore, will directly impact the outcome of the larger operation; and he will become, as the title of this article suggests – the Strategic Corporal.

Similarly, in the Dutch context, military training aims to produce the “thinking soldier” who is able to “structure, delimit, reflect, theorize, analyse, criticize and reason” (Nederlandse Defensie Academie 2017: 15), next to possessing the leadership and military professional competences required. As mentioned in the introduction, Joseph Soeters has argued for the need of ambidexterity in military operations. As noted by Shields and Travis (2017: 66): Soeters’ pragmatic approach to ambidexterity, which implies something exceptional such as a soccer player’s skillful use of both feet, can impact warfighting and peacekeeping in many ways. This versatility can address seemingly contradictory goals imbedded in international peacekeeping operations that often employ military skill sets concurrently to carry out other operations.

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The above analysis of challenges facing UN operations and especially the demands placed on the military in the field would necessitate skills and capacities that even move beyond what ambidexterity has to offer and what could properly called “polydexterity” mirroring the Hindu gods Shiva and Lakhsmi with their many feet and hands. Military in the current peace operations has to possess variegated skills, knowledge, capabilities, mental and social capacities—often of a contradictory nature. They must have many talents that they can apply simultaneously with speed, deftness and agility.

References Autesserre, S. (2019). The crisis of peacekeeping. Why the UN can’t end wars. Foreign Affairs, 98(1), 101–116. Barnett, M., Fang, S., & Zürcher, C. (2014). Compromised peacebuilding. International Studies Quarterly, 58(3), 608–620. Bellamy, A. J. (2015). Unity of Effort in UN Peacekeeping. In A. Powles, N. Partow, & N. Nelson (Eds.), United Nations peacekeeping challenges. The importance of an integrated approach (pp. 17–36). Farnham: Ashgate. Bellamy, A. J., Williams, P. D. (2010). Understanding peacekeeping (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press. De Coning, C., & Friis, K. (2011). Coherence and coordination. The limits of the comprehensive approach. Journal of International Peacekeeping, 15(2011), 243–272. Diehl, P. F., & Balas, A. (2014). Peace operations (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Polity Press. Diehl, P. F., & Druckman, D. (2012). Peace Operation success: The evaluation framework. Journal of International Peacekeeping, 16(3–4), 209–225. Edelstein, D. M. (2009). Foreign militaries, sustainable institutions, and postwar statebuilding. In R. Paris & T. Sisk (Eds.), The Dilemmas of statebuilding. Confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations (pp. 81–103). London and New York: Routledge. Egnell, R. (2010). The organised hypocrisy of international state-building. Conflict, Security & Development, 10(4), 465–491. Haass, R. (2019). How a world order ends. And what comes in its wake. Foreign Affairs, 98(1), 22–30. Kaldor, M. (1999). New and old wars. Organized violence in a global era. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Kenkel, K. M. (2013). Five generations of peace operations: From the “thin blue line” to “painting a country blue”. Revista Brasileira de Política Internacional, 56(1), 122–143. Krulak, C. C. (1999, January). The strategic corporal: Leadership in the three block war. Marines Magazine. League of Nations. (1919). The Covenant of the League of Nations (Including Amendments adopted to December, 1924). https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/leagcov.asp. Accessed January 27, 2019. Nederlandse Defensie Academie. (2017). Bachelor Krijgswetenschappen, Studiejaar 2017–2018, (Study Guide Bachelor War Studies, 2017-2018) Breda: Faculteit Militaire Wetenschappen. Paris, R., & Sisk, T. (Eds.). (2009). The Dilemmas of Statebuilding. Confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations. London and New York: Routledge. Roennfeldt, C. F. (2019). Wider officer competence: The importance of politics and practical wisdom. Armed Forces & Society, 45(1), 59–77. Rose, G. (2019). The fourth founding. The United States and the Liberal Order, Foreign Affairs, 98(1), 10–21.

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Rotberg, R. I. (2007). The challenge of weak, failing, and collapsed states. In C. A. Crocker, F. O. Hampson, & P. Aall (Eds.), Leashing the dogs of war, conflict management in a divided WORLD (pp. 83–94). New York: United States Institute of Peace. Serwer, D., & Thomson, P. (2007). A framework for Success: International Intervention in Societies Emerging from Conflict. In C. A. Crocker, F. O. Hampson, & P. Aall (Eds.), Leashing the dogs of war, conflict management in a divided world (pp. 369–389). New York: United States Institute of Peace. Shields, P. M., & Travis, D. S. (2017). Achieving organizational flexibility through ambidexterity. Parameters, 47(2), 65–76. Stedman, S. J. (2001). Spoiler problems in peace processes. In M. E. Brown, O. E. Coté, S. M. Lynn-Jones, & S. E. Miller (Eds.), Nationalism and ethnic conflict (pp. 366–414). Cambridge, MA and London: The MIT Press. Suhrke, A. (2009). The dangers of a tight embrace: Externally assisted statebuilding in Afghanistan. In R. Paris & T. D. Sisk (Eds.), The dilemmas of statebuilding: Confronting the contradictions of postwar peace operations (pp. 227–251). London and New York: Routledge. UNDP. (1994). Human development report 1994. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. United Nations. (1945). Charter of the United Nations and Statute of the International Court of Justice. Chicago. https://treaties.un.org/doc/publication/ctc/uncharter.pdf. Accessed January 27, 2019. United Nations. (2015). Report of the high-level independent panel on peace operations on uniting our strengths for peace: Politics, partnership and people. A/70/95 and S/2015/446. United Nations. (2019a). Our history. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/our-history. Accessed January 28, 2019. United Nations. (2019b). Principles of peacekeeping. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/principles-ofpeacekeeping. Accessed January 28, 2019. United Nations. (2019c). Reforming peacekeeping. https://peacekeeping.un.org/en/reforming-pea cekeeping. Accessed January 28, 2019. Van der Lijn, J. (2006). Walking the tightrope. Do UN peacekeeping operations actually contribute to durable peace? Ph.D. thesis, Nijmegen: Radboud University Nijmegen. Van der Lijn, J., de Rave, R., Smit, T., & Siebenga, R. (2017). Progress on UN peacekeeping reform: HIPPO and beyond. Clingendael Report. https://www.clingendael.org/publication/progress-unpeacekeeping-reform-hippo-and-beyond. Accessed February 11, 2020. WRR. (2017). Veiligheid in een wereld van verbindingen. Een strategische visie op het defensiebeleid. Den Haag: WRR.

Chapter 5

Civil–Military Interaction Meets Civil–Military Relations: Confronting the Two Literatures in a Reflection on Ambidextrous Civil–Military Practices Gwendolyn Bakx, Jori Kalkman, and Myriame Bollen Abstract Civil–military interaction in dynamic environments necessitates concerted, ambidextrous efforts between civilian and military entities. Thus far, both in practice and academically, the focus has been primarily on the modern expeditionary context, whereas civil–military interaction in other deployment contexts received less attention. Conceptualizing civil–military interaction across different deployment contexts, therefore, needs further deliberation. We argue that civil–military relations (CMR) theory offers insights into some of the relevant mechanisms from which civil–military interaction practices may emerge in different contexts. Mainly, CMR enables us to better understand the influence of societal history and culture in shaping these concerted practices. This is important as these dynamics could explain both the similarities and (subtle) differentiations across different settings, tasks, and situations. A research agenda provides suggestions for follow-up studies. Keywords Civil–military interaction · Civil–military relations · Separation · Immersion · Dialogue · Ambidexterity

5.1 Introduction Ambidexterity is deemed an important feature for success, particularly, in dynamic environments (Janssen et al. 2005). Examples can be found in many contemporary conflicts, crises, and disasters, in which the nature and complexity of situations tend to G. Bakx (B) · J. Kalkman · M. Bollen Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] J. Kalkman e-mail: [email protected] M. Bollen e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_5

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exceed the mandates, capacities, resources, or coping strategies of single civilian and military entities. These situations require concerted and ambidextrous civil–military efforts. Synchronization of civilian and military activities may occur over the whole range of military tasks. However, academics on civil–military practices have so far mainly focused on what could perhaps best be labelled as modern expeditionary operations,1 meant to promote international rule of law, order, and stability (e.g. Rehse 2004; Peabody 2006; Rietjens and Bollen 2008; Drent 2011). This focus makes sense as the amount of this type of missions has increased almost exponentially since the end of the Cold War, as has civil–military interaction in this context. Recently, civil–military interaction practices outside the modern expeditionary context expanded also. For example, the need for military contributions to assist civilian authorities in handling safety, security, and humanitarian issues at national and regional2 levels has increased substantially. Calls for humanitarian assistance in other countries, often requiring a similar civil–military approach, increased likewise. Exemplary here are a number of troops in the national anti-terrorism operation Sentinelle in France3 (national context), the military footprint in border control activities at the EU borders during the migration crisis (regional context), and the military involvement in disaster relief missions in Haiti (2010) and Sint Maarten (2017) (foreign military assistance context). Civil–military ambidextrous interaction activities seem to be inextricably linked to these kinds of missions. This chapter reviews whether the research on civil–military interaction practices has kept pace with this expansion of ambidexterity in operations in deployment contexts. As we will find out, literature on civil–military interaction practices is still sparse on national and regional contexts, both empirically and theoretically, and this applies also to the foreign military assistance context. Current state of the art on civil– military interaction has in fact remained firmly grounded in the modern expeditionary context. As we will find out also, this literature has a practical orientation and does not say much on how the knowledge gained in this deployment context can be used in other deployment settings. In this chapter, we have therefore taken up the civil–military relations literature (CMR), a literature that aims to explain (power) relationships between civil societies (and institutions) on the one hand, and their military organizations on the other hand, to study civil–military interaction practices across different deployment contexts. Explored is whether and how this literature 1 Traditionally,

expeditionary operations were quite broadly defined as operations carried out by an “armed force organized to achieve a specific objective in a foreign country” (American Joint Doctrine 2019: 84). Since the end of Cold War, the definition shifts to crisis prevention and crisis response from a national interest and a national security perspective (Gongora 2002), which requires rapid response and general-purpose forces. Humanitarian interests may be a factor in the initiation of these modern expeditionary operations, but only in the context of what the Dutch mention as the promotion of international rule of law, order, and stability. 2 Regional contexts here refer to those regions in which member nations share an international security interest, such as the European Union (EU). 3 During Operation Sentinelle, a French military domestic deployment to ensure homeland security in the aftermath of terrorist attacks troop presence hits 10,000 (Chrisafis 2016).

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could help in gaining a more in-depth understanding on how civil–military interaction practices might differ, both between and within these deployment contexts. The chapter starts with a positioning of the current concepts and policies in the field, combined with a review of the academic literature and policy documents on civil–military interaction practices. Then, the CMR literature is explicated and its potential studied for enriching the conceptualization of civil–military interaction practices across contexts. The chapter ends with a discussion of the results and a proposal for a research agenda.

5.2 Civil–Military Interaction: Concepts, Policies, Literature, and Policy Documents 5.2.1 Concepts and Policies in the Field Traditionally, both civilian and military entities were used to operate without coacting with each other in any structural manner. This changed since the increase in humanitarian and state-building missions in expeditionary mission in the 1990s. The most familiar concepts and policies for civil–military interaction come indeed from the modern expeditionary literature and include “civil–military cooperation” (CIMIC, e.g. Franke 2006; Rietjens and Bollen 2008), “civil–military coordination” (CMCoord or CMCO, e.g. Olson and Gregorian 2007; De Coning 2007), and the “comprehensive” or “integrated approach” (CA).4 CIMIC was one of the early concepts, coined by NATO in the 1990s, when armed forces were confronted structurally, in their peacekeeping and peace enforcing missions, with tasks that were “not precisely ‘military’ in nature” (Rehse 2004: 14). Over time, other concepts for civil–military interaction in expeditionary contexts arrived alongside CIMIC, such as CMCoord and CMCO. CA gained popularity from the 2000s in contexts that necessitated international and multidisciplinary coalitions to combine humanitarian aid, reconstruction, and state-building activities. Within CA, multiple actors work closely together on overall policy goals. Not much consistency seems to exist though, in the use of these concepts and policies, as various actors tend to use different concepts to indicate similar activities or, reversely, use similar concepts for different activities (Olson and Gregorian 2007; De Coning 2007). CIMIC, for instance, has been used both expeditionary and nationally (e.g. Canadian CIMIC doctrine in Celik 2005) 4 Different

expressions exist here for a range of similar concepts, such as CA, multidimension approach, and integration approach. The 3D concept, which is also often mentioned in this regard, refers to a specific aspect of CA, namely the integration of diplomacy, development and defence policies and efforts, i.e. the integrative efforts of these respective government departments. Especially since the international community has realized that nation building should be an integral part of any intervention mission, CA has been central in debates about civil–military interaction. Since the early 2000s, this has led, above all, to a significant increase in publications on civil–military interaction practices.

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as some kind of generic term for civil–military interaction practices. Even when solely the modern expeditionary context is regarded, NATO members tend to differ in explanations and practices regarding CIMIC (Rehse 2004; Brocades Zaalberg 2008). Only few concepts and policies specifically address civil–military interaction in the context of assisting the civilian authoring at the national levels in handling safety, security, and humanitarian issues. “Civil–military interaction” (CMI) and “civil– military collaboration” (CMC) have been used to refer to these contexts, although both terms have often been used also in a more generic sense to indicate a number of civil–military interaction activities and deployment contexts. The Australian and US armed forces, in contrast, have applied specific concepts for civil–military interaction in their national contexts: “defence aid to the civil community” (DACC) in Australia (Queensland Fire and Emergency Services 2018), and “defense support of civil authorities” (DSCA) in the USA (Goss 2006).5 Both concepts specifically relate to civil–military interaction practices within the respective national boundaries, dictating thereby that the military acts under the command of the civilian authorities. No formal policies and concepts exist to our knowledge on contexts in which military elements assist the civilian authorities in the handling of safety, security, and humanitarian issues at the regional level. None have been found, furthermore, for cases in which humanitarian assistance is offered to other countries. This does not mean that civil–military interaction does not occur in these circumstances as the military involvement in the migration crisis at the EU borders (regional level) illustrates, as well as the humanitarian missions in Haiti (2010) and Sint Maarten (2017) (foreign military support context). The EU, as another example, regards its Common Security and Defence Policy an integral part of its comprehensive approach towards crisis management, explicitly claiming thereby drawing on civilian and military assets for its crisis response (EEAS 2018).

5.2.2 Literature and Policy Documents Asymmetry was also found in the academic literature on civil–military interaction practices, in which civil–military interaction outside the modern expeditionary context appeared likewise to be understudied. An extensive body of literature is available on national and international crisis and disaster response, as well as on regional safety and security issues such as the migration crisis. With the exception of studies such as those on hurricane Katrina (e.g. Banks 2006; Brunsma et al. 2007), however, military involvement is hardly addressed in this literature. Policy documents, in the meantime, primarily tend to address civil–military interaction only 5 DSCA

(formerly MACA) is the US umbrella term for civil–military interaction in the national safety and security context, covering missions such as Military Support of Civil Authorities (MSCA), Military Support to Law Enforcement Agencies (MSLEA), Military Assistance for Civil Disturbances (MACDIS), and Military Assistance to Civil Disturbances (MACDIS) (Echevarria 2001; Goss 2006; Porter 2010).

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in terms of governmental structures and organizational duties and processes (e.g. Buchalter 2007; US National Guard 2008; US Department of Defense 2013; Inspectie Veiligheid en Justitie en Audit Functie Defensie 2013; Kommando Streitkräftebasis 2013). Also, while a substantial amount of policy documents can be found on civil– military interaction for national levels, similar documents for regional levels and for the context of foreign military assistance appear much harder to find. The academic literature on civil–military interaction, in other words, mainly seems to cover the modern expeditionary context. What becomes clear from this literature is that the early concept of CIMIC in fact only entails limited ambidexterity as it mainly addresses the one-sided benefit that integrating civilian expertise may hold for military missions (e.g. Longhurst 2007; Brocades Zaalberg 2008). The humanitarian aspect is addressed in CIMIC (Peabody 2006). The concepts CMCoord and CMO are however being considered to focus more on this particular aspect (e.g. Rehse 2004), which is why the UN and NGOs often prefer these concepts over CIMIC. CIMIC, in fact, is rather considered a tactical level doctrine (Drent 2011). This may explain why research on CIMIC often covers operational aspects and frameworks of crisis management (Wendling 2010), to include topics such as how to improve networks, command and control, and the value of intelligence gathering for successful CIMIC operations. Academic studies on CA or the integrated approach, to the contrary, centralizes on holistic and systemic aspects of civil–military interaction practices, obviously exceeding the single domain thereby (Wendling 2010). Although it does build on the accumulated knowledge from the abundant range of studies on CIMIC, it also includes insights from fields such as reconstruction, state building, human rights, and crisis management. Features are studied in this subset of the literature that render CA (un)successful, such as the blurring of civil and military tasks and responsibilities (e.g. Studer 2001; Franke 2006; Pensca 2010), a light footprint approach (e.g. Rietjens et al. 2009), and local participation in civil–military interaction (e.g. Rietjens et al. 2009; Rietjens 2014). Because of the integral nature of the approach, above all, many of the studies focus on how multiple and multidisciplinary actors, both in theatre and proactively, work together on the overall, usually wicked, policy goals of contemporary expeditionary missions. By extension, research on CA also tends to study topics such as complex emergencies (e.g. Spence 2002; Rietjens et al. 2008; Williams 2011), inter-agency, inter-organizational,inter-departmental coherence, cooperation, coordination, and interaction (e.g. Friis and Jarmyr 2008; Drent 2011), and the mixing of different cultures (national and international, civilian and military, UN and NATO, military and diplomatic, etc.) (e.g. Baumann 2008; Norheim-Martinsen 2009; Drent 2011).

5.2.3 Key Considerations From both field policies and concepts, and the review of studies on civil–military interaction above, it turns out that civil–military interaction practices have been

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studied primarily so far in the modern expeditionary context. The research in this field appears to have a practical orientation above all, as much of it is directed on operational aspects, such as command and control, and indicators for success. Still, findings from this context, on blurring lines and cultural aspects, for instance, appear to be relevant to any form of civil–military interaction. The literature does not provide any guidance, however, whether the operationalization of these issues could be universalized to other deployment contexts or requires specification per deployment context. The next section reviews, in this regard, the literature on CMR. This particular literature addresses the effects of societal opinions, customs, and norms on military involvement in missions, which might be especially helpful when considering such a conceptualization of the civil–military interaction practices across different deployment contexts.

5.3 Civil–Military Relations Literature While civil–military interaction focuses on the mutual activities of civilian and military entities, CMR addresses the underlying civil–military relations in societies. Although connecting CMR to civil–military interaction practices from this point of view may seem obvious, the two literatures hardly ever meet. This may be explained by the fact that CMR focuses primarily on the civil–military power arrangements of single nations, while civil–military interaction often occurs in other and across nations. However, the distribution of power and influence between military and civil institutions in societies inevitably influences thoughts and debates about how societies aim to organize their civil–military interaction activities, both in the homeland and elsewhere. The work of CMR founders (Mosca 1939; Stouffer et al. 1949; Janowitz 1961; Huntington 1967) and their successors (Feaver 1996, 1999; Desch 1999; Bland 2001; Schiff 2009) is particularly relevant to consider, therefore, when discussing the fundaments of civil–military interaction practices. CMR scholars ask how societies assure that their military does what they want it to do, as ever since military organizations became institutionalized in civil societies, people wondered about how “those with arms”, the militaries, should relate to “those without arms”, the civilians (Feaver 1999; Rukavishnikov and Pugh 2006). For, by establishing a military, societies aim for “an institution [that is] strong enough to protect civilians[,] yet not so strong as to ignore civilian direction” (Feaver 1996). CMR scholars have proposed solutions for this that broadly fit in two opposing categories: separation and immersion. Huntington (1967), the major advocate of the first approach, proposed “objective civilian control”, advocating a strict separation of the military and civilian domains. Professionalism is supposed to ensure, in this approach, that members of the armed forces are both willing and able to (re)act according to their society’s norms and values. It also includes an officers corps that functions politically independent and relatively autonomously within its own sphere of operations. Strict separation, however, can lower the ambidexterity in civil–military practices as it risks civilian and military entities to grow apart and view situations

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differently. Civilian authorities, above all, could come to neglect the military’s expertise and threat assessments due to a lack of familiarity. Janowitz (1961), in contrast, pleads for “subjective civilian control”, which is based not on separation, but on immersing the members of the military in the civilian domain through active military citizenship. The idea of this is that society can “socialize” its militaries this way (see Burk 2002) to act out that they feel inclined to do what their society wants them to. In the civil–military interaction literature, this separation–immersion divide is, to our knowledge, not discussed. A too strict separation of civilian and military domains in society, however, may problematize collaboration between the two, although time has proven that it has not made it impossible to act together at all. Immersed citizenship, on the other hand, would risk blurring the two domains. Arrangements for civil–military interaction practices will therefore end up somewhere on this separation–immersion dimension. Elements of separation and immersion may thus coexist. The civil–military interaction policy of CA, for instance, a pinnacle of immersion according to some (e.g. Studer 2001; Franke 2006; Pensca 2010), warns at the same time for the blurring of civilian and military entities. This suggests that amidst the integrative efforts of CA, Huntington’s principles still matter. Later scholars in CMR suggest a dimension rather than a strict divide between the separation and immersion perspectives. Western societies, for instance, commonly tend to define the term “civil” in civil–military arrangements from an objective civilian control perspective (Schiff 2009). Not all of them, however, cling to similar degrees of civil–military dichotomy. Both Bland (2001) and Schiff (2009) emphasize, in this regard, that details of how civilian and military institutes relate to each other in societies are coloured by national culture and history, because of which there may not be one best solution for this civil–military problematique (Schiff 2009: 32). Even within societies, moreover, different perspectives on civil–military arrangements might develop (Bland 1999) as societies are no homogeneous entities and citizens usually encompass a plurality of cultural backgrounds. The most relevant model for civil–military arrangements for any particular society arises therefore, Schiff (2009) continues, from the dialogue between its military, political leadership, and citizens. However, if solutions to this civil–military problematique indeed are rooted and evolve with history and culture, then this may well work through in the practice and design of civil–military interaction practices. A first implication of this is that diverging views may exist between societies on how to arrange these practices. Indeed, even close allies who principally adhere to the same CMR principles appear to differ in the extent to which they live up to these principles. The Dutch armed forces, for instance, are among the most active in closely and holistically collaborating with civilian authorities, especially with regard to nation-building activities in modern expeditionary contexts. Perhaps this is because their constitution promotes interventions into the international legal order when international stability is threatened: Article 90 of the Constitution of the Netherlands states that the government should promote the international legal order. As a consequence Dutch foreign and security policy takes a very proactive stance when the international legal order and international stability are threatened.

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Both civilian and military parties in the Netherlands may be open to combining their efforts because of this. Germany, on the other hand, restricted its armed forces so much in the wake of the Second World War (WWII) that, for decennia, they did not allow their military to even participate in any domestic preventive measure (Klose 2006). At the international level, Kosovo Force (KFOR) in 1999 was the first mission after WWII in which Germany participated. A second consequence is that viewpoints might differ among possible co-actors of civil–military interaction practices. Especially when co-actors come from different countries, societies, and institutes, they may differ on how they think civil–military interaction should be established, and to what effect (see Schiff 2009). NGOs, for instance, generally have other roles and responsibilities than the military, the police, and security institutions. NGOs, however, also differ from each other, because of which the majority of them perhaps tend to dissociate themselves from the military, while others might not. Another issue regarding the practice and design of civil–military interaction may follow from the issue that, although historical and cultural depicted arrangements are generally considered reasonably stable over time, sentiments and traditions related to history and culture may adapt to local specifics and timeframes (Bland 2001). Terrorist threats, for instance, may induce societies, if only locally and temporarily, to accept a convergence of civil and military institutions (Lutterbeck 2005) like paramilitary capacities of police forces raised and normalized after the 9/11 attacks (Murray 2005). In Europe, domestic military footprints were likewise allowed to grow substantially after the recent terrorist attacks (Kalkman 2019). Sentiments and traditions regarding civil–military interaction practices may, however, also change with the specific tasks to be performed (Bland 1999). War missions, for example, allow in most constitutions and cultures for other civil–military arrangements and practices than nation-building missions in which interacting with local civilian authorities is considered a necessity for mission success. Another example is that in the Netherlands the armed forces are encouraged to co-act with the police to fight crime, while they are less easily to be called upon to restore national public order. Similar divergences might be experienced when considering a society’s willingness to deploy armed forces abroad versus its acceptance of large military footprints at home, even when these are its own. Although this issue is under-researched, such divergence might hold for Western societies especially, because generally these nations tend to adhere to the principles of objective civilian control (see Huntington 1967). Reluctance is grounded as such in their histories and cultures against applying too large a military footprint at home, which does not seem to arise very easily, interestingly, when deploying troops abroad. National and regional involvement of the military may thus be subject to more nuances and restrictions than deployments in modern expeditionary contexts abroad.

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In either context though, the history and culture of all the different participants involved both challenge and forced co-actors to balance one’s own (country’s) sentiments and traditions with those of others. Especially in the preparation and during missions in countries at large cultural distances, it may be challenging to arrive at positions that does justice to the perspectives present on relevant issues in both the host nation and the own society (see Schiff 2009).

5.3.1 Key Considerations In connecting CMR and the civil–military interaction literature, some grounds have been given for why the civil–military interaction domain is not in particular an orderly sphere of activity. Traditions and sentiments evolving from history and culture might explain, when considering the CMR literature, why and how nations, but also actors within nations, may differ in their views on whether and how to arrange ambidexterity in its civil–military interaction practices across contexts, domains, and tasks. The conceptualization of these civil–military interaction practices, however, is not a panacea, especially not when, for instance, the field of safety, security, and humanitarian issues at national and regional levels is considered with its many different deployment contexts. CMR could be helpful in this though, as the grounding in history and culture suggests that progress in this can be established by studying how traditions, contexts, and sentiments may relate to each other.

5.4 Discussion In this chapter, we have reviewed policies and concepts of civil–military interaction, as well as some relevant research in this field. Reason for this was the extension of deployment contexts that asked for an increase in civil–military ambidexterity in the past decennia. It turns out that civil–military interaction has mainly received interest in the modern expeditionary context, both practically and academically. Civil–military interaction in other deployment contexts, such as the foreign military support context and the context in which national and regional civilian authorities are assisted in their handling of safety, security, and humanitarian issues, has so far largely been neglected. Especially, civil–military interaction in these latter domains has been understudied. Unclear has remained, furthermore, whether and how principles of civil–military interaction should be specified per deployment context. Important insights into this were found in the CMR literature. Especially, the consideration of history and culture that CMR emphasizes seems a fruitful start for building a framework for the conceptualization of civil–military interaction practices, as some well-known scholars in this field emphasize that any norm in society for balancing its military activities is culturally and historically rooted. CMR’s contribution in this regard therefore primarily lies in pointing out the role that both history

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and culture of the actors involved may play in the evolvement of civil–military interaction practices. This is important as the dynamics of this could explain the presence of both similarities and (subtle) differentiations in the field of civil–military interaction practices. Explicit knowledge about histories and cultures may offer, above all, a richer understanding in why and what stands governments and other relevant actors may take on the separation–immersion dimension discussed earlier in this chapter, and in how these positions could affect national and other arrangements of civil–military interaction practices. This positioning has to our knowledge, however, not been addressed in the field of civil–military interaction so far. Although a CMR perspective seems to be fruitful, in particular for the conceptualization of civil–military interaction practices over different deployment contexts, this paper does not intend to be the final word on how to theoretically approach this. Moreover, the consideration of history and culture in itself does not make the conceptualization of civil–military interaction practices much easier, as both history and culture may interact with contexts in complex ways. How history and culture (and its resultant traditions and sentiments) affect civil–military (power) relations is difficult to unravel with certainty, therefore, particularly when all the different deployment contexts are considered. Perhaps the most important contribution in this regard comes from Schiff (2009), who argues that a society’s civil–military arrangements typically arise from the dialogue between its military, political leadership, and citizens. Conceptualizations for civil–military interaction practices could thus perhaps likewise best follow per deployment context from dialogues between all the relevant (co-)actors, including, if applicable, NGOs, semi-governmental institutions, and authorities. One thing to keep in mind, above all, is that CMR basically addresses the power relations between civilian and military entities within single nations specifically. The projection, therefore, of insights from this literature into the domain of civil–military interaction, if valuable, should be done with care. That said, the application of CMR to the field of civil–military interaction could not just contribute to the understanding of civil–military interaction practices, but also extend CMR literature beyond its current restriction to internal dynamics in societies. Some pathways to consider in this regard have been formulated in the final paragraphs below.

5.4.1 Research Agenda CMR obviously offers insights that trigger further research into how to arrange ambidexterity in civil–military interaction practices across different contexts as the cultural and historical influence on civil–military arrangements that CMR points out may be a relevant new base for reflecting on the civil–military interaction domain. The field of civil–military interaction has nevertheless rarely been connected to the CMR literature. This paper suggests to do so, and to investigate whether and how CMR dynamics may account for context-dependent variations.

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Questions could be asked, in this regard, like: “How important, and for whom, is the issue of civilian oversight in civil–military practices when the different deployment contexts are considered?”; “In what ways could civil–military interaction practices influence sentiments and traditions of populations, and how is this historically and culturally informed?”; “What dilemmas could emerge when one country is providing foreign military assistance to another country, while both differ in their norms for ambidexterity in civil–military arrangements?” For a more thorough understanding of the underlying mechanisms of how civil–military interaction practice may emerge, we suggest, furthermore, to study whether and how elements of both immersion and separation might coexist in civil–military interaction arrangements, and also how historical and cultural traditions and sentiments may affect power dynamics between civilian and military entities (and vice versa) in actual civil–military interaction practices. CMR could as such help to provide relevant considerations in the conceptualization of civil–military interaction practices in specific contexts as knowledge on history and culture may help to understand how these practices may differ within and between contexts and adapt over time. By including this research agenda, we aim to contribute to the conceptualization of civil–military interaction strategies and practices across different deployment contexts. This conceptualization could support policy-makers, we believe, in coming to better-informed decision-making, and ignite, above all, a broader academic debate on the relevance (and implications) of adjacent literatures for the field of civil–military interaction.

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Chapter 6

Bombing ISIS. Public Support and Public Dilemmas Jan Van der Meulen

Abstract This chapter unravels public opinion about bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Mostly based on polls from PEW Research Center, it makes comparisons between global, American and European publics. It offers a glimpse of Syrian public opinion as well. The chapter explains the broad support for air strikes conducted by the US-led international coalition. It also looks at countries that do not fit the overall pattern. Beneath the broad support for the bombing campaign, different gut feelings on military force are explored. Favoring a ruthless or a cautious military approach divides public opinion. While, on average, Europe has a pro-cautious majority, differences between and within European countries are conspicuous. In the USA, on average, gut feelings on military force are in perfect balance. There is a wide gap however between Republicans (large pro-ruthless majority) and Democrats (large pro-cautious majority). Avoiding unintended civilian casualties because of bombing, is the most painful dilemma publics, like politicians and military professionals, are confronted with. Research suggests that in general, public opinion tends to accept unintended casualties. Bombing ISIS has generated contested figures about civilian casualties. Different assessments by authorities and watchdogs are confusing to the public. Justifying “small massacres” is a typical characteristic of “risk-transfer war.” Keywords Public opinion · ISIS · Military force · Civilian casualties · Risk transfer

6.1 Introduction From the summer of 2014 onwards, an American-led international coalition waged air war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In this chapter I unravel public opinion about this campaign. My analysis first and foremost will be based on the polls of PEW Research Center (PEW). Besides a wealth of data about American public opinion, J. Van der Meulen (B) Emeritus Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_6

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PEW provides many international overviews. The surveys constitute a solid source for comparing regions and countries. For our purposes here, after a close look at publics around the world, we will mostly alternate between polls in the USA and across Europe. Measuring support for military missions has a respectable pedigree, going back to World War II. The body of research has always been overly American but so have the wars. Since the first Gulf War polling more and more internationalized and after 9/11, this development accelerated. The war against Iraq, which started in the spring of 2003, probably has most strongly pushed debates about explaining the rise and fall of public support. Weighing tolerance for military casualties and its effect on mission support has been central to many debates in this field (Isernia and Everts 2015). In this, chapter I will rather focus on tolerance for civilian casualties. As we will see in the first paragraph, public support for bombing ISIS has been broad and almost global. That is quite exceptional but easy to understand, at first glance. The loathe and fear for ISIS cut across countries and cultures. But, of course, there is never complete consensus and I will single out a couple of countries for a quick, closer look. The second paragraph shows that beneath the surface of selfevident support for bombing, there are divides in public opinion, between and within countries. They circle around different approaches to applying military force. How cautious? How ruthless? There are difficult dilemmas at play here that provoke public gut feelings. Projecting “ambidexterity” throughout this chapter would be overstretching the concept. In its own common-sense ways however, public opinion deals with the same choices and dilemmas that haunt political decision makers and military professionals. Supporting or opposing bombing ISIS, using military force either ruthless or cautious, risking civilian casualties, yes or no, these are the typical choices at stake. Avoiding civilian casualties is the most painful dilemma and tests the limits of the ambidextrous mind. The latter dilemma will be central to the third paragraph. I will try to figure out public feelings about civilian casualties because of air strikes. Somewhat to my surprise, I did not find any polls—neither by PEW nor other ones—that directly addressed civilian casualties in the context of bombing ISIS. Other research, however, experimental surveys in particular, will prove helpful. While the international coalition admits responsibility for unintended casualties, contested, incidents and numbers make it difficult for the public to form an opinion. Independent watchdog Airwars scrutinizes and criticizes official information. We briefly look at some examples. A rare survey among Syrian citizens—who stayed and survived—closes this paragraph. This chapter zooms in on public views of a military operation that was part of something much bigger and more complex. Fighting the extremist group that called itself ISIS was not just about targeting its self-acclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria. It was also about taking on its physical and virtual networks that instigated and inspired worldwide terrorist attacks. These threats mobilized security communities and law enforcement institutions all over the world. Counterterrorism came to be fought on multiple fronts (Fijnaut 2016). Basically, all of that is outside the scope of

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my argument. But some of the terrorism that struck European cities will be recalled. It helps explain the strength of public support for bombing ISIS. Finally, under “discussion,” at the end of a chapter that is mainly empirical and analytical, I will very lightly touch upon theory. It’s a brief pitch about “risk-transfer war” (Shaw 2005).

6.2 Into Syria In the early summer of 2013, more than 60% of American public opinion and on average more than 70% of public opinion in twelve European countries rejected military involvement in Syria (Transatlantic Trends 2013). By then, Syria was a violent imbroglio of epic proportions. Its president, Bashar al-Assad, had ignited civil war by brutally repressing peaceful protests that sprung up during the Arab Spring of 2011. Soon, internal and external contenders, with different interests and loyalties, escalated the violence and multiplied the conflicts. The West supplied arms to democratic opposition groups and demanded the resignation of Assad (Roelants 2019: 81–113). Although the tragic suffering of Syria’s citizens was crystal clear, US President Barack Obama was extremely reluctant to consider military intervention. Like the public, the president was war-weary after the drawn-out fiascos in Afghanistan and Iraq. Even when Assad used chemical weapons against his own people—crossing the red-line Obama himself had drawn—the latter stuck to his foreign policy mantra: “Don’t do stupid shit” (Goldberg 2016). In the course of 2014, the extremist Islamic group ISIS, heir to Al-Qaeda in Iraq, took hold of big chunks of Iraq and Syria (Stern and Berger 2015: 32–51). With astonishing speed, it crushed the Iraqi army in Mosul and moved on to conquer Raqqa in Syria. The cruelties ISIS perpetrated during its march, against individual citizens, soldier–prisoners and ethnic and religious groups, shocked the world. Their “marketing of savagery” deliberately aimed at such an effect while it also served as a recruiting tool (Stern and Berger 2015: 3). In reaction to the moves and brutalities of ISIS, the military involvement that president Obama so much had wished to avoid, gradually took shape. By now, he had American public opinion on his side. Within a year, a remarkable change of mood was in the air.

6.2.1 American Views (1) In the first week of August 2014, the looming massacre of tens of thousands of Iraqi Yezidis was prevented, though not completely, by American air strikes and Kurdish fighters on the ground (Stern and Berger 2015: 47, 48). PEW Research Center asked U.S. public opinion (August 14–17): “Do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. air strikes against militants in Iraq in response to violence against civilians?” A majority of 54% approved the air strikes, 31% disapproved, 15% did not know or

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did not answer (PEW 2014a). Note that the issue is about saving civilians. In its characteristic way, ISIS reacted by murdering civilian hostages. The beheading of the American journalist James Foley—of which a gruesome video was put online on August 19—was one of the tipping points (Stern and Berger 2015: 1, 2). In September, the campaign against ISIS dramatically stepped up its goal and reach. An international coalition joined the Americans in their efforts to, as Obama put it “degrade, and ultimately destroy ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy” (Stern and Berger 2015: 49). Again PEW questioned the American public (September 11–14): “As you may know, Barack Obama has announced a plan for a military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria, involving U.S. air strikes and U.S. military training for opposition groups. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of this plan?” A majority of the respondents (53%) supported president Obama’s plan, while 29% opposed it and 19% did not know or refused to answer. This majority manifested itself both among Republicans (64%) and Democrats (60%), an unusual display of bi-partisanship, according to PEW (2014b). The formulation of the question reflected some of the complexity of the conflict. “Opposition groups” in Syria were not only or primarily fighting Islamic militants but rather and to begin with Assad’s régime. One way or another, the USA was now bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria. When PEW repeated the question in October (12–15) and in February 2015 (18–22), opposition groups were left out: “Overall do you approve or disapprove of the U.S. military campaign in Iraq and Syria?” The majority that approved grew from 53% in September to 57% in October and reached 63% in February (PEW 2015a). American public opinion clearly backed bombing ISIS in both countries. What about the rest of the world?

6.2.2 Global Support In the spring of 2015 (April 5 to May 21), PEW polled public opinion in 39 countries around the world. The question was: “Do you support or oppose U.S. military actions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria?” (PEW 2015b). We have to assume that respondents were well aware that “military actions,” basically stood for American air strikes. Other countries joined the bombing campaign. A number of these (France, Great Britain, Australia, Jordan) were represented in the survey. Many countries contributed to the international coalition in other ways—money, intelligence, training. But sure, the USA was in the lead and conducted most of the air strikes by far. Emphasizing “American,” may have contributed to relatively low support in Latin America, especially in Argentina. In other regions though, where sympathy for the USA cannot be taken for granted either, support prevailed. As Table 6.1 shows, in most countries in Asia and Africa, clear majorities backed bombing ISIS. The same can be said about countries in the neighborhood of the warzone. Israeli public opinion (84%) was the most supportive of all countries in this poll even more than the Americans themselves (80%). Interestingly, PEW points out that within Israel,

6 Bombing ISIS. Public Support and Public Dilemmas Table 6.1 Do you support or oppose U.S. military actions in Iraq and Syria?

87 Support (%)

Oppose (%)

USA

80

15

Canada

66

20

France

81

17

Italy

70

21

Spain

67

24

UK

66

20

Poland

65

19

Ukraine

33

31

Russia

67

24

Israel

84

9

Lebanon

78

19

Jordan

77

22

Palest territory

63

37

Turkey

48

30

South Korea

78

18

Australia

77

13

Philippines

72

19

India

64

17

Indonesia

64

20

Japan

57

33

Vietnam

55

24

Malaysia

28

45

Pakistan

16

33

Brazil

46

41

Mexico

36

49

Chile

32

39

Peru

26

47

Venezuela

26

51

Argentina

22

62

Kenya

75

18

Nigeria

70

13

Uganda

69

22

Ghana

67

22

Tanzania

54

31

Burkina Faso

47

23

Senegal

45

41

Ethiopia

41

30

South Africa

38

31 (continued)

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Table 6.1 (continued) Median

Support (%)

Oppose (%)

62

24

Source PEW Research Center (Spring 2015)

“87% of Jews and 69% of Arabs” supported American air strikes (PEW 2015b: 16). Adding the 53% majority in the Palestinian territories, a degree of consensus showed in and around Israel that almost looks like a miracle. In reality, it was ISIS. Such a consensus even underlines how support was distributed across countries, cultures and religions. In most nations, with significant Muslim populations, substantial majorities supported the American air strikes. A couple of exceptions (Malaysia, Senegal, Pakistan) calls for close reading and local knowledge that is beyond this chapter. In Turkey, a plurality (48%) was in support of the American air strikes, but only 36% supported being part of the international coalition that was an extra question PEW asked in just a few countries. These relatively low figures reflect Turkey’s complex interests and alliances. Political and public debate was pre-occupied with the Kurdish question (Hlavsová et al. 2018). Of course, Turkey is one of the most important power brokers in the region and did not shy away from delivering its share of air strikes and other military operations in Syria. Part of it was about targeting ISIS, most of it about fighting Kurds. Of all countries in this survey, public opinion in Russia showed the strongest opposition (67%) to the American air strikes. In the spring of 2015, Russia’s own military involvement in the Syrian imbroglio probably was nascent. On the diplomatic front, however, right from the beginning, Russian had been blocking UN resolutions that could have given bombing ISIS a stronger legal basis. Only after ISIS blew up a Russian jetliner, above the Sinai, on October 31, 2015, a UN resolution could pass (Scharf 2016).1 Just a few days before, Russia itself had already begun bombing in Syria. It would not only target ISIS but any other group that opposed Assad. Allegedly, Russian bombing also aimed to “generate refugees,” pressuring Europe in general and Angela Merkel’s Germany in particular (Snyder 2018: 198). As Table 6.1 clearly shows, public opinion in Western countries whole-heartedly supported the American air strikes against ISIS. Majorities ranged from 66% in Canada to 77% in Australia and from 62% in Germany to 81% in France. Small differences, that nevertheless can be telling. We take a closer look at the European pattern in the next paragraph. Let us conclude this paragraph with a comparative observation. The present survey measured a strikingly different pattern of global public opinion, than the one found in autumn 2001. At that time, in the wake of 9/11, the USA attacked Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. To summarize the mood back then in a nutshell, the attack on Afghanistan was supported by publics in most Western countries and was opposed by most publics in other regions (Isernia and Everts 2015: 185–202). 1 ‘Resolution

2249 (…) determined that ISIS is “a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security,” and called for “all necessary measures” to “eradicate the safe haven [ISIS] established” in Syria (Scharf 2016: 50).

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So, in 2015, the degree of consensus was much higher—granted that the number of countries was half as big as in 2001. With samples of different sizes, both surveys offered global snapshots that highlighted public opinion in very diverse countries around the world. They do not exhaust our curiosity but on the contrary, beg many other questions. One of them always is about trends in time, others always about differences between and within countries. First, we take Berlin, and then, we take Manhattan.2

6.2.3 Acts of War In its spring survey of 2016, PEW repeated the question about bombing ISIS, in a slightly different formulation: “Do you support or oppose the US-led military actions against the Islamic militant group in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS?” (PEW 2016a). This time only European countries were polled. These were the same six as a year before plus four additional ones. In most countries, the already existing strong support got even stronger. From the four new countries, Sweden (81%) and The Netherlands (77%) very much confirmed the overall picture. In Hungary (53%) and Greece (48%), the number of people supporting the bombings was relatively smaller, while still constituting a majority and a plurality, respectively. Just like in 2015, public opinion in France topped the list, with 84% supporting the military actions against the Islamic militant group in Iraq and Syria known as ISIS. On March 22, just before the poll was taken, Brussels had been hit by multiple terrorist attacks, at Zaventem airport and Maalbeek subway station. Some month earlier, on November 13, terrorists struck in Paris, with attacks against the Bataclan music theater and other targets. The deadly violence in both cities was claimed by ISIS, and the networks of the perpetrators overlapped. Belgium had been hit more often in the years before, most notably on May 24, 2014, by an attack targeting the Jewish Museum. France had suffered a string of terrorist violence throughout 2014 and 2015. The attack on Charlie Hebdo, on January 7, 2015, appeared to be organized by a Yemen-based group, related to Al-Qaeda. After the Bataclan carnage, President François Hollande addressed French parliament with dramatic words: “France is at war … But we are not engaged in a war of civilizations, because these assassins do not represent any civilization” (Henley 2015). To counter the acts of war committed by ISIS, in addition to steppingup internal security measures and counterterrorism operations, President Hollande announced an intensification of air strikes in Syria and Iraq. These entailed tripling Frances’s strike capacity and sending the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle to the Eastern Mediterranean. In the immediate aftermath of Bataclan, French fighter jets conducted the biggest air strikes so far. In Raqqa, they dropped 20 bombs on a command and a recruitment center, a training camp and a munition depot (Henley 2015). 2 Leonard

Cohens sang it the other way around. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsvRcZiFj8g.

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Of course, discussions flared up about whether it would all be enough to defeat ISIS and its caliphate. Could air strikes together with local forces on the ground really bring about the crushing of ISIS? Had not the moment arrived to yet again bring in American and other countries’ boots on the ground? (Cohen 2015). In its survey, PEW did not ask European respondents about ground troops or other specific options. It did try to measure more general preferences for what would be the best approach way in using military force to defeat terrorism.

6.2.4 Military Force PEW formulated two statements that suggested different, more or less opposite ways of using military force while fighting terrorism (PEW 2016a). The first statement was “Using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world.” The second statement was “Relying too much on military force creates hatred that leads to more terrorism.” The question was: “which statement comes closer to your own views?” The researchers choose to speak about terrorism in general. That sounds a bit like invoking the “war on terror,” the much criticized post 9/11 slogan. But let us assume that in the spring of 2016, most of the respondents, if not all of them, really were thinking about ISIS and its savagery, in Syria, in Europe and elsewhere. If part of the people had other terrorist groups on their mind as well, so be it. What exactly “using overwhelming military force” stands for and what “relying too much on military force” means, may very well differ for respondents. The two statements are not crystal clear opposites. “Using overwhelming military force” seems to focus exclusively on the operational, on scope and degree. “Relying too much on military force,” seems to implicate a broader non-military field. “Hate” introduces an extra dimension. Both statements can feel tempting but also risky. One sounds decisive, if not victorious, but runs the risk of hubris. The other sounds measured, if not emphatic, but run the risk of evasion. Put simple and down below, it is hard versus soft, an elementary dichotomy and a binary metaphor. This is a real dilemma that provokes gut feelings. I say, one statement stands for a ruthless military approach to terrorism, the other for a cautious approach. Ideally, societies and military organizations have to find a mix of both approaches, carefully reading the moment, courageously rising to the occasion. Sometimes like Odysseus, sometimes like Achilles (Soeters 2013). But again, here, we are talking gut feelings. Table 6.2 shows the results. On average, Europe is a pro-cautious majority continent, with a substantial proruthless minority—the difference between the two blocks of gut feelings being around 10%. That is not a big gap. Pro-cautious majorities are the largest in The Netherlands, Germany, Greece, UK and Spain. France is rather close to the European average and Sweden even more so. Poland, Italy and Hungary have pro-ruthless majorities. Some of the differences fit national images or stereotypes, and some do not. Finding the Netherlands and Germany among the most pro-cautious countries is not

6 Bombing ISIS. Public Support and Public Dilemmas Table 6.2 Statement 1. “Using overwhelming military force…….” Statement 2. “Relying too much on military force……”

91

Overwhelming (%)

Too much (%)

France

44

51

Sweden

47

49

Netherlands

30

66

Germany

29

64

UK

34

57

Italy

52

39

Poland

52

30

Spain

37

55

Hungary

51

40

Greece

29

64

Median

41

53

Source PEW Research Center (Spring 2016)

surprising. Neither surprising is that Poland proves to be the most pro-ruthless country and Hungary in the second place. But seeing the UK, quite clearly, and France, a bit less so, as pro-cautious majority countries, goes against expectations because of the martial reputation of Great Britain and because of the French predicament at the time. By the way, France, UK and The Netherlands, all three cautious majority countries, were the only ones participating in the air strikes of the international coalition. How to read Sweden’s almost perfect divide? And what about the differences between Greece, Spain and Italy—the former two with pro-cautious majorities, the latter a pro-ruthless country. Leaning on just one question as an indicator of ruthlessness is a bit shaky. Nonetheless, we have food for thought here. Evidently, we need local knowledge for a better understanding of the views on this difficult dilemma. And of course, we need to know about the rest of Europe. Let us hypothesize, extrapolating from these ten countries, and that on average, European public opinion is rather divided on the best approach to defeat terrorism. Gut feelings favoring overwhelming military force do no trail that far behind gut feelings fearing too much military force.

6.2.5 American Views (2) Some surprise: In the USA, the answers to this collective dilemma were perfectly in balance: 47% pro-cautious versus 47% pro-ruthless. The poll took place at the same time as in Europe (April 12–19, 2016) but was going back more than 10 years (PEW 2016b). During that period, the trend had been up from 51% (2004) to 57% (2014) favoring the cautious approach. In this period, favoring “overwhelming military force” stayed at the same level, just below 40%. This pattern changed, however, since “ISIS registered widely as a security threat with the public” (PEW 2016b: 39).

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So, the researchers too reckoned that in 2016, people answered this kind of general question with ISIS on their mind. Compared to European answer- patterns in 2016, US public opinion within ten years went from looking like France, to looking like the UK, to ending up like Sweden. In the spring of 2016, some two-thirds of both Republicans and Democrats still supported the military campaign against ISIS. However, by now, they had quite different views on the best military approach. Ruthless was favored by 70% of the Republicans and 31% of the Democrats. Cautious was favored by 65% of the Democrats and by 24% of the Republicans. Among the latter, supporters of Donald Trump, at that time, a candidate in the race for the Republican presidential nominee, were the most pro-ruthless. To 77% of them, using overwhelming military force was the best way to defeat terrorism around the world (PEW 2016b). The deep divide between Republicans and Democrats sustains the idea that these statements measure real gut feelings. The validity of the question gets a boost. Additional circumstantial evidence: the partisan opponents just as strongly differed on “sending ground troops to fight Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria.” Among Democrats, 65% were opposed versus 31% in favor. Among Republicans, 68% were in favor versus 28% opposed (PEW 2016b). The Republicans did get their president, but he definitely was not going to send ground troops. Ruthless it would be though. In his first State of the Union, on January 20, 2017, President Trump promised “to unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” This is probably about contra terrorism in general but military force no doubt is included. As a presidential contender, referring to ISIS, Trump had announced that he would “bomb the shit out of those suckers” (Roelants 2019: 130). But was not that what the USA had been doing all along under President Obama? (Mogelson 2017). Certainly, the latter had received his share of criticism about targeting terrorists with drones, wherever they could be located. How much secrecy? Against what price? Which finally brings us to the mother of all dilemmas—avoiding civilian casualties while striking military targets.

6.2.6 Civilian Casualties Much of the debate about public support for military missions has been about assessing the effects of military casualties. The bottom-line hypothesis states that a rising number of fallen soldiers causes decline of public support. All sorts of intervening variables have been elaborated to depict differences, one way or the other. To summarize: The rise and fall of support for military operation invite multiple explanations. Necessities, successes and benefits, failures, political frames, media narratives, it all matters and interacts. It contextualizes the impact of military casualties within the specifics of history and society (Van der Meulen and Soeters 2005; Isernia and Everts 2015).

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In a sense and to some degree, probably, a similar kind of dynamics could be said to apply to the impact of civilian casualties. But here, we have no bottom-line hypothesis postulating that it is a crucial variable for explaining the decline of public support. An evaluation of earlier research, from the First Gulf War onward, concluded that the (great) majority of public opinion as a rule willingly accepts civilian casualties (Larson and Savych 2006). There are some conditions though that make acceptance more or less easy. It matters a lot if public opinion trusts the military doing its utmost to avoid “misfortunes of war.” Strong mission support enhances the acceptance of unintended casualties. Also, the public seems to be well aware of opponents that deliberately provoke civilian casualties, as part of their strategy and tactics. At the same time, specific incidents may have a negative impact, not seldom aggravated by press coverage and governmental cover-ups (Larson and Savych 2006). In recent years, studies using experimental research designs have measured more inventively and more critically where public opinion stands (Kreps 2014; Kreps and Wallace 2016; Sagan and Valentino 2018; Johns and Davies 2019). Presented with specific scenarios in which military force must be applied, respondents are asked to choose between different options. They have to weigh goals versus consequences, legal norms versus operational effects, military casualties versus civilian casualties. They have to make decisions about air strikes, artillery strikes and drone strikes. In short, respondents are confronted with realistic and difficult dilemmas. The outcomes of these studies deepen our understanding of public perceptions and preferences. At the end of the day, the majority of citizens still seem to prioritize the lives of their own soldiers above the lives of distant strangers. To the degree that the latter can be seen as sympathizing with the enemy, not to speak of supporting them, their lives count even for less. Better safe than sorry sums up the thrust of many of the choices made. The mainstream of public opinion falls short of recognizing the moral and legal finesse of what it means to be a civilian in war. Providing them with information that is derived from concepts like “due care,” “distinction” and “proportionality” can make a difference. It does not seem to change the overall picture though. As I said in the introduction, I did not find polls that addressed specifically the issue of unintended civilian casualties in the context of bombing ISIS. On the basis of the research I briefly summarized, the expectation is warranted that, one way or the other, public perceptions would not have made a difference for strong overall-support. Even less so because, as the researchers themselves acknowledge, in raw reality, information about civilian casualties is far more diffuse—often totally lacking—than in sophisticatedly staged experiments.

6.2.7 Numbers What would we know about the civilian casualties who fell victim to bombs targeting ISIS, if it were not for the very professional and very critical work of the NGO Airwars? A lot less, that is for sure. Nonetheless, as things stand, much remains unclear about civilian casualties because of bombing. At the beginning of 2020, the

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International Coalition has taken responsibility for 1359 unintended civilian deaths. That is, in Syria and Iraq, from the start of the air campaign onwards, Airwars counted and verified 8252 civilian dead. That is a minimum, the maximum might be as high as 13,157 (Airwars 2020a). So, there is a huge gap between official and nonofficial figures. Are the authorities downplaying incidents and numbers? Is Airwars overstating stories and claims? Or is it about different counts because of different criteria? Or even more fundamentally, about defining the dead within warzones where not just bodies, but space itself tends to be annihilated?3 Airwars acknowledges that the International Coalition admits responsibility for a substantial number of casualties. There is a serious degree of transparency. There are contacts, and there is information sharing. That is a sharp contrast with the Russian approach. While Airwars reports between 3735 and 5510 civilian casualties because of Russian air strikes, military authorities have taken responsibility for zero dead. As was already observed in this chapter, the Russian bombing campaign essentially has supported Assad’s reconquering of Syria. It has targeted ISIS, but other groups of regime opponents just as well. It has deliberately and systematically targeted hospitals (Airwars 2020b; Brown 2019). The latter is inconceivable for the International Coalition. Professional ethics and political oversight make it unthinkable. For civil society and public opinion, it would be intolerable. Which is not to say that gray areas and difficult dilemmas do not allow for “savage restraint” that pushes the limits of legality and legitimacy (Ben-Ari et al. 2010: 151–173). A steep rise in civilian casualties in the course of 2017, because of American bombing, has been critically scrutinized and sharply criticized. Was it “just” a reflection of heightened urban warfare that raged in Mosul and Raqqa? Or had rules been loosened by President Trump, giving the military more leeway in conducting air strikes? (Roelants 2019: 130–132). What is all right for US public opinion? I guess they would have answered divided. Pro-ruthless versus pro-cautious. What did and does Dutch public opinion feel about seventy civilian casualties, who fell in Hawija, Iraq, on June 3, 2015, because of Dutch air strikes? The number of casualties has been verified by Airwars, but has not been confirmed by the International Coalition (Airwars 2020c). For a couple of years, the incident had stayed under the radar before being brought into the open by investigative journalism (Schippers and Versteegh 2019). Seventy dead in one air strike is a big number, even for the standards of Iraq and Syria. It was unintended, of course. The bombs targeted a munitions depot, so big, and it turned out that the whole vicinity blew up. Was it a calculated risk? Was it a lack of information? On the other hand, how many people would have been killed if ISIS had been able to use the munitions for its own warfare and terrorism? And what if some of the casualties were not civilians at all? These are legitimate doubts and dilemmas. They should not distract though from the fact that innocent people have been killed, by Dutch bombs, men, women, children.

3 One

of the most authoritative scientists in this field is Dereck Gregory. On his Web site he shares his critical and always up to date insights and publications under the heading: Geographical Imaginations. War, spaces and bodies. https://geographicalimaginations.com.

6 Bombing ISIS. Public Support and Public Dilemmas Table 6.3 Overall influence on the affairs in Syria?

95 Positive (%)

Negative (%)

Turkey

41

57

Russia

41

58

Assad regime

40

57

Opposition

40

58

Hezbollah

35

62

Iran

32

64

EU

30

59

Internat coalition

26

69

YPG/Kurds

15

68

Syrian DF

15

70

Al Nusrah

10

88

3

96

Islamic State

Source ORB International (March 2018)

6.2.8 Aftermath In the spring of 2018, the “Islamic militant group known as ISIS” was still perceived as a major threat by public opinion around the world (PEW 2019). In many places, memories of vicious attacks, instigated or inspired by ISIS, were fresh. In the course of 2016 and 2017, to an already sinister list, a string of European cities had been added. Among the most memorables are Istanbul (again!), Nice, Berlin, London, Stockholm, Manchester and Barcelona. By 2018, the “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria was on the verge of being completely dismantled and destroyed. However, that did not take away the threat of terrorism, instigated or inspired by ISIS. In the spring of 2018, another survey took place in Syria itself. Quite remarkable, under the circumstances, but in fact, it had been done also a year before. ORB International specializes in conducting surveys in “complex environments,” fragile and conflict states included.4 This was a “face-to-face poll, across all 14 regions of Syria of 1001 adults” (ORB International 2018). The researchers checked for national representativeness. There are bound to be serious reliability problems, but comparisons with 2017 make the results more robust, I guess. It is a “rare snapshot of national opinion in Syria” indeed. It would need an insiders or an expert’s view, to read the data in an authoritative manner. Without such a background the survey nonetheless provides some fascinating and sobering insights for our purposes here. Tables 6.3 shows the results of a question about the role of no less than twelve contenders, states and non-states. The question was: “Do you think overall their influence on the affairs in Syria is positive or negative?” Positive and negative had two variants: somewhat and strongly. The report leaves out this nuance. Maybe it

4 https://orb-international.com/about/#whoweare.

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would have made the international coalition look somewhat less bad, just like the EU. But, of course, this is partisan wishful thinking. The role of none of the contenders is perceived as more positive than negative. “Outside forces in the conflict are overwhelmingly viewed as negative,” the report summarizes. But the same holds true for inside forces, I would say, the Assad regime included. Still, the results slightly seem to tilt to Assad and some of his principal allies. Differences between regions, we are informed, are substantial. Overall, most people yearn for “free and fair elections,” in which, according to 40%, “Assad should be allowed to stand.” If the latter wins, expectations of returning refugees are low. If the opposition wins, expectations are much higher. Two years later, Assad and the Russians are in the midst of their final bombing campaign. The number of refugees is rising sharply again. Turkey has closed its border, Europe looks on anxiously. ISIS in Syria (and Iraq) has been defeated—and has no supporters anymore, as Table 6.3 suggests. Bombing was a success. Mission accomplished. Nonetheless the Syrians are very critical of the international coalition. For what reasons exactly the poll does not tell. Maybe also because of the destruction and the dead? High time to close the gap between official casualty numbers and those of Airwars. And to finally assess all the names.

6.3 Discussion On December 24, 2015, a Jordanian fighter jet was shot down by ISIS. The pilot was taken captive. Around February 1, a gruesome video was posted that showed how this Jordanian pilot was burned alive in a cage. In its propaganda, ISIS framed this cruelty as retribution for civilian casualties (Nordland and Kladri 2015). The perverse logic of the Islamic terrorists succeeded in seducing young fighters from many regions. The large majority of world citizenshowever, across cultures and religions, shared a deep disgust for outrageous savagery. They supported the American-led bombing campaign that would destroy the so-called caliphate. In Jordan, even more than before, public opinion rallied behind bombing ISIS (Nordland and Kladri 2015). The tragic death of the pilot notwithstanding, this air campaign was, what the British sociologist Martin Shaw has called, a risk-transfer war (Shaw 2005). According to Shaw, decision makers in the West are hell-bent on minimizing risks, whether political, military or economic. Central in their considerations are “life risks,” above all to their own soldiers. This mirrors the public’s focus on military casualties. Relying on airpower and having local allies do the fighting on the ground is typical of risk transfer. Avoiding civilian casualties is a crucial condition in the context of this transfer. Looked upon from a historical perspective the latter goal has simultaneously become more and more desirable as well as more and more feasible. Value-driven legitimacy is enhanced by precision weaponry. However, if civilian casualties do occur, risk transfer dictates that “small massacres must be regarded as inevitable” (Shaw 2015: 71–79).

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The choice of words testifies to Shaw’s critical appraisal of risk-transfer war. He is very suspicious of hidden agendas, secret violence, smooth narratives, ruthless asymmetries and token humanitarianism. If it were not for global surveillance, Shaw suggests, authorities and commanders would be even more tempted to circumvent rules of restraint. Oversight by the institutions of international law, by independent journalism and by non-governmental watchdogs though, gives pause to the civil– military hierarchy. One need not completely share the depth of Shaw’s distrust or totally agree with the sweep of his insights, to recognize their relevance. Bombing ISIS was a risk-transfer war. The international coalition itself suffered very few casualties. In defeating ISIS, local forces on the ground—Kurds, opposition groups, Iraqi soldiers—have been crucial, bearing the brunt of battle. They took a heavy toll. One wonders how much awareness and appreciation of these sacrifices exist among public opinion around the world. Or whether their role is more or less taken for granted—because they fight for their own cause anyway. Perhaps the Kurds are an exception in terms of public knowledge and public image. If so, it did not spare them a bitter fate (Glasman 2019). The equations of risk-transfer war entail a historical logic and a cultural lure. Having near zero military casualties on your own side, trusting that small massacres, if possible, will be avoided, and having “Kurds” take the toll is almost irresistible to politicians and publics in the West. I am not quite sure about military professionals. This development, however, grounded as it is in collective memory and institutional legitimacy, tends to foster self-indulgent views. It runs the risk of overestimating the depth of our civilization and its much heralded decline of violence. Of course, these are all classical questions of sociology (Soeters 2018: 130–142).

References Airwars. (2020a). U.S. led coalition in Iraq and Syria. https://airwars.org/conflict/coalition-in-iraqand-syria/. Accessed January 30, 2019. Airwars. (2020b). Russian military in Syria. https://airwars.org/conflict/russian-military-in-syria/. Accessed January 30, 2020. Airwars. (2020c). Investigation accuses Dutch Military. https://airwars.org/news-and-investiga tions/investigation-accuses-dutch-military-of-involvement-in-2015-iraq-airstrike-which-led-todeaths-of-70-civilians/. Accessed January 30, 2019. Ben-Ari, E., Lerer, Z., Ben-Shalom, U., & Vainer, A. (2010). Rethinking contemporary warfare. New York: SUNY Press. Brown, M. (2019, December 29). Hospitals and schools are being bombed in Syria. New York Times. Cohen, R. (2015, November 14). To Save Paris, Defeat ISIS. New York Times. Fijnaut, C. (2016). Western Europe under terrorist attack, also after the military defeat of IS. European Journal of Crime, Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, 24(4), 235–273. Glasman, M. (2019, October 16). No friends but the mountains. New Statesman, pp. 26–29. Goldberg, J. (2016, April). The Obama Doctrine. New Yorker. Henley, J. (2015, November 16). France to intensify Airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. The Guardian. Hlavsová, A., Tamchynová, K., & Havková, R. (2018). Public opinion and the fear of terrorism. Mediterranean Quarterly, 29(2), 27–54.

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Isernia, P., & Everts, Ph. (2015). Public opinion. Transatlantic trends and the use of force. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Johns, R., & Davies, G. (2019). Civilian casualties and public support for military action: Experimental evidence. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 63(1), 251–281. Kreps, S. (2014). Flying under the radar: A study of public attitudes towards unmanned aerial vehicles. Research and Politics, 1(1), 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053168014536533. Kreps, A., & Wallace, G. (2016). International law, military effectiveness, and public support for drone strikes. Journal of Peace Research, 53(6), 830–844. Larson, E., & Savych, D. (2006). Misfortunes of war. Press and public reactions to civilian deaths in wartime. Santa Monica: Rand. Mogelson, L. (2017, April 20). The recent history of bombing the shit out of ‘em. The New Yorker. Nordland, R., & Kladri, R. (2015, February 3). Jordanian Pilot’s death, showed in ISIS video, spurs Jordan to execute Prisoners. New York Times. ORB International. (2018). Syria Poll 2018. Gallup International. https://www.gallup-international. com/surveys/syria-poll-march-2018/. Accessed January 15, 2020. PEW. (2014a). Bipartisan support for Obama’s campaign against ISIS. https://www.peoplepress.org/2014/09/15/bipartisan-support-for-obamas-military-campaign-against-isis/. Accessed December 15, 2019. PEW. (2014b). Support for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. https://www.people-press.org/2014/08/18/sup port-for-u-s-airstrikes-in-iraq-concern-about-getting-too-involved/. Accessed December 1, 2019. PEW. (2015a). Growing Support for U.S. campaign against ISIS. https://www.people-press. org/2015/02/24/growing-support-for-campaign-against-isis-and-possible-use-of-u-s-ground-tro ops/. Accessed January 17, 2020. PEW. (2015b). Global Publics back U.S. on fighting ISIS. https://www.pewresearch.org/glo bal/2015/06/23/global-publics-back-u-s-on-fighting-isis-but-are-critical-of-post-911-torture/. Accessed December 5, 2019. PEW. (2016a). Europeans face the world divided. https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2016/06/13/ europeans-face-the-world-divided/. Accessed January 15, 2020. PEW. (2016b). Public uncertain, divided over America’s place in the world. https://www.peoplepress.org/2016/05/05/public-uncertain-divided-over-americas-place-in-the-world/. Accessed January 15, 2020. PEW. (2019). Climate change still seen as the top global threat. https://www.pewresearch.org/glo bal/2019/02/10/climate-change-still-seen-as-the-top-global-threat-but-cyberattacks-a-rising-con cern/. Accessed January 31, 2020. Roelants, C. (2019). Dwars door het Midden-Oosten. (Crossing the Middle-East). Amsterdam: Prometheus. Sagan, S., & Valentino, B. (2018). Not just a war theory: American public opinion on ethics in combat. International Studies Quarterly, 62(3), 548–561. Scharf, M. (2016). How the war against ISIS changed international law. Case Western Reserve University: Scholarly Commons. Schippers, J., & Versteegh, K. (2019, December 4). Veel bronnen over ‘Hawijah’ zijn gebrekkig (Many sources about Hawijah are incomplete). NRC Handelsblad. Shaw, M. (2005). The new western way of war. Cambridge: Polity Press. Snyder, T. (2018). The road to unfreedom. Russia, Europe, America. London: The Bodley Head. Soeters, J. (2013). Odysseus prevails over Achilles: A warrior model suited to post-9/11 conflicts. In J. Burk (Ed.), How 9/11 changed our ways of war (pp. 89–115). Stanford: Stanford Security Studies. Soeters, J. (2018). Sociology and military studies. Classical and current foundations. London: Routledge. Stern, J., & Berger, J. (2015). ISIS. The state of terror. London: William Collins.

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Transatlantic Trends. (2013). Keyfindings 2013. The German Marshall Fund of the United States. http://www.gmfus.org/publications/transatlantic-trends. Accessed January 1, 2020. Van der Meulen, J., & Soeters, J. (2005). Considering casualties. Risk and loss during peacekeeping and warmaking. Armed Forces & Society, 31(4), 483–486.

Chapter 7

Military Culture and the Challenge of Ambidexterity in Complex Operations Chiara Ruffa

Abstract In recent decades, military organizations have deployed much more extensively in nonconventional operations. Army units are deployed as peacekeepers, navy vessels engage with migration control and search and rescue (SAR) operations and the air force delivers humanitarian aid. Do recent trends imply that the military is switching to new kinds of core tasks, including but not limited to what Janowitz referred to as ancillary tasks? This chapter argues that even though the kinds of tasks have multiplied, it is very slow and inertial to shift from a focus on combat core tasks to multiple tasks. In other words, the military is torn between its classical skills—which form the core of military cultures—and the requirements of ambidexterity. Keywords Military cultures · Peacekeeping operations · Military organizations

7.1 Introduction In recent decades, military organizations have deployed much more extensively in nonconventional operations. Army units are deployed as peacekeepers, navy vessels engage with migration control and search and rescue (SAR) operations and the air force delivers humanitarian aid. Do recent trends imply that the military is switching to new kinds of core tasks, including but not limited to what Janowitz referred to as ancillary tasks? This chapter argues that even though the kinds of tasks have multiplied, it is very slow and inertial to shift from a focus on combat core tasks to multiple tasks. In other words, the military is torn between its classical skills—which form the core of military cultures—and the requirements of ambidexterity. In this respect, research by Soeters has been particularly important. He has been the first to conceptualize, theorize and empirically analyze what he calls the operational styles of different state militaries in nonconventional contexts, particularly peacekeeping operations. In this respect, he has been contributing to a wider collective effort to C. Ruffa (B) Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden e-mail: [email protected] Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_7

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bring the study of the military also outside of military academies and making them the object of mainstream sociological and political science research. Soeters has promoted this movement by promoting rigorous comparative designs, traditionally relegated to a one country, one military approach (Ruffa and Soeters 2014). In so doing, the work by Soeters sheds light on the nature and core traits of state militaries, the “soul of armies” (Long 2016) and on whether we can think of a different kind of military organizations, one which does not have combat as its core task but more diverse tasks and one in which officers and NCOs receive training for performing different kinds of roles and tasks in a decentralized manner. In this chapter, I elaborate on some of these ideas in three steps. First, I explore the context in which military organizations operate in contemporary missions and the important role that military cultures and operational styles play in this. Second, I reflect upon which problems arise in missions that require an ambidextrous military but that do not have one, since state militaries are still very much a product of combat roles. Third, I draw some conclusions and reflect on what a transition to ambidexterity might mean for state military, drawing on Soeters’s ideas.

7.2 Operational Contexts, Operational Styles and Military Cultures Until the middle of the last century, soldiers from one country would have spent most of their time in operation fighting their peers from other countries. Today, soldiers of different nationalities most often deploy together, in multinational missions, often doing other things than fighting. For example, in 2017 alone, more than 90,000 soldiers from 122 countries were deployed in 15 multinational UN peacekeeping missions, where much of their job consisted of delivering humanitarian aid, patrolling to show their presence in the area of operation and protecting civilians. In a completely different context, when deployed in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, troops from 51 different countries delivered humanitarian aid, rebuilt bridges and schools, patrolled and launched combat operations against insurgents. Sometimes within minutes, a squad out patrolling had to switch back and forth from traditional core tasks, such as combat, to non-core tasks, such as delivering humanitarian aid. Yet, not all military organizations are equally prone to adapt to nonconventional tasks and switch back and forth in the same ways. This has proven to be true in both contemporary nonconventional military operations, such as counterinsurgency (COIN) and peacekeeping missions alike. A widespread assumption in the contemporary academic and policy debate on both military operations and peacekeeping is that any unit deployed anywhere will simply and automatically implement a given mandate. And a common recommendation usually follows: getting a large enough number of troops and the right mandate is what matters for making these multinational missions successful, as we have seen in the debate about the surge in Iraq and, more recently, about UN peacekeeping. Yet,

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recent work has tried in different ways to implicitly challenge this assumption, for instance, by looking at the politics of multinational coalitions and at how Western soldiers actually fight (Friesendorf 2018). In a similar way, in his seminal work, Joe Soeters has identified different operational styles in peacekeeping missions and in stabilization operations, the product of more profound underlying cultural traits (Soeters 2013). In a first phase, Soeters has identified different typical ways in which peacekeepers work for instance (Soeters et al. 2004; Soeters and Manigart 2008). In a second phase, Soeters has explored the connection between operational styles and effectiveness, an important argument that lays the foundation for more large-N work ahead (Soeters and Tresch 2010). In a third phase, and more recently, Soeters has explored the necessity to transform military organizations profoundly to make them fit for purpose (Kummel and Soeters 2012; Moelker et al. 2007; Soeters and Goldenberg 2019). In line with these recent studies and drawing inspiration on Soeters’s work, I argue in a recent book that soldiers from different countries behave very differently in peace and stability operations, and these variations in behavior are independent of mandates, level of difficulty and rules of engagement (Ruffa 2018). Instead, it is an often-overlooked variable, the army military culture of the unit deployed, or their set of attitudes, values, beliefs and norms that have become ingrained and deeply inertial that best explain how soldiers interpret and implement their mandate. To understand how differences in behavior are consistent with different national army cultures, I have studied French and Italian units in the UN mission in Lebanon and the NATO mission in Afghanistan between 2007 and 2013 (Ruffa 2014, 2017, 2018). The UN mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL II) is a rather traditional peacekeeping mission where peacekeepers have to supervise a truce between the Litani River and the Israeli border. Unlike other peace missions, soldiers are allowed to use force only in self-defense. In Lebanon, French and Italian units deployed in very similar areas under the same Regional Command, in the Western part of the area of operations under an identical UN mandate. The two units had a comparable number of troops and weapons, similar vehicles and equipment. While both the UN mandate and the material resources mobilized were similar, they displayed systematic variations in the ways in which they behaved. French troops prioritized force protection and operational activities, while Italian troops did not. To illustrate, French units conducted on average 27 patrols a day and mainly night patrols, while Italian did about 15 a day and mainly during daytime. Importantly, Italian units prioritized the delivery of humanitarian aid and development projects, while French units gave prominence to interacting with the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Also, French units were much better protected than the Italian, both in terms of equipment used and in more defensive ways they behaved while out patrolling. This difference was not a matter of capabilities. For instance, in Lebanon, while the Italians had the same heavy tanks at their disposal, they preferred to use lighter armored vehicles. Also, French and Italian units and the UN did not coordinate to divide labor, and French and Italian troops deployed in an area with a similar level of difficulty (Ruffa 2014, 2017, 2018). I observed very similar differences, among French and Italian troops deployed in the NATO mission in Afghanistan, much closer to a counterinsurgency operation.

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In ISAF, French and Italian troops deployed near the Regional Command Capital in Kabul, under an identical mandate and deployed in similar areas with similar levels of resources. Moreover, in Afghanistan, I had expected much fewer variations due to the harmonizing effect of NATO procedures. Instead, French units did more patrolling and less CIMIC and displayed higher force protection measures. To illustrate, I recorded that French units conducted about 25 to 30 patrols a day on average, while Italian units did between 8 and 10. Importantly, French displayed high force protection measures; for instance, while patrolling in a tank, the soldier standing in the turret pointed the weapon toward the street, while for Italian units, soldiers in the same position pointed the weapon in the air and stopped often if asked for help. French soldiers also prioritized several joint activities with the Afghan National Army, including joint patrolling, while Italians did not. Also, French units did not prioritize Civil–-Military Coordination (CIMIC), while Italian carried out 130 projects and talked more to the locals (Ruffa 2014). These recurring variations in behavior were consistent with differences in the respective French and Italian military cultures. The French military culture revolves around what I label “contained assertiveness.” Assertiveness has been long ingrained within the French army, even after World War II. Interestingly, however, “assertiveness” became “contained” because of the forceful re-establishment of the norm of civilian control by President Charles De Gaulle in 1962 as a reaction to the putsch attempt in Algiers in April 21–24. To reflect on assertiveness, a French noncommissioned officer I once interviewed in Afghanistan told me “We are going to go for it” [on va y aller] and a general talking about his soldiers “Whatever happens they are going to manage,” thanks to the “French resourcefulness” [débrouillardise à la française] and their ability to fight fearlessly and in a spirit of sacrifice. At the same time, an officer I talked to in Lebanon recognized that “we are French soldiers, in particular, we are not allowed to be loud in our criticism.” (Ruffa 2018). By contrast, the Italian military culture revolves around the idea of “being good humanitarian soldiers.” The myth of Italian soldiers as good people seemed to have been quite widespread during World War I and the colonial campaigns (Del Boca 2005). Parallelly, the events following September 1943 created an unresolved disconnect between the military and the rest of Italian society. In July 1943, Mussolini was forced to resign and was arrested. In the meanwhile, Italian authorities started to get in touch with the Allies to reach a settlement. On September 8, 1943, an armistice was signed between the Italian government and the Allies, and at that point, the army was left without order. Some units kept fighting alongside the Germans, while others joined the resistance or simply did nothing. This behavior was perceived as an unsolvable disconnect between the armed forces and Italian society, since the military had been unable to protect its own people. And a new military culture emerged as an attempt to reacquire some of the army’s lost legitimacy after the events during World War II. During the 1980s and 1990s, the army is given a chance to achieve new legitimacy within Italian society. Importantly, these variations in military culture can be traced not only in historical documents, such as diaries from officers and soldiers, but also strongly resonated in hundreds of interviews I conducted with French and Italian troops both back home and while deployed in Lebanon and Afghanistan. For

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instance, when I once interviewed an officer in Lebanon he told me “peacekeeping is a great opportunity for us, to be seen differently, not just as a bunch of fascists.” Along similar lines, the officer I interviewed in Afghanistan told me “The Italian post-crisis management is remarkably superior compared to the global average.” Variations in military cultures influence behavior mainly in two ways. First, they affect the interpretation of the mission by soldiers and officers in operation. In Lebanon, notwithstanding the identical mandate, while French units labeled the mission as a peace enforcement operation, the Italian labeled it as a traditional, and less forceful, peacekeeping operation. Second, differences in military cultures affect how soldiers identify their enemy. In Afghanistan, French and Italian soldiers disagreed on who the enemy was. While the French thought, in a typical counterinsurgency posture, that the enemy could be hiding anywhere and hence one should be careful, the Italians thought it was easily identifiable and not particularly threatening. These perceptions of the situation shaped how their military cultures translated into observable variations in their behavior and therefore in their ability to keep the peace. While some specific units´ characteristics mattered, the core of the variations stayed the same across rotations suggesting that military culture at the service level, the army in these cases, was what mattered most. Importantly, variations in behavior seem to have impacted these soldiers’ effectiveness but that what is required in terms of effectiveness depends on the specific context. In a mission like Lebanon, engaging with the locals seems to have increased the legitimacy and popularity of Italian troops. While much more research is needed, it seems that Italian troops were more effective at implementing that particular UN mandate. At the same time, I find that certain insurgent groups might exploit differences in behavior to their advantage, such as Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, preferring to hide weapons cache in areas that are less likely to be controlled. In a more threatening environment like Afghanistan, French soldiers were more effective according to their mandate as they were definitely better at establishing security conditions but not as much at winning hearts and minds. While one should be cautious with these findings because they capture only microlevel, qualitative dynamics, they have a number of policy implications. First, the policy and academic debate on peace and stability operations often assumes that military organizations will simply and automatically implement what the mandate tells them to do. Yet, different national units interpret identical mandates differently and military culture is together with caveats and training an important driver of mandate implementation. While the political benefits of launching a multinational operation are undeniable both in terms of burden sharing and legitimacy, they also come with potential operational costs. At the NATO and UN level, all too often political considerations come before considerations on whether the unit deployed is the one that is most appropriate in a particular context. It is crucial to deploy units to areas of operations best suited for their characteristics to the context in which they are about to be deployed. A first step would be to discuss these issues more openly and create appropriate platforms to take decisions on the structures and contributions of force generation, taking into account the characteristics of units and contingents.

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Second, effectiveness is a complex, multidimensional concept. While a nationstate army might be more effective at certain tasks, it might be less effective at others. And since it fundamentally depends on the kind of mission that is being deployed, the UN, NATO or other regional organizations involved should get better at reading the kind of mission which is envisaged in the force generation process and try to allocate the right kind of troops. Third, a number of troops and technology are not the only relevant factors to consider when looking to improve military operations. Also, cultural variations are likely to impact on the effectiveness of cooperation among contingents in multinational operations. If contingents are in similar areas of operations and their military culture differs or is incompatible, it may be difficult for them to coordinate. Relatedly, more training for peacekeepers and soldiers is needed on two issues. Soldiers have to be more systematically trained to switch from core combat tasks to peacekeeping tasks. And more efforts and resources have to be spent on developing the social and human capital of military personnel and their ability to take decisions also at lower levels of the command structure. This includes making soldiers aware of their cultural biases, and how they might overcome, or use them. If we want multinational coalitions to work, we need to make sure that the functioning and structure of military organizations are taken more seriously, including their different military cultures. Perhaps a bit more radically, we should also reconsider the tenets for military effectiveness since many multinational missions nowadays require a broader set of skills, one in which each particular unit would be good at a particular kind of effectiveness. Ultimately, taking into account each specific contributor’s characteristics should help at making multinational mission more functional, avoid duplication and redundancies and avoid deploying troops not as prone or skilled as others. Ultimately, the politics about multinational missions is not only about how many troops and from how many countries but also about deploying the right kinds of troops for the right kind of mission. This is important to better protect civilians in war-torn countries and aids the prospect of a more peaceful global order.

7.3 What We Are Missing in Contemporary Complex Operations: The Role of Ambidexterity in Peacekeeping Missions UN peacekeeping often works: overwhelming evidence tells us it saves lives, and— usually—keeps peace (Hultman et al. 2013, 2014; Ruggeri et al. 2016). Despite the successes of peacekeeping, scholars and policymakers alike continue to explore how to make peacekeeping even more effective. Several recent proposals have focused on improving procedures of the UN Security Council and mission mandates, as well as on increasing resources, as in the Cruz report’s call for “overwhelming force” (Cruz 2017) Such suggestions, however, neglect two critical facts about peacekeeping.

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First of all, we still have no peacekeepers per se. Rather we have soldiers deployed as peacekeepers. In other words, nation-state militaries are the backbone of all peacekeeping missions—yet they are not primarily designed for the tasks of peacekeeping. Within nation-states, military personnel are recruited, socialized, trained and promoted for one core task: combat. Peacekeeping still has a secondary role in the military doctrines, training templates and cultures of the most Troop Contributing Countries (TCCs). In the logic of promotion within the military echelon, it is still rare to see an officer promoted because of his or her extensive peacekeeping experience. As a colonel recently told me: “Even though I have a lot of operational experience, I will not be promoted to general because I have done a lot of peacekeeping.” As a result, improvements in peacekeeping will require a shift in the organizational cultures of militaries, with a new emphasis on peacekeeping as a core task for military personnel. In the short term, this requires proper training for the tasks that peacekeeping requires, such as situational awareness, adaptation, taking decisions in complex situations and restraint (Bell 2016; Checkel 2017; Green and Hoover Green 2017; Hoover Green 2016). It also requires proper re-training between missions to help soldiers switch from combat “mode” to peacekeeping “mode.” For example, during my fieldwork on the UN mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL II), I found that the Indian peacekeepers deployed were usually from elite units, just recently redeployed from counterinsurgency contexts in Kashmir. Making sure that soldiers are prepared for this change in context and mission is critical for the effectiveness of peacekeeping missions. But in the long run, training is not enough—we also need socialization. Successful peacekeeping requires understanding contexts and building social capital, not just following orders from above. For instance, in my research, I found that in 2007–08, the French military patrolled with heavy Leclerc tanks, which destroyed paved roads in Southern Lebanon and made them unpopular. Similarly, Italian units patrolled with armored vehicles that were high enough to peak into houses, a highly insensitive practice. Both realized that these kinds of behavior could have unexpected consequences: The French stopped patrolling with those vehicles and the Italians started to avoid urban areas. In the long run, military personnel require a socialization which emphasizes the situational awareness that makes for successful peacekeeping missions. Not all peacekeeping forces are the same. The debate on peacekeeping focuses a lot on numbers, implicitly assuming that one peacekeeping soldier is just like another. Among both policy and academic circles, there seems to be a widely held assumption that military contingents—regardless of their origins—implement peacekeeping mandates in a similar manner. In my research, I find that military culture—the set of attitudes, values and beliefs instilled into an army and transmitted across generations of those in uniform—influences how soldiers behave at the tactical level (Ruffa 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018). When troops deploy abroad, their military cultures go with them. Based on hundreds of interviews, I find that despite being deployed under an identical mandate, while some units prioritized patrolling and the display of high levels of protection and force—such as body armor and weaponry—other units placed greater emphasis on delivering humanitarian aid. I find that these variations can be explained

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by the soldiers’ respective military cultures, which influence soldiers’ perceptions and behavior and, ultimately, has consequences for their ability to keep the peace. Peacekeeping often works, but it could work better and more consistently. Improved procedures and more resources will not, on their own, make this happen. Peacekeeping is not and should not become like any other kind of military operation. Neglecting this reality risks depriving UN peacekeeping of the political capital, credibility and legitimacy acquired over the past few decades. Moving forward, greater emphasis must be placed on developing soldiers into peacekeepers, and a critical part of this task is for contributing militaries to adopt organizational cultures that appreciate the unique demands of peacekeeping missions.

7.4 Pathways to the Future of Ambidexterity in Military Organizations Soeters’s rich and diverse research agenda has paved the way for imagining a different kind of military. Such military has to be quintessentially ambidextrous: It has to be able to switch from peacekeeping to combat quickly; it has to be able to adapt to different contexts and operate in a changing and volatile environment. It needs a more flexible command structure as well as junior and senior officers and NCOs trained with high political capital. Contemporary security challenges suggest that this kind of military is needed and state militaries should start adapting to transform into the military that Soeters has so pioneeringly identified.

References Bell, A. M. (2016). Military culture and restraint toward civilians in war: Examining the Ugandan civil wars. Security Studies, 25(3), 488–518. https://doi.org/10.1080/09636412.2016.1195626. Checkel, J. T. (2017). Socialization and violence: Introduction and framework. Journal of Peace Research, 54(5), 592–605. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343317721813. Cruz, C. A. D. S. (2017). Improving security of United Nations peacekeepers: We need to change the way we are doing business. https://reliefweb.int/report/world/improving-security-united-nat ions-peacekeepers-we-need-change-way-we-are-doing-business. Accessed February 12, 2020. Del Boca, A. (2005). Italiani, brava gente?. Vicenza: Neri Pozza Editore. Friesendorf, C. (2018). How western soldiers fight: Organizational routines in multinational missions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hoover Green, A. (2016). The commander’s dilemma: Creating and controlling armed group violence. Journal of Peace Research, 53(5), 619–632. https://doi.org/10.1177/002234331665 3645. Hoover Green, A. (2017). Armed group institutions and combatant socialization. Journal of Peace Research, 54(5), 687–700. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022343317715300. Hultman, L., Kathman, J., & Shannon, M. (2013). United Nations peacekeeping and civilian protection in civil war. American Journal of Political Science, 57(4), 875–891. https://doi.org/10.1111/ ajps.12036.

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Hultman, L., Kathman, J., & Shannon, M. (2014). Beyond keeping peace: United Nations effectiveness in the midst of fighting. American Political Science Review, 108(4), 737–753. Kummel, G., & Soeters, J. (2012). New wars, new militaries, new soldiers? Conflicts, the armed forces and the soldierly subject. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Long, A. (2016). The soul of armies: Counterinsurgency doctrine and military culture in the US and UK. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. Moelker, R., Soeters, J., & Vom Hagen, U. (2007). Sympathy, the cement of interoperability: Findings on ten years of German-Netherlands military cooperation. Armed Forces & Society, 33(4), 496–517. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X06297590. Ruffa, C. (2013). The long and winding road … to success? Unit peace operation effectiveness and its effect on mission success. Defense & Security Analysis, 29(2), 128–140. https://doi.org/10. 1080/14751798.2013.787793. Ruffa, C. (2014). What peacekeepers think and do; An exploratory study of Ghanaian, Korean, French and Italian soldiers in the UN Mission in Lebanon. Armed Forces and Society, 40(2), 199–225. Ruffa, C. (2017). Military cultures and force employment in peace operations. Security Studies, 26(3), 391–422. https://doi.org/10.1080/09636412.2017.1306393. Ruffa, C. (2018). Military cultures in peace and stability operations. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Ruffa, C., & Soeters, J. (2014). Cross-national research in the military: Comparing operational styles in peace missions. In J. Soeters, P. Shields, & B. Rietjens (Eds.), Routledge handbook on research methods in military studies (pp. 216–227). London: Routledge. Ruggeri, A., Dorussen, H., & Gizelis, T.-I. (2016). On the frontline every day? Subnational deployment of United Nations peacekeepers. British Journal of Political Science, 48(4), 1005–1025. https://doi.org/10.1017/S000712341600017X. Soeters, J. (2013). Do distinct (national) operational styles of conflict resolution exist? Journal of Strategic Studies, 36(6), 898–906. https://doi.org/10.1080/01402390.2013.807460. Soeters, J. L., & Goldenberg, I. (2019). Information sharing in multinational security and military operations. Why and why not? With whom and with whom not? Defence Studies, 19(1), 37–48. https://doi.org/10.1080/14702436.2018.1558055. Soeters, J. L., & Manigart, P. (2008). Military cooperation in multinational peace operations: Managing cultural diversity and crisis response. Boston: Routledge. Soeters, J., Tanerçan, E., Varo˘glu, K., & Siˇgri, Ü. (2004). Turkish–dutch encounters in peace operations. International Peacekeeping, 11(2), 354–368. https://doi.org/10.1080/135333104200023 7319. Soeters, J. L., & Tresch, T. S. (2010). Towards cultural integration in multinational peace operations. Defence Studies, 10(1–2), 272–287. https://doi.org/10.1080/14702430903155175.

Chapter 8

Achilles and Odysseus in Non-fiction. Fact or Fiction? Esmeralda Kleinreesink

Abstract This chapter examines whether national differences in military operational styles to conflict resolution that Soeters indicates between Odysseus (non-warrior) and Achilles (warrior) countries can be substantiated. This is done in two ways. First, by literature research, showing that a distinction between warrior and non-warrior or more or less militaristic countries is not unique to Soeters and that there is ample evidence in basic military statistics and second, by quantitative analysis of all 54 post9/11 Afghanistan memoirs written by soldiers from Odysseus countries (Germany, Canada, the Netherlands) and Achilles countries (the UK, USA). Analysis of these military autobiographies shows that writing about war experiences is a universal experience in both types of countries, as are the plots used to tell these stories: mainly disillusionment and personal growth plots. However, the soldier–authors who write these stories are definitely culturally defined. In the Achilles countries, mainly combat soldiers write (and get published by traditional publishers) and in Odysseus countries mainly combat supporters, with no preference by traditional publishers for either type of soldier. This study proposes that international differences should not be denied, but could be used to consciously create ambidexterous military organizations that are able to both fight wars and end them. Keywords Military memoir · Soldier–authors · Afghanistan · Warrior nation · Autobiography

8.1 Introduction Ambidextrous military organizations will on the one hand have to be able to fight wars in a context that is bellicose and on the other hand be able to be an instrument of diplomacy and peace making. This is not a dichotomous distinction because being an instrument of diplomacy does include the whole spectrum from negotiation and

E. Kleinreesink (B) Royal Netherlands Air Force, Utrecht, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_8

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talking to the use of violence. And being able to make war also includes the capacity to end war. Soeters (2013a) wrote an essay entitled Odysseus Prevails over Achilles: A Warrior Model Suited to Post-9/11 Conflicts that detailed his conviction that there are distinct national operational styles of conflict resolution. The hypothesis is that some countries tend more towards warrior culture and others more towards non-violent means of conflict resolution. Soeters likens countries with a warrior culture to the Greek hero Achilles. “Achilles knows that he may get killed himself: he is aware that he risks sacrificing his own life but, in this view, that is the very moment that the warrior becomes a hero in the memory of others. Like Achilles, warriors must be able to kill”. Countries with a non-warrior culture are more akin to the Greek hero Odysseus: “Odysseus, too, is a hero, but he is a warrior whose personal goal is to avoid fighting and, if fighting is inevitable, to make military campaigns as short as possible” (2013a: 91). Soeters specifically compares the UK, an Achilles country where war is an accepted consequence of life, and the Netherlands as an Odysseus country where people are opposed to war. These are cultural differences that can be seen everywhere: “even the most modest of bookshops in the UK has shelves filled with books on military history. In the Netherlands, by contrast, military books are only available in specialized bookstores” (2013a: 93). In a second article, following critique by Brocades Zaalberg (2013) that the concept of the Dutch as non-martial, conflict averse and tolerant (an “Odysseus country”) is a faulty, self-gratifying national self-image, Soeters further expands this comparative cultural approach. He defines the Achilles style as follows: “The Anglostyle of conflict resolution […] having a tremendous trust in the military approach to dealing with conflicts (see, for instance, continuous high expenditures on the military)” and the Odysseus style as consisting of multiple approaches simultaneously, which “does not avoid military action if really needed, but never separates these from the wider political context necessitating social and economic policies that accompany military efforts” (Soeters 2013b: 7). In this chapter, we will examine whether Soeters’ distinction between Odysseus (“non-warrior”) and Achilles (“warrior”) nations can be substantiated. Or whether Brocades Zaalberg is right when he implies that a “comprehensive and culturally aware national approach—a “national way of war” if you like” does not exist (Brocades Zaalberg 2013: 3). Are there cultural differences between countries that lead to differences in dealing with war? This is a relevant question when it comes to creating ambidextrous multinational military organizations, such as NATO, the UN or EU Battlegroups. Diversity in the approach to war could increase their ambidexterity. That is, as long as there is enough common ground to work together, in the form of, for example, a common work language and a common military culture. In this chapter, an answer to this question will be sought in two distinct ways. I start by delving a little deeper in the Odysseus/Achilles distinction. Is there any general evidence to support it? Then I look at whether there is specific cultural evidence within the military of these types of countries to support the distinction. As Soeters himself brings up the

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visibility of military books, this will be done by comparing military Afghanistan memoirs from both Odysseus countries and Achilles countries. Every military Afghanistan memoir published between 2001 and 2010 in English, German or Dutch in five different NATO countries: the USA, the UK, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands will be analysed. Do soldiers in both types of countries publish military memoirs, or are they only published, or even written in warrior nations? If they are published in both, are there relatively more combat soldiers writing in Achilles countries? And do those Achilles nation soldier–authors write different plots, such as heroic growth stories, to fulfil an Achillean warrior-to-hero model? In short: Can we distinguish national approaches to war when looking at the way soldiers describe their military experiences?

8.2 Distinct National Conflict Resolution Styles Brocade Zaalberg is not the only one who is sceptical about making a distinction between warrior nations (Achilles) and non-warrior (Odysseus) nations. At the first glance, this division seems to oppose the notion that all Western countries after 1990 developed into so-called post-military societies that have undergone a profound demilitarization (Shaw 1991). It also seems to oppose the notion of a declining tolerance for violence in the world in general (Pinker 2011). However, a diachronical decline in tolerance for violence or in the militarism found in societies, in general, does not mean that countries between themselves do not differ. In management theory, the phenomenon that organizations adopt similar structures, strategies and processes is called “isomorphism” (DiMaggio and Powell 1983). Even if they all decline at the same rate, it is still very well possible to make a cross-sectional comparison between countries at a certain point in time. Soeters is certainly not the first one to make this type of distinction. Paris applies the term warrior nation to the UK in his study of images of war in British popular culture between 1850 and 2000. He defines a warrior nation (here an Achilles country) as “a culture that promotes the martial spirit, elevates the warrior to heroic status and romanticizes war. In much of the popular entertainment created for the nation’s youth, the overriding national image is of an aggressively militant warrior nation” (Paris 2000: 11). It fits a country with an expansive “imperialistic world view” (Paris 2000: 15). This resembles what Dawson in his book on British national identity Soldier Heroes characterizes as “the pleasure-culture of war” (Dawson 2013: 233). Other authors use similar concepts. Mann uses the term “militarism” to refer to different countries in which there is “a set of attitudes and social practices which regards war and the preparation for war as a normal and desirable social activity” (1987: 35). Levy differentiates between states with a low and a high profile of legitimacy to use force and places most EU countries, as well as Canada and Australia on the low use of force side, and the USA and Israel on the high force side, calling them “militarised democracies” (2012: 177). Prividera and Howard use the term “militaristic societ[y]” to refer to the USA (2006: 31).

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This is in contrast to the other countries in this study. Although historically the Dutch have often used violence as a means of solving conflicts (Brocades Zaalberg 2013), the Netherlands no longer has a visible military tradition (Dekker 2008: 100) or a culture in which heroism is favoured. Marks and Pfannkuche, for example, use the term “entheroisiert” (“de-heroising”) when describing Dutch narrative attitude in the Second World War stories (2007: 130). Germany, which was a warrior nation until the Second World War, nowadays is no longer a warrior nation either, as military restraint has become an active element of the German identity (Boekle, Nadoll and Stahl, 2001: 18). After the Second World War, Germany became a more or less pacifistic country (Forsberg 2005). Canada, with its history of allying with the dominant power and high support for international institutions such as the UN and NATO (Zyla 2012: 107–108), is not a warrior nation either, as Stanley already concludes in the title of his book The Military History of an Unmilitary People (1954). In this book, Ruffa’s chapter on military culture shows that Italian and French soldiers have a distinctly other military culture that is influenced by their national culture. The Italians, like the Germans, after Second World War, are more oriented towards “being good humanitarian soldiers”, whereas the French are more warrior oriented, or as Ruffa labels them “assertive”. So the distinction between Achilles (warrior) and Odysseus (non-warrior) countries is not uncommon. For the period under study (2001–2010), the USA and UK can be considered Achilles countries and Germany, Canada and the Netherlands Odysseus countries.

8.3 Military Statistics The difference between Achilles and Odysseus countries is not only a theoretical distinction, as can be seen by looking at some basic military statistics. The Achilles countries, for example, score consistently higher on the Global Militarization Index (BICC 2018; Grebe 2011). About 140 countries worldwide are ranked on this index, which combines three indicators of militarization: (1) military spending in relation to GDP and health spending, (2) the relation of military personnel to the total population and physicians and (3) the number of an armed forces’ heavy weapons in relation to the total population. The higher the ranking, the more militarized a country is. In the period under research (2001–2010), the USA on average ranked 41, the UK 65, Germany 78, the Netherlands 90 and Canada 95,1 showing that the USA and the UK are more militarized than the three other countries researched. It can also be seen by the average percentage of a country’s general labour force that is composed of military and civilian personnel in the defence organization. In the USA and the UK, this percentage is higher (1.4% and 1.0%) than in countries such as Canada (0.5%), Germany (0.8%) and the Netherlands (0.8%)2 (NATO 2011). 1 These 2 This

ranks are composed of the weighted average of the 2001, 2005 and 2010 ranks. percentage is composed of the weighted average of the 2000, 2005 and 2010 percentages.

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5

4 United States United Kingdom

3

The Netherlands Germany 2

Canada

2018

2016

2017

2014

2015

2012

2013

2011

2010

2009

2008

2006

2007

2005

2004

2003

0

2002

1

2001

Defence Expenditures as % of GDP

6

Fig. 8.1 Defence expenditures as a percentage of GDP

This difference between Achilles and Odysseus countries is even more pronounced when looking at the standard that Soeters indicates: the defence expenditures. Defence expenditure as a percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) is seen as one of the most important measures to interpret the defence effort of a country (De Bakker and Beeres 2012: 12). Within NATO, the yardstick for the defence expenditure versus GDP ratio is 2%. As can be seen in Fig. 8.1, none of the Odysseus countries measure up to this yardstick, whereas the Achilles countries exceed it. The division is also visible in the consistent response given to the question: “Is war necessary to obtain justice under some circumstances?” A majority (68%) of Americans and Britons (59%) in the annual Transatlantic Trends survey agree with this statement, whereas all over continental Europe less than one-third (31%) agree (Transatlantic-Trends 2013: 35). The writers of the Transatlantic Trends report conclude that there is a deeply rooted difference when it comes to the use of force between the USA and UK on one side and the rest of Europe on the other (Canadians were not surveyed).

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8.4 Afghanistan Memoirs So it seems that there is enough evidence to warrant a distinction between Achilles and Odysseus countries. But does that also lead to cultural difference in dealing with war? Can we see that in the memoirs that soldiers write?

8.4.1 Publishing A first hypothesis is that as war seems to be a more pervasive part of the culture in Achilles countries that it is more likely that military memoirs are published in these countries. And indeed, when looking at all 54 military memoirs on Afghanistan that were published in the first decade of the war (2001–2010), most of them come from the USA (41%) and the UK (28%). However, those Achilles countries also (not surprisingly) provide most soldiers, thereby increasing the chance that books are written. When correcting for the number of soldiers a country deployed, we get a completely different situation. There is an extremely strong linear relationship3 between the number of books published in a country and the number of soldiers deployed. Simply put, on average one book is published per every 6,000 soldiers deployed in both Achilles and Odysseus countries. So writing about their war experiences seems to be a universal experience in both types of countries, part of a common military culture.

8.4.2 Writers As military memoirs are published in both types of countries, the next question is: Are there differences in the writers of these stories? In the basis, soldiers can be divided into two types, combat soldiers and combat support soldiers. This refers to the main orientation of the soldier–authors’ military speciality: whether they are primarily oriented towards fighting or not. Combat soldiers, such as infantry, special forces, fighter pilots or forward air controllers (including the people who directly manage them), carry their weapons primarily for offensive actions. Combat support personnel, such as health professionals, interrogators and military journalists, carry their weapons primarily for self-defence. If there are differences, we would hypothesize that in Achilles countries relatively more combat soldiers write down their stories, while in Odysseus countries not only the fighting stories are told, but also the stories by combat supporters, showing a

3 R2 = .85, slope = .15, p = .003, r = .92 (extremely large-sized effect). This model does suffer from a smaller sample size (7, it includes Belgium and Australia where no books were published) than normally expected for reliable results (10–15 per predictor).

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Table 8.1 Relationship between country type and soldier type Country Soldier

Combat Support

Total

Total

Achilles

Odysseus

29

4

33

8

13

21

37

17

54

cultural difference in dealing with war and the relative importance of fighting in a war. 2 This is a very significant effect (X Fischer (1, N = 54) = 14.75, p = 000) that is indeed clearly visible (see Table 8.1). In Achilles countries three-quarters of the books are written by combat soldiers, whereas the percentage in Odysseus countries is right the opposite: here, only a quarter of the books are written by combat soldiers.

8.4.3 Publishers And this cultural difference is even more pronounced when we look at the way in which these books are published. There are two main ways of publishing: either via a traditional publisher or a self-publisher. A “traditional publisher” is a publisher that carries the publishing costs and risks himself as opposed to a “self-publisher” who asks the author to pay the publishing costs. Traditional publishers generally have a much larger audience than self-publishers. In the Achilles countries (the USA and the UK), the traditional publishers specialize almost exclusively in books by combat soldiers. The only exception is The Interrogators (Mackey and Miller 2004). This book is written by an American reservist who worked as an interrogator in Afghanistan. He wrote this book as a reaction, a semi-insider’s view, on the Abu Ghraib scandal, the interrogation facility in Iraq where inmates were abused by US military personnel. It is the only book by a combat supporter among all 26 books published by traditional US or UK publishers. It seems that books by non-combat personnel only appeal to traditional publishers in Achilles countries when it concerns a very specific area of expertise or topical subject. This effect, that books by combat soldiers are traditionally published and books by combat supporters are self-published, is absent in the Odysseus nations, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands (X 2 (1, N = 17) = 0.565, p = 0.603). Here, the emphasis is less on the fighting part of the war, indicating a clear cultural difference in the approach to war. In Germany, for example, of the five books published by traditional publishers, three are by combat soldiers and two by a combat supporter (a doctor and an intelligence officer).

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8.4.4 Plots So, when looking at the writers and the publishers of military Afghanistan memoirs, we can see clear cultural differences between the Achilles and Odysseus countries. But does that also mean that the stories that are told by these writers are different? Or is there a general type of story told by military personnel, independent of the country of origin that shows a common military culture? Harari, in his book The Ultimate Experience, argues that for modern soldiers war has become a revelatory experience, providing him or her with new knowledge and new experiences. These revelatory experiences could be represented by two different types of stories, the narratives of positive revelation and the disillusionment stories: The quintessential late modern Western war story […] describes the experience of war as an experience of learning the truth about oneself and about the world. The hero of the story is most often an ignorant youth whom turns into a wise veteran. Combat is depicted as a quasi-mystical experience of revelation. […] An alternative war story equates revelation with disillusionment. In this version of the story, the ignorant youth enters war with expectations of glory, but combat teaches him not to believe the false promise of heroism and patriotism, and never again to trust powerful establishment. (Harari 2008: 1 and 4)

The first types are growth stories in the tradition of the Bildungsroman. They show a hero or heroine who changes profoundly “from ignorance to enlightenment” (Harari 2008: 149) by learning from his or her experiences. The second type, the disillusionment story, is a growth plot that is taken one step further because of the war experiences. It shows what Carpenter sees as the normal military story: a clear progression from “innocence to experience to disillusionment” (Carpenter 2003: 44). Harari is not the only one who notices that war stories sometimes stop at the “experience” stage in which they remain growth plots (or as he calls them “positive revelation stories”), instead of turning into disillusionment stories. Paris finds in his research into popular culture that the stories told in the interbellum are not only disillusionment stories. Although there definitely is anti-war sentiment in Great Britain, in writing, war is still often portrayed as an “exciting adventure” (Paris 2000: 154). It is interesting to see whether the number of positive revelation and disillusionment stories differs between Achilles and Odysseus countries. Is one of the two more likely to be found in a specific type of country? Are heroic growth stories, for example, more often told in Achilles nations, in order to fulfil an Achillean warriorto-hero model? Or do we see that both types of generic military stories are more often found in Achilles countries and that the Odysseus countries use other models to tell their stories? Friedman (1955) devised an easy to use and formal system to divide plots into fourteen different categories. He starts with the hero and looks at the main change the protagonist undergoes. Of the fourteen plots types he distinguishes, two are plots that Harari calls disillusionment stories: the degeneration plot and the disillusionment plot. He also identifies two positive revelation stories: the maturity plot and the education plot. Next to these, he identifies another plot type that seems eminently suited for

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a description of an action-packed military mission: the action plot. These are plots that are about what-happens-next and in which little attention is paid to characters and their thoughts (Friedman 1955: 248). Next to these five plots, he distinguishes nine other plots such as the test plot, the admiration plot and the sentimental plot. From Table 8.2, it is clear that the majority of the military autobiographies (69%) is indeed written in one of the two quintessential plot types as discussed by Harari, both in Achilles countries (68%) and Odysseus countries (71%). There is absolutely no significant difference in the choice of plot between these types of 2 countries (Disillusionment: X Fischer (1, N = 54) = 0.135, p=0.772. Positive revela2 2 tion: X Fischer (1, N = 54) = 0.382, p=0.540. Action: X Fischer (1, N = 54) = 2.532, 2 p=0.168. Others: (X Fischer (1, N = 54) = 0.387, p=0.772). There is one difference though, action plots are only written in Achilles countries, but this is not a significant difference. All-in-all, there seems to be a generic choice of plots to tell a military story, independent of the type of country, as Harari suggested. So there is a common military culture visible not only when it comes to writing about their war experiences, but also in the way to tell these stories. And also when looking at the content of the books, whether it was a positive 2 story or a negative story, there is no significant difference (X Fischer (1, N = 54) = 0.541, p = 0.560) between the two types of countries, even though in Achilles countries some more negative plots are written (46%) than in the Odysseus countries (35%); see Table 8.3. This is mainly caused by the fact that in Achilles countries the percentage of combat soldiers is higher, and they tend to write more negative stories. There is a combination of factors that probably contribute to this effect: combat soldiers have a greater chance to face death, less chance to see what the (positive) effect of their work is and the nature of their work is troublesome (Kleinreesink 2017: 213). Table 8.2 Relationship between country type and plot

Country

Total

Achilles

Odysseus

Disillusionment

15

6

21

Positive revelation

10

6

16

Action

5

0

5

Other

7

5

12

Total

37

17

54

Table 8.3 Relationship between country type and positivity of plot

Country

Total

Achilles

Odysseus

Positive

20

11

31

Negative

17

6

23

Total

37

17

54

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8.5 Debate Using distinct national operational styles of conflict resolution might help to build ambidextrous international military organizations that are both able to wage war and to end war. In this chapter, we have looked at whether there are indications that distinct cultural differences that lead to differences in dealing with war actually exist. We therefore compared five different NATO countries (the USA, the UK, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands) to see whether they can be divided into what Dutch sociologist Joseph Soeters calls Achilles (warrior) and Odysseus (non-warrior) nations. There is ample evidence in the basic military statistics to suggest that this difference is indeed present. Achilles countries (the USA and the UK) score consistently higher on the Global Militarization Index, have a larger part of the country’s general labour force working in the defence organization and exceed NATO’s yardstick for defence expenditure (2% of GDP), whereas Odysseus countries (Germany, Canada and the Netherlands) are all well below the 2% line. In Achilles countries, the question “Is war necessary to obtain justice under some circumstances” is answered with “yes” by the majority, in Odysseus country with “no”. This all indicates a different cultural attitude to war in these types of countries. Further research into the Afghanistan memoirs published in these countries between 2001 and 2010 shows that writing about their war experiences is a universal experience in both types of countries. Also the way to tell these stories is universal: the plots used are mainly disillusionment plots and plots about personal growth, “personal revelation” in the words of Harari. These are all indications of a common military culture that is shared by Achilles and Odysseus countries. However, who writes those stories is definitely culturally defined. In the Achilles countries, mainly combat soldiers write (and get published by traditional publishers) and in Odysseus countries mainly combat supporters, with no preference by traditional publishers for either type of soldier. So in Odysseus countries not only the fighting stories are told, but also the stories by combat supporters, showing a cultural difference in dealing with war and the relative importance of fighting in a war. We can conclude from this analysis that the prerequisites for building ambidextrous international military organization based on combining countries with a different attitude to war are there. Not only in basic military statistics, but also in military non-fiction there are indications that there are indeed cultural differences between Achilles and Odysseus countries. These national cultural differences influence military culture, and I propose that they also influence operations. Ruffa in Chap. 7 of this volume shows that for French and Italian soldiers, this is the case. This makes her conclude that “Ultimately, the politics about multinational missions is not only about how many troops and from how many countries but also about deploying the right kinds of troops for the right kind of mission”. I propose with her that these cultural differences can be used to build ambidextrous organizations that are able to both fight wars and end them. The non-fiction analysis

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shows that the differences are not so large that there is no common ground between military personnel from these types of countries. They write the same kind of plots and have the same urge to share their experiences with the public at large, showing a common military culture that is also essential. We should not deny international differences, but should use them to consciously create ambidexterous military organizations. As Soeters says “different [operational] styles affect conflict resolution” (2013a).

References BICC (2018). GMI Ranking Table, Bonn International Center for Conversion. http://www.bicc.de/ old-site/index.php?page=ranking-table. Accessed 26 Nov 2019. Boekle, H., Nadoll, J., Stahl, B. (2001). Nationale Identität, Diskursanalyse und Aussenpolitikforschung: Herausforderungen und Hypothesen [National Identity, Discourse Analysis and Foreign Policy Research: Challenges and Hypotheses] PAFE-Arbeitspapier 4, Universität Trier. Brocades Zaalberg, T. (2013). The use and abuse of the ‘Dutch approach’ to counter-insurgency. Journal of Strategic Studies, 36(6), 867–897. Carpenter, L. (2003). It don’t mean notin’: Vietnam war fiction and postmodernism. College Literature, 30(2), 30–50. Dawson, G. (2013). Soldier heroes: British adventure, empire and the imagining of masculinities. Abingdon: Routledge. De Bakker, E. J., & Beeres, R. (2012). A comparative financial analysis of military expenditures in the Baltic states 2000–2010. Baltic Security and Defence Review, 14(1), 5–23. Dekker, R. (2008). Meer verleden dan toekomst: Geschiedenis van verdwijnend Nederland [More history than future: History of the disappearing Netherlands]. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker. DiMaggio, P. J., & Powell, W. W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological Review, 48(2), 147–160. Forsberg, T. (2005). German foreign policy and the war on Iraq: Anti-Americanism, pacifism or emancipation? Security Dialogue, 36(2), 213–231. Friedman, N. (1955). Forms of the plot. Journal of General Education, 8(4), 241–253. Grebe, J. (2011). The global militarization index (GMI). Use of the GMI for evaluating the development orientation of States and regional militarization. In Occasional Paper VII. Bonn: Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC). Harari, Y. N. (2008). In: The ultimate experience battlefield revelations and the making of modern war culture 1450–2000. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan. Kleinreesink, L. H. E. (2017). On military memoirs: A quantitative comparison of international Afghanistan war autobiographies 2001–2010. Leiden: Brill. Levy, Y. (2012). Israel’s death hierarchy: Casualty aversion in a militarized democracy. New York: New York University Press. Mackey, C., & Miller, G. (2004). The interrogators: Inside the secret war against al Qaeda. New York: Little, Brown and Company. Mann, M. (1987). The roots and contradictions of modern militarism. New Left Review, NLRI, 162, 35–50. Marks, H, & Pfannkuche, F. (2007). Die Toleranz der Generationen: Wie Gut und Böse in den Niederlanden unterschieden werden [Generational tolerance: How good and bad are distinguished in the Netherlands]. In: H. Welzer (Ed.), Der Krieg der Erinnerung. Holocaust, Kollaboration und Widerstand im europäischen Gedächtnis [The memory war: Holocaust, collaboration and resistance in European memory] (pp. 112–149). Frankfurt am Main: Fischer Verlag. NATO. (2011). Financial and economic data relating to NATO defence. Bruxelles: NATO.

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Paris, M. (2000). Warrior nation: Images of war in British popular culture 1850–2000. London: Reaktion Books. Pinker, S. (2011). The better angels of our nature: Why violence has declined. New York: Penguin Group. Prividera, L. C., & Howard, J. W. (2006). Masculinity, whiteness, and the warrior hero: Perpetuating the strategic rhetoric of US nationalism and the marginalization of women. Women and Language, 29(2), 29–37. Shaw, M. (1991). Post-military society: Militarism, demilitarization and war at the end of the twentieth century. Philidelphia: Temple University Press. Soeters, J. (2013a). Odysseus prevails over Achilles: A warrior model suited to post-9/11 conflicts. In J. Burk (Ed.), How 9/11 changed our ways of war (pp. 89–115). Stanford: Stanford Security Studies. Soeters, J. (2013b). Do distinct (national) operational styles of conflict resolution exist? Journal of Strategic Studies, 36(6), 898–906. https://doi.org/10.1080/01402390.2013.807460. Stanley, G. F. G. (1954). Canada’s soldiers, 1604–1954: The military history of an unmilitary people. Toronto: Macmillan. Transatlantic-Trends (2013). Transatlantic trends: Key findings 2013. Washington: The German Marshall Fund of the United States. http://www.gmfus.org/publications/transatlantic-trends2013. Accessed 9 Oct 2018. Zyla, B. (2012). Canada and Collective Action in Afghanistan: Theory meets practice. In N. Hynek & P. Marton (Eds.), Statebuilding in Afghanistan: Multinational contributions to reconstruction (pp. 104–123). London: Routledge.

Part III

Cultural Issues

Chapter 9

The Different Soldiers: A Look at Diversity and Inclusion in Military Organizations Delphine Resteigne and Philippe Manigart

Abstract Under the influence of various factors, Western military organizations have become more diverse. In this chapter, we will analyze the various challenges posed by diversity for today’s armed forces. Those effects are complex: Although a greater organizational diversity potentially increases the likelihood of conflicts within the organization with a higher degree of dissatisfaction among highly represented groups, it nevertheless offers advantages in terms of performance, out-of-the-box thinking, legitimacy and recruitment. After having described the major advantages offered by a greater organizational diversity, we will discuss the acceptance of it within military organizations and will use the Belgian Defense as a case study. Despite its benefits for organizations operating in culturally complex societies, diversity remains not well accepted or, at least, valued. Its real acceptance remains a challenge nowadays and will undoubtedly require a profound cultural shift. It will also necessitate an inclusive leadership that gives a voice to people with creative ideas and perspectives so that military personnel will not just “tolerate” diversity but include “the different soldiers” and learn from them in order to increase the organizational effectiveness. Keywords Military · Diversity · Inclusion · Leadership

9.1 Introduction Under the influence of various structural factors, Western military organizations have become more diverse, both internally and externally. Externally, the military organizations current missions are extremely varied, take place all over the world, in regions culturally, ethnically, linguistically very diverse, and are most of the time carried out D. Resteigne (B) Royal Military Academy, Brussels, Belgium e-mail: [email protected] P. Manigart Emeritus Royal Military Academy, Brussels, Belgium e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_9

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within a multinational framework. Internally, because of recruitment and retention problems ensuing from the demographic change taking place in our societies, the armed forces of postindustrial societies have progressively opened their doors to new segments of the population. This greater complexity requires unprecedented flexibility in order to interact with various stakeholders. In particular, members of these diverse organizations operating in diverse theaters of operations need to have intercultural skills, be sensitive to cultural differences. One may add that, as Schneider and Barsoux (1997) have shown, the internal and external levels are closely interrelated: Culturally diverse organizations, because they are more tolerant of ambiguity and respectful of differences, should be also better equipped to cope effectively in a foreign and confusing environment. They refer to these kinds of organizations as truly multicultural organizations. According to their definition (Schneider and Barsoux 1997: 227), “a truly multicultural organization can be defined as one wherein diversity is valued and utilized rather than just contained.” In addition to this complexity, the pace of environmental change requires the ability to live with, and even enjoy ambiguity and chaos in order to reach the maximum of flexibility, adaptability and creativity (Vego 2013). To solve those challenges, “Yin-Yang” organizations offer real advantages in combining the “Yang” of formal hierarchical dimensions (for controlling and commanding) with the “Yin” of informal networks (for innovating). This organizational flexibility requires ambidextrous military personnel who are able not only to obey orders and demonstrate obedience and loyalty to the organization but are also keen to innovate and explore unpaved paths. However, despite its obvious benefits for the organization, the expansion of tasks and professional profiles are not always well accepted by the traditional workforce. Diversity is very often merely tolerated rather than fully appreciated and encouraged both at the policy level and at the individual level. Among organizations which are still highly hierarchical, the impact of those who occupy the highest ranks, through their attitudes and behaviors, is also vital in order to promote a climate of real inclusion. Referring largely to Soeters, we will analyze the various challenges posed by diversity for today’s armed forces. As we will see in the next section, those effects are complex: Although it is true that a greater organizational diversity potentially increases the likelihood of conflicts within the organization with a higher degree of dissatisfaction among highly represented groups, it nevertheless offers advantages in terms of performance, creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, legitimacy and recruitment. After having described the major advantages offered by a greater organizational diversity, we will analyze its progressive advent within military organizations and will use the Belgian Defense as a case study.

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9.2 Turning Reluctance and Uncertainties into Opportunities Since the end of the conscription, armed forces have become more open to several categories of personnel in order to find enough recruits. Among military personnel, however, diversity has long been seen as detrimental to operational effectiveness. Despite a differentiation and civilianization process, those uniformed organizations—as Soeters framed them back in 2000—continue to distinguish themselves from other complex organizations on several points. First, referring to Lang (1965), Soeters points out the communal character of life in uniform and the degree to which the control of the organization extends to various aspects of personal life. It is also the emphasis on hierarchy, a predominantly downward chain of command and the use of formal and functional discipline that preserve them as relatively uniformed. The Janusian aspect refers to their subcultures and the two sides of military organizations. Like the Roman God Janus, a distinction can be made between soldiers in garrison busy with prevention, facilitation and preparation and soldiers on the battlefield engaged with “the real action.” The amount of risks and critical events is closely related to those two sides—the cold bureaucracy versus the hot operational side— and therefore influences the behavior of military personnel in their daily routine and how they will manage problems. Military organizations continue to favor several mechanisms that maintain their parochial character. Despite a growing openness to their external environment with the recruitment of new categories of personnel, they continue to distinguish themselves by a certain level of endo-recruitment and by favoring internal socialization in their traditional training and educational settings. As a consequence, it comes as no surprise that these cultural and organizational distinctive features continue to slow military organizations from becoming more diverse and from developing new ways of working. Despite their traditional uniformed character, Soeters and Van der Meulen (2007) have referred to six main reasons underlining the necessity for more diverse military organizations in the current era. The first reason has to do with “the power of identity” as defined by Castells (1997). Not only do minority groups want to emphasize and protect their collective identities, but they also want to defend their rights to citizenship, also in the labor market. Even in the armed forces, minorities want to be accepted and truly included in all ranks. Secondly, today’s armed forces need to create and maintain enough legitimacy for their stakeholders in the broader society. In this regard, military organizations should reflect the composition of their parent society. By being open to the various groups present in their parent society, in many countries armed forces continue to represent one of the last national symbols. Like in the USA where Afro-Americans have been overrepresented in the armed forces, military organizations can also strengthen their legitimacy by positioning themselves as bearers of social mobility. The third reason is related to the professionalization of Western armed forces and the traditional automatic flow of new recruits, which resulted from the conscription system. Today in many countries,

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armed forces encounter real difficulties to fill all the vacancies and to ensure retention in a more competitive labor market. Some countries, like Belgium, are facing a rapid downsizing where new recruits do not replace those who leave in sufficient numbers. The fourth reason relates to the effectiveness of military units, especially for current culturally complex operations. The operational success requires social competencies notably in the area of communication, culture and language. The fifth reason for encouraging more diversity in the ranks refers to the perception of military personnel regarding the social composition of their society. When certain minority groups are scarcely represented in the military, soldiers may have prejudices toward those minorities and, therefore, act in a biased way. The last reason applies to postconflict situations when previously opposing groups have to be integrated in order to build a “new” army. Managing diversity is particularly at stake in such situations when past tensions inevitably arise between groups. Diversity is thus at the core of the functioning of current military organizations. Encouraging diversity requires however a cultural and organizational shift with regard to the traditional—and skeptical—look where diversity is seen as a threat more than a potential gift. Encouraging a growing differentiation however remains a challenge even today as many continue to highlight the importance of conformity, homogeneity and performance through social cohesion—between brothers in arms—and a feeling of closeness between “similar” soldiers. This type of cohesion was indeed important when the armies were socially homogeneous and operated in less complex configurations, as Shils and Janowitz pointed in their analysis of the German Wehrmacht during the World War II (Shils and Janowitz 1948). However, similarity between peers is much less required for armies operating in complex environments. Today, it is rather a “professional cohesion” (King 2006), based on complementary skills and expertise which is more efficient for armies. Encouraging a greater heterogeneity has not only become a necessary condition for ensuring the survival of military organizations, but also a real asset for the conduct of today’s military operations (Bosman et al. 2007). For organizations which have to operate in culturally complex environments, the greater variety of ways of thinking provides positive assets for resolving conflicts, improving decision-making processes and the quality of interactions with the local population and civilian actors. While it is true that a more diverse organization requires important means of coordination and generates certain disadvantages (inter-group rivalries, dissatisfaction, weaker group identification, etc.), the current greater internal diversity presents undeniable advantages from the point of view of operational efficiency (creativity, more variety of perspectives, etc.), especially for military organizations traditionally labeled uniformed.

9.3 Diversity and Military Cooperation in Operations Since the late 1990s and the participation of armed forces in various theaters of operations, the nature of the military profession has changed considerably. Given the nature of the tasks fulfilled in current conflicts, deploying a diverse workforce offers

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real advantages, especially when interacting with the local populations. Also, for a question of capacity and legitimacy, contributing troops to a specific mission are usually very diverse in their composition. The framework of international institutions such as NATO, the UN or the EU has pushed national forces to work with counterparts of other nations. As Soeters et al. (2008) have pointed out, it would be naïve to assume that all of today’s international military missions proceed smoothly, nor can one expect that they be effective all of the time. Based on three distinctive examples of international military cooperation in Kabul during the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) mission, they illustrated how cooperation does not always have positive results, certainly not if the cooperation consists of people and organizations from different nationalities. Based on structural and contextual factors, they identified seven relevant factors that may help explain why international collaboration sometimes fails and sometimes flourishes. The first element refers to the composition of the multinational cooperation and to the fact that proportions between demographic minorities and majorities account for numerous social and behavioral patterns in groups. For example, there seems to be a U-shape relationship between national composition and performance. High and low heterogeneous teams show the least amount of conflict, the most effective communication patterns and the highest level of satisfaction, planning and cooperation. Moderately heterogeneous teams on the contrary tend to display dysfunctional interactions. The second element is about the cultural diversity and differences between military organizations. For instance, some more homogeneous “clusters” like the so-called ABCA-countries (America, Britain, Canada and Australia) share a common history and operate in a relatively similar working style. A similar cultural proximity seems to exist between soldiers from “old” and “new” NATO member states even if clear cultural differences do exist between nationalities. The third factor consists of the units’ status and its impact on internal cohesion. Military organizations are characterized by a high degree of functional and structural differentiation. In this regard, one distinction refers to so-called elite units like air maneuver and airborne troops which are designed and trained to operate under dangerous conditions, and to use and sustain violence. “Elite units” generally are considered to be high status groups—or at least this is what they think they are. Related to their (self-) attributed high status and their inner-directed elite culture, these units are less likely to accept orders, instructions and inspections from people from the out-group. However, for successful operations, displaying an open mind and developing soft ties to other “enablers” in the mission is at least as important (Resteigne and Van den Bogaert 2017). The fourth factor refers to technology. Technology-driven tasks and standardized operational procedures (such as in the air as opposed to land forces) are less likely to cause diversity problems than tasks where more deviations in procedures are present. Air forces are subject to isomorphing impulses which tend to reduce variation in human behavior. Land operations, on the contrary, allow for much more variations in behaviors and mutual adjustment among group members and can lead to discussions and various leadership styles on how things should be done and managed. The fifth factor refers to the organization and allocation of the tasks. Tasks can be divided in two different ways: parallel tasking in which units are assigned their own geographical area of responsibility

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where they can act fairly independently or reciprocal tasking in which each unit is providing a complementary contribution to the whole while being supported by the whole. As sixth factor, Soeters et al. identified the shifts in the balance of bargaining power between groups that may render interorganizational arrangements unstable to the extent that these arrangements can be unexpectedly—or prematurely—ended. Such changes may occur when one partner acquires sufficient resources to eliminate dependency on other partners and make the interorganizational arrangement obsolete. The last element refers to the level of danger and threat and its impact on information processing. When dangers arise, people tend to return to some kind of instinctive forms of reaction and to increase stereotypical thinking regarding the out-group. In addition to these seven elements of international cooperation in operations, Van der Meulen and Soeters (2007) also underline a crucial element in the relationship between diversity and performance, namely the working climate and the leadership style. The diverse composition of a group will generate less problems if the leadership is strong and motivates the members to strive to achieve the group objectives, emphasizing the equal status between members and taking responsibility during potential incidents. Applying Mintzberg’s work on managers to the military, Resteigne and Soeters (2009) have shown there is no one best way to become a good manager, leader or commander when operating in exceptional circumstances. On the contrary, in order to fully conduct complex missions, several managerial roles have been identified: informational roles which link all the work together, interpersonal roles which ensure that information is transmitted and decisional roles which require the use of information to take the “good decisions.” Managing current operations does not merely refer to the conventional planning and thinking roles but also to the managing of the complexity and the unexpected.

9.4 Diversity in the Belgian Defense More than fifteen years ago, in March 2003, the Minister of Defense agreed to broaden the existing equal opportunities policy to a more encompassing diversity policy. A series of measures were then gradually adopted. In his chapter dedicated to Du Bois’ work, Soeters (2018: 78–90) underlines though the fact that diversity policies are not necessarily the same as inclusion policies. In historical order of appearance, the three following options can occur: differentiation, assimilation and inclusion. If minority members are just valued because of the contribution they make, but are not seen as insiders, one speaks of differentiation as it was (and is still) the case with segregated units in some armed forces. If the members of minority groups are urged to conform with the dominant culture, one speaks of assimilation. This has been the tendency since the last decennia in armed forces. More recently, military organizations have tried to really include different members in their ranks. This third option—inclusion—only occurs when members of minority groups in organizations

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are not only treated as insiders and valued because of the contribution they bring but are also allowed and encouraged to retain their uniqueness within their organization. Based on these three categories and depending on the type of diversity (some minority groups being more included than others), the current policies adopted in the Belgian Defense tend to be found in between the differentiation—inclusion spectrum. Before the nineties, the question of diversity in operations was not really considered as important. It is mainly the events of 1993 in Somalia1 that revealed the difficulties faced by soldiers in the new theaters of operations. These gave rise to various recommendations following the study conducted in 1997 by the Center for Equal Opportunities, in collaboration with the Chair of Sociology of the Royal Military Academy, and the publication of the so-called Leman report (from the name of the report’s author) a year later. The report was recommending, among other things, the hiring of more women and ethnic minorities. It has to do with the question of social representativeness, already pointed out as one of the six elements for achieving more diversity in the preceding section. One can distinguish at least five institutionalized dimensions of social diversity in the Belgian Defense. In historical order of appearance, one has language (French—versus. Dutch-speakers, without forgetting the German-speakers), gender (men versus women), ethnicity (“Belgians” versus Belgians from non-Belgian origins), sexual orientation (heterosexuals versus LGBTs) and, since 2004, nationality (Belgians versus other EU citizens). To these five “institutionalized” forms of social diversity, one can add two other dimensions: civilian versus military personnel and age. This last dimension is significantly more pronounced in the Belgian military than in other militaries, due to the fact that it is mainly composed of career (long-term contracts) personnel.

9.4.1 Linguistic Diversity As the Canadian and Swiss armed forces (among others), the Belgian armed forces have always been linguistically diverse: Flemish—and French-speaking soldiers (and later German-speaking) have always served in the military. This linguistic diversity, however, has not always been officially recognized. One had to wait until 1938 in order to have a law concerning the use of languages in the military voted by the Parliament and put into practice. This law required bilingualism for all officers and reinforced the unilingualism of units. Until the 1930s, French was the only official language within the armed forces and officers were all French-speaking (which does not mean that they were no Flemish officers, only that they were not Dutch-speaking). After World War II, a quota system was introduced at all levels of the hierarchy, so 1 After three Belgian paratroopers who had been accused of violence against Somalis were acquitted

by the Military Court and after other act committed by Belgian soldiers in Somalia became known, the then Minister of Defense, Jean-Pol Poncelet, had tasked the Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism to conduct a study on the mechanisms that can lead to racist attitudes in the Belgian armed forces.

132 Table 9.1 Military personnel distribution by language, 2017

D. Resteigne and P. Manigart Rank

Dutch-speakers (%)

French-speakers (%)

N

General officers

62

38

24

Senior officers

63

37

1207

Junior officers

59

40

2941

NCOs

57

43

12,060

Privates

52

48

11,659

Total

55

45

27,891

Source: MoD

that now, the Belgian armed forces are roughly representative in terms of language (60% Dutch-speaking versus 40% French-speaking). Until the end of the twentieth century, French—and Dutch-speaking personnel served, for the most part (except officers), in segregated (i.e., unilingual) units. With the profound restructuration and downsizing of the Belgian Defense after the end of the Cold War however, there has been a reversal of this trend, with more and more integrated (bilingual) units. Table 9.1 shows the distribution of military personnel by rank and language in 2017. As one can see, if the proportion 60% Dutch-speakers/40% French-speakers is more or less respected, there tends to be a small overrepresentation of Dutch-speakers at the top of the hierarchy (general officers). In fact, the lower the rank, the more French-speakers there are. The overrepresentation of Dutch-speakers at the top of the Belgian armed forces, however, is rather recent; in 2002 for instance, Frenchspeakers still represented 52% of the general officers; and until the mid-60s, their percentage was even 60% or more (68% in 1955) (Manigart 1985 :192). Inversely, the overrepresentation of French-speakers at the lower levels of the hierarchy can be explained by the fact that there are more French-speaking candidates than Dutchspeaking ones and by the higher retention rate among the former, particularly at the privates’ level. This phenomenon is the consequence of, firstly, the continuing higher unemployment rate among young people in Wallonia and, secondly, by a traditionally greater attractiveness for a military career and a better image of the armed forces in the southern part of Belgium. As far as German-speaking citizens are concerned, at the time of the draft, there was a German-speaking infantry company. In 1995, following the suspension of the draft, this company was dismantled.

9.4.2 Gender Diversity As a consequence of the increasing feminization of many professional sectors in postindustrial societies, gender diversity has become an important diversity dimension in postmodern military organizations. Nevertheless, there remain many barriers for women seeking equal treatment in most organizations. Among NATO countries,

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Table 9.2 Distribution of women by rank, 1976–2017 Year

Officers N

NCOs %

N

Enlisted %

N

Total %

N

%

1976

0

0.00

0

0.00

1067

2.10

1067

1.22

1986

143

2.20

606

2.60

2724

9.10

3473

3.75

1991

139

2.10

790

3.60

2141

9.20

3070

5.91

1998

209

3.90

1055

5.60

1849

9.90

3113

7.30

2002

248

5.10

1069

6.30

2000

10.30

3317

8.05

2005

334

7.00

1112

6.70

1807

10.40

3253

8.40

2015

532

11.81

878

6.80

881

7.18

2291

7.72

2017

539

13.08

867

7.11

808

6.93

2204

7.92

Source: MOD

Belgium began to recruit women in its armed forces rather late, i.e., in 1975, the international year of women, for enlisted personnel and in 1977 for officers. In 1978, the first female cadets were admitted at the Royal Military Academy. It was not a coincidence that the recruitment of women began in 1975: The decision was in fact directly related to another decision, taken by the government in 1974, namely that of partially professionalizing the military. Facing a shortage of candidates, it was decided to open the doors of the Belgian armed forces to a new population segment, i.e., women. Until 1981, women did not have access to some functions, namely combat functions.2 In February 1981, the Defense Minister, against the advice of the Joint Staff, decided to open all functions in the armed forces to women. Since then, all functions are open to both men and women, without distinction. Following civilian legislation on Equal Employment Opportunity, job descriptions cannot make reference to gender and any gender discrimination in hiring, working conditions, admission to training programs, etc., is prohibited. There is also no distinction between peacetime and wartime. On a comparative level, if Belgium was one of NATO’s last countries to recruit women into its armed forces, in terms of legal integration, it now occupies one of the most advanced positions, with Canada, the Netherlands, Slovenia and Norway. That said, there is still a gap between the legal situation and the reality on the ground. As far as sheer numbers are concerned, Belgium is far from being in the top tier of countries. In fact, in 2016, it occupied the 21st place, well below the NATO average percentage of 10, 9%. However, as shown in Table 9.2, compared to 1976, the percentage of women has increased. If we look at the current situation, there is hardly 8% women within the Belgian Defense. Although they are still a minority, their proportion has slightly increased (7.64% in 2015), especially among female officers, so that, in 2017, the percentage of female officers was twice as high than the ones for the other two categories. At 2 It should, however, be pointed out that, in 1976, at the initiative of Parliament, the explicit reference

to combat function was suppressed and replaced by “dangerous and hazardous functions”, a vaguer notion.

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the Royal Military Academy, the percentage of female cadets is even higher (around 17% the last few years), reflecting a trend observable in higher education, where female students now outnumber their male colleagues in almost all faculties, except engineering. As of January 2019, the highest-ranking female officer was an Air Force two-star general, currently Commander of the Royal Military Academy. As far as the participation of women to operations abroad, among the 2933 soldiers who took part in operations abroad in 2017, only 226 were women (7.71%).

9.5 Sexual Orientation Diversity Compared to other countries, especially Anglo-Saxon countries, within the Belgian Defense (and Belgium), this dimension is not really an issue and therefore is not handled separately. Concretely, it means that in Belgium, LGBT personnel are not excluded from the military, or from any (combat) functions, and that any discrimination against them, as any form of discrimination in general, is prohibited by law. There are however no specific regulations on sexual orientation. This topic is implicitly handled in general regulations dealing with the different forms of diversity and the fight against discrimination, such as the 2005 guideline on diversity policy, describing among others the principle of non-discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, or a 2010 specific procedure on the subject of sexual orientation. On November 14, 2011, the Chief of Defense validated the Diversity Charter in which it is in particular mentioned that no form of discrimination based on sex is tolerated. There are no official statistics on the number of LGBTs in the Belgian Defense, and the question has never been asked in surveys of the personnel of the Belgian Defense.

9.6 Ethnic and National Diversity In Belgium, successive reforms of the nationality code (laws of June 28, 1984, June 13, 1991, August 6, 1993 and March 1, 2000) significantly facilitated the acquisition of the Belgian nationality. As a consequence, the number of Belgians from foreign descent (especially non-Europeans) has been increasing the last few years. Contrary to other countries (like Great Britain, the Netherlands, Canada or the USA, for example), in Belgium, no official statistics exist on the number of Belgians from foreign descent, either for the general Belgian population or for the armed forces. By law indeed, the ethnic origin cannot be mentioned on any official document or statistics. However, according to estimates from the OECD and the UN, in 2006 (Münz 2011: 18), there were around 20% of foreign-born and foreign nationals in Belgium,3 The pool of young Belgians becomes thus more ethnically diverse. To the 3 It is important to stress that this percentage does not include so-called “second and third generation

immigrants,” i.e., people with parents or grand-parents born in another country.

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extent that “original Belgians” are less numerous due to demographic change, are not particularly attracted by a military career anymore because it is not very prestigious and that with the multiplication of crisis response operations it has become a more dangerous career choice, the armed forces have also become ethnically more diverse, multicolored. It should immediately be pointed out that, by becoming more ethnically diverse, the Belgian armed forces can increase the quality of their manpower: Their recruitment base becoming larger, they are able to be more selective at recruitment. On October 30, 2000, in an interview to the French-speaking newspaper La Dernière Heure, André Flahaut, the Belgian Defense Minister, went one step further in the widening of the ethnic diversity in the Belgian armed forces by airing the idea of recruiting EU—and even non-EU—citizens living in Belgium in the Belgian armed forces. As the recruitment of non-EU citizens would have required some constitutional changes,4 the government decided to restrict the recruitment of non-nationals to EU citizens only. A new law concerning the recruitment of military personnel was adopted on March 27, 2003, by the Belgian Parliament. Article 8 of this law states that to be able to apply for a job in the military, one has to be Belgian or be a citizen of a member state of the European Union. Recruitment began in 2004; in 2017, there were 144 non-Belgian EU citizens in the Belgian armed forces, or 0, 5% of total military strength (126 men and 18 women). Table 9.3 shows the distribution of foreign recruits by rank and nationality. As one can see, the bulk of the recruits were privates (98 versus 37 NCOs and only 9 officers) and came mostly from two neighboring countries, the Netherlands (44%) and France (22%). The reason there are so few foreigners at the officer level has mainly to do with a lack of proficiency in the two official languages, French and Dutch. It should be pointed out that Belgium is not the only EU country allowing the recruitment of non-nationals: Luxemburg and Spain have also passed legislation to permit the recruitment of EU citizens and of Spanish-speaking citizens from Latin America, respectively. Ireland, Great Britain and France have been recruiting nonnationals for a long time. This “denationalization” of the military function is a rather logical evolution. On the one hand, it is the result of the globalization process: Recruitment in global business firms is no longer based on nationality criteria. On the other hand, from a purely military viewpoint, the nationality criterion as a condition for access to the armed forces dates back to the beginning of the nineteenth century and is linked to the apparition of the concept of Nation-State (and thus of nationalism) and citizenship. The era of the Nation-State—especially in Europe—is, however, on the decline. With the advent of the Single Market, free movement of workers is now a reality. In this context, the opening of military organizations to EU citizens appears to be a logical next step, especially when recruitment of nationals has become problematic.

4 The

Belgian Constitution reserves military jobs to Belgian citizens, with exceptions provided for the law. Recruitment of EU citizens is such an exception based on the principle of free movement of workers within the EU.

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Table 9.3 Distribution of non-Belgian EU nationals by rank and nationality, 2017 (N) Nationality

Officers

NCOs

Privates

The Netherlands

4

20

40

64

France

5

9

18

32

1

13

14

7

7

Italy Germany

Total

Romania

1

6

7

Spain

1

5

6

Portugal

2

2

4

Poland

1

2

3

UK

1

1

2

1

1

Greece

1

1

Hungary

1

1

Luxemburg

1

1

98

144

Bulgaria

Switzerland Total

1 9

37

1

Source MOD

9.7 Military–Civilian Personnel Diversity Another form of diversity in Western postmodern military organizations is their greater use of civilians for administrative, management and scientific tasks, because they are cheaper to employ than highly and expensively trained military specialists, stay longer in their functions than military personnel (officers rotate every 3–4 years), therefore providing continuity, and expertise and because, in so doing, one releases hard to recruit military personnel for operational tasks. From data collected by a group of scholars from 10 countries for a NATO research project (NATO 2018), it is very clear that, on this dimension, the Belgian Defense is an outlier compared to other NATO countries to the extent that, as Table 9.4 shows, its percentage of civilian personnel is much lower.

9.8 Religious Diversity If a sort of Catholic chaplaincy existed since 1833, it was not until the Royal Decree of 17 August 1927 formally regulating the status and position of military chaplains that this dimension truly became institutionalized. In 1991, a law also created for the non-confessional community a service of moral advisers. At the present time, there are 12 catholic chaplains, 3 protestant chaplains and 3 moral advisers, but still no

9 The Different Soldiers: A Look at Diversity and Inclusion … Table 9.4 Military civilian ratio in selected NATO countries (in ascending order)

Country Belgium

N

137 %

1709

5.4

Turkey

49,215

6.9

Canada

26,220

22.1

UK

56,860

22.6

USA

724,780

25.1

Netherlands

15,816

25.3

Germany

94,708

29.3

Norway

5000

30.3

Estonia

1571

34.7

Source NATO (2018: 44)

Muslim chaplains, although Islam is now officially recognized in Belgium. There are no (official or survey) data on the religious affiliation of members of the Belgian Defense; as in many European countries, this is indeed a sensitive question. But, from a survey carried out in November 2014 among first-year cadets of the Royal Military Academy, it appears that 54% identified themselves as (practicing) catholic, 34% as not religious (atheists), 6% as Muslim (but among them were some non-Belgian— African—cadets), 2% as protestant and 4% as “others.” These percentages more or less mirror those of the Belgian population. According to a 2010 survey conducted among a representative sample of the Belgian population, 60% of the respondents identified themselves as catholic, 4% as Muslim, 2% as protestant, 1% Jewish and 31% as not religious. Source : Le Soir du 23 janvier 2010. The survey was carried out by Dedicated Research for the newspaper Le Soir. .

9.9 Age Diversity The mass armies of the nineteenth–twentieth centuries were not only socially homogeneous in terms of gender, ethnicity and religion, they were also mostly (except for officers) filled with young people. With the end of the draft and the professionalization of Western armed forces however, a further dimension of diversity has been added, i.e., age: postmodern armed forces today are older and have a wider age range. This is especially the case as far as the Belgian Defense is concerned. On this dimension, again indeed the Belgian armed forces, with an average year of 41, 16 for their military personnel (and even 43, 30 for NCOs) in 2017, are clearly an outlier among Western NATO countries. This is mainly due to the fact that, until a few years ago, contrary to most other Western armed forces, in Belgium the majority of personnel was recruited on the basis of full career contracts and stayed in the military until their pension. In 2014, however, a new system of short-term contracts was gradually introduced. This new system provides for a career ranging from 5 to 8 years. At the

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end of this period, the serviceman/woman will be able, according to the needs of the organization and his/her own wishes, to either switch to active duty status (until the age of retirement) or receive support for a job outside Defense. If successful, this new flexible personnel policy should result in a younger military organization. The goal, as stated in The Strategic Vision for Defence (2016: 221),5 is to reduce the average age to 34 years in 2030.

9.10 Conclusion The effects of greater organizational diversity are complex: on the one hand, greater diversity increases opportunities for creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, but on the other hand, it can lead, especially in the short term, to a degree of dissatisfaction among some individuals in highly majority groups. Although greater diversity potentially increases the likelihood of conflict within the organization, it nevertheless offers advantages in terms of performance, particularly in terms of operations management and recruitment. Positive change with regards to diversity seems only to emerge if concrete measures and daily routines are strengthened at three levels: at the macrolevel, through the establishment of an inclusive organizational culture supported and valued by the leadership; at the meso-level, through the establishment of stronger links between the various increasingly differentiated groups; and at the micro-level, through career plans that take into account the various expectations of individuals and integrate them into a truly human resource management system. Despite its benefits for organizations operating in culturally complex societies, diversity remains not well accepted or, at least, valued. Its real acceptance remains a challenge nowadays and will undoubtedly require a profound cultural shift. It will also necessitate an inclusive leadership that gives a voice to people with creative ideas and perspectives so that military personnel will not just “tolerate” diversity but include “the different soldiers.”

References Bosman, F., Richardson, R., & Soeters, J. (2007). Multicultural tensions in the military? Evidence from the Netherlands armed forces. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 31(3), 339–362. Castells, M. (1997). The power of identity. Cambridge: Blackwell Publishers. King, A. (2006). The word of command: Communication and cohesion in the military. Armed Forces and Society, 32(4), 493–512. Lang, K. (1965). Military sociology. Current Sociology, 13(1), 1–26. Manigart, P. (1985). Les forces armées belges en transition: une analyse sociologique. Bruxelles: Editions du Solstice. 5 https://www.mil.be/sites/mil.be/files/pdf/strategic-vision-belgian-defense-en.pdf.

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Minister of Defence (2006, June 29) The Strategic Vision for Defence https://www.mil.be/sites/ mil.be/files/pdf/strategic-vision-belgian-defense-en.pdf. Accessed 28 Feb 2020. Münz, R. (2011). The future of Europe’s labour force-with and without international migration. In J. O. Karlsson & L. Pelling (Eds.), Moving beyond demographics: Perspectives for a common European migration policy (pp. 15–26). Stockholm: Global Utmaning. NATO (2018). Civilian and Military Personnel Integration and Collaboration in Defence Organizations. STO Technical Report. TR- HFM-226. file:///C:/Users/Admin/Downloads/$$TR-HFM226-ALL%20(2).pdf. Accessed 29 Feb 2020. Resteigne, D., & Soeters, J. (2009). Managing militarily. Armed Forces and Society, 35(2), 307–332. Resteigne, D., & Van den Bogaert, S. (2017). Information sharing in contemporary operations: The strength of SOF ties. In I. Goldenberg, J. Soeters, & W. Dean (Eds.), Information sharing in military operations (pp. 1–66). New York: Springer International Publishing. Shils, E. A., & Janowitz, M. (1948). Cohesion and disintegration in the Wehrmacht in world war II. Public Opinion Quarterly, 12(2), 280–315. Schneider, S. C., & Barsoux, J.-L. (1997). Managing across cultures. London: Prentice Hall. Soeters, J. (2018). Sociology and military studies. Classical and current foundations. Abingdon: Routledge. Soeters, J. (2000). Culture in uniformed organizations. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. P. M. Wilderom, & M. F. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of organizational culture and climate (pp. 465–481). Thousand Oaks: Sage. Soeters, J., Resteigne, D., Moelker, R., & Manigart, P. (2008). Smooth and strained cross-cultural military cooperation. In J. Soeters & P. Manigart (Eds.), Military cooperation in multinational peace operations (pp. 198–219). Abingdon: Routledge. Soeters, J., & Van der Meulen, J. (Eds.). (2007). Cultural diversity in the armed forces: An international comparison. London: Routledge. Vego, M. (2013). On military creativity. JFQ, 70(3), 83–90.

Chapter 10

A Generic Officer Education Model for Producing Officers with Ambidextrous Competences and Skills Erik Hedlund Abstract Officer education has a long tradition of being primarily a vocational education focused on training in knowledge and skills that can be used here and now. The content of officer education has mainly been based on the profession’s overall and proven experience. Rapid technological development, globalization, new threats such as terrorist attacks, hybrid warfare and gray zone issues, refugee issues, and the effects of climate change have meant that officer education needed to be reformed in order to provide knowledge and skills to deal with the unknown in a VUCA world. The goal is to create officer education that will produce officers with ambidextrous competences and skills, who have the knowledge to take up their positions immediately after training, but which also provides them with the knowledge and skills to prepare them for the unknown, lifelong learning, and gives them the ability to handle a rapidly changing environment. Keywords Ambidextrous · Generic officer education model

10.1 Introduction Officer education has a long tradition of being primarily a vocational training focused on training in knowledge and skills that can be used here and now. The content of education has mainly been based on the profession’s accumulated and proven experiences and focused on adaptive learning (Ellström 2001), which means that the students will learn to reproduce the knowledge gained during their education. Rapid technological development, globalization, new threats such as terrorist attacks, hybrid warfare and gray zone issues, refugee issues, and the effects of climate change have meant that the world is characterized by volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous This chapter is an edited version of a previously published article Hedlund, E. (2018). “A generic pedagogic model for academically based professional officer education” (in press) Armed Forces and Society, 45 (2), 333-348. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327x17749488. E. Hedlund (B) Swedish Defence University, Stockholm, Sweden e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_10

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(VUCA) conditions (Whiteman 1998). Therefore, it has become necessary to reform officer education to meet the ambidextrous (Shields and Travis 2017; Shields and Soeters 2017) challenges and goals that officers are faced with in a VUCA world. For officers to become ambidextrous, they must be able to employ different military skill sets concurrently. The goal is to create officer education that will produce officers with ambidextrous competences and skills, who have the knowledge to take up their positions immediately after training, but which also provides the knowledge and skills to prepare them for the unknown, lifelong learning, and give them the ability to handle a rapidly changing VUCA world. Van Creveld (1990) described this as a way of finding a proper balance in the tension in officer education between theory and practice, training and education, military and non-military issues, because officer education has traditionally been more focused on technical and practical learning, whereas academic officer education has more focus on intellectual and theoretical learning. The path chosen by the Swedish Armed Forces for reformation of its officer education was to connect officer education to the Bologna process and the Erasmus program in 2009 and become a full-fledged university with higher education credits under the same quality rules and examinations as all other universities. This meant a radical change in the direction of officer training, which was now faced with the ambidextrous task of teaching not only the current practical knowledge (Ryle 1949/2009), but also of developing the officer’s ability for reflective and critical thinking. Officer education would no longer strive for adaptive and reproductive learning (Ellström 2001) of practice-based knowledge, but rather develop the ability of potential officers to think creatively and develop new knowledge. Furthermore, just like any other higher education, the education program would be founded on a scientific basis and proven experience, which was a major change in officer training, which had essentially been based on its own course literature. This chapter presents the generic pedagogical model developed by the Leadership Department to meet the ambidextrous requirement to provide education both in the practical professional knowledge for the here and know, and in more forward and creative thinking based on scientific methods, scientific knowledge and critical relationships (Ellström and Nilsen 2014). The aim of this chapter is to present a generic model for officer education, which is in use in the leadership courses at the Swedish Defence University to produce officers with ambidextrous competences and skills. The model is used to create academically based, professional officer education to meet the ambidextrous requirements to educate officers in both professional current know-how competences, based on practical knowledge and professional experience, and for the future unknown VUCA world, based on research knowledge and methods, and reflective and creative thinking. The model has a functional balance between theory and practice, and education and training, which has the potential to meet the ambidextrous requirements of both the military profession, and the standards of higher education, with their requirements for academic quality. The pedagogic model is generic in that it can be used in all officer education programs at military academies and universities. Basic entry officer programs and programs at a higher level, such as command and staff courses, will

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follow the same path of academic progress as regular universities with bachelor and master degrees. The balance of education and training will be affected; i.e., there is more education at higher levels and more training at the entry level. The pedagogic model might also help to develop a model for curriculum work, which will enhance possibilities to compare curricula, and promote opportunities for mobility among students, teachers, and researchers at officer education institutions.

10.2 Practice-Based and Research-Based Knowledge The generic pedagogic model presented in this article is inspired by a concept for the integration of research-based and practice-based knowledge (Ellström 2010; Ellström and Nilsen 2014).

10.2.1 Practice-Based Knowledge Practice-based knowledge is related to and represents experience-proven knowledge and skills characterized by: finding solutions to specific problems, hands-on use in a concrete, context-specific everyday situation, usually tacit knowledge expressed in action, difficult to share, unique, personal, and difficult to access. Practice-based knowledge is focused on learning know-how (Ryle 1949/2009) in a specific context or for a specific position and has its roots in the workplace and the traditional masterapprentice system, which has also been the common traditional pedagogic method for military officer education not too long ago. The merits of practice-based knowledge are that it is useful for: improving existing routines and work in the short term, it is very concrete in form, and it is quite easy to evaluate its effects. The weaknesses, on the other hand, are that it is very context-specific, it is conservative in nature and can obstruct improvement and creative thinking, and it is best suited for supporting what Argyris (1982, 1999) and Argyris and Schön (1978) call single-loop learning, because it is characterized by improving existing routines, work, and capabilities, rather than reframing a situation, developing new capabilities, or solving ambiguous problems.

10.2.2 Research-Based Knowledge Research-based knowledge is related to theory, research, and academic knowledge and is characterized by: improving understanding of problems, relevance and applicability to a wider sphere than the specific situation, explicit codified knowledge primarily expressed in text, ease of sharing, public availability in books, journals and reports, and it must often pass rigorous quality control through a peer review system.

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Research-based knowledge has its roots in academia and universities and is a result of scientific research methods and critical reflection. The merits of research-based knowledge are that it is: not context or position specific, it is focused on principles rather than specific applications; it has a tradition of questioning old truths, an open attitude to new knowledge and solutions and supports what Argyris (1982/1999) and Argyris and Schön (1978) call double-loop learning, which refers to reframing a situation, developing new capabilities, or solving ambiguous problems. The weaknesses of research-based knowledge are that it is not very concrete and does not prepare people for specific contexts or situations, which can be very frustrating not only for students, but also for employers. It is difficult to evaluate its effects in the short term. The distinction between practice-based knowledge and research-based knowledge should simply be perceived as an analytic tool at either end of a continuum of knowledge types, and the challenge in officer education is to find a fruitful and functional balance between them. The concepts of practice-based knowledge and research-based knowledge are related to adaptive learning and creative learning.

10.3 Adaptive and Creative Learning 10.3.1 Adaptive Learning Adaptive learning is about learning well-known, routinized, rule-based or habitual practice-based knowledge for handling recurrent daily problems and demands (Ellström 2001, 2006). It is a process of learning, and socialization of institutional rules, in a specific context, what to do and how to do it (Abell 1995; Scott 1995), which can be manifested in written or verbal instructions, manuals, guidelines, and in tacit knowledge (Polanyi 1967; Ryle 1949/2009). Adaptive learning is efficient when learning what is already known, and when the aim is simply to make people do things a certain way, with high levels of quality in performance, homogeneity, certainty, and stability. The weaknesses of adaptive learning are that it is conservative, and it follows traditions, which can hamper the need to learn or understand new problems, situations, and challenges. Adaptive learning is closely related to singleloop learning (Argyris 1982/1999; Argyris and Schön 1978) and can work well when making minor changes and reforms in a specific context, but it is lacking when trying to find new solutions and develop practice-based knowledge; then there is a need for creative learning.

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10.3.2 Creative Learning In contrast to adaptive learning, creative learning is associated with more radical changes, the revision or development of routines, rules, organizations, goals, products, i.e., what Argyris (1982/1999) and Argyris and Schön (1978) call double-loop learning. Creative learning promotes exploration, variation and diversity, taking risks, trying to “think outside the box,” and breaking institutional rules. The basis of creative learning is reflection, which is the process of transforming facts, actions, and everyday experience into learning and understanding (Schön 1991). According to Dewey (1933/2008), the mechanism of reflection is a process of exposé and scrutinizes our beliefs, behavior, actions, and responses to everyday problems and situations. Reflection is a process of inner dialogue that integrates old and newly discovered knowledge into new knowledge, which can open individuals up to new experiences, ideas, mental models, mindsets, and new behavior and actions (Boud et al. 1985). Mezirow (1997) describe it as a process that leads to new interpretations and understanding involving a change or transformation of an individual’s meaning schemes and perspective. There are different types and levels of reflection and Moon (1999) put forward five stages of reflection, where the first three are related to single loop, adaptive learning, and the last two are related to double-loop, creative learning. The first level, “noticing,” refers to the acquisition of sensory data. The second level, “making sense,” refers to seeking coherency in the material that is perceived. The third level “making meaning” is when new knowledge is related and added to old knowledge. The fourth level “working with meaning” is thinking things over deeply until they generate meaning, which is the basis for deeper learning (Biggs and Tang 2011; Ramsden 2003), and the fifth level, “transformative learning,” (Mezirow 1997) is a radical change in understanding, a new way of understanding.

10.4 Practice- and Research-Based Knowledge in Professional Officer Education In an officer education context, practice-based knowledge and adaptive learning have always been the norm and the traditional way of learning. However, the transformation of the officer education system to meet university standards has challenged this traditional norm, because the promotion of research-based knowledge and creative learning form the core of academic logic. Traditional officer education has focused on learning to solve current problems, situations and tasks; while academic education focuses more on learning for the future and for problems, situations, and tasks, we know little or nothing about yet. One critical but very important part of creating modern and functional professional officer education is the integration of practicebased knowledge (training) with research-based knowledge (education) in a way that enhances both adaptive and creative learning, and which creates a deeper understanding of what is learnt than would be possible with just one of the two knowledge

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types. This means that the research-based knowledge must be theories and academic knowledge that are relevant for the practice-based knowledge. If this is the case, it will not only improve both the understanding and the skills to use what is learnt, i.e., single loop learning, but will also enhance reflection and critical thinking that can enhance double-loop learning (Argyris 1982/1999). This is the essence of the integration of practice-based and research-based knowledge. Two mistakes when trying to transform traditional vocational education into professional education, with an academic basis, can occur when the balance between practice-based knowledge and research-based knowledge is poorly designed. Firstly, there can be too much academic knowledge at the expense of practice-based knowledge, and secondly, there is no genuine integration between the two types of knowledge. This happens when the research-based knowledge is too general and has little or no application in the practice-based knowledge. The main function of research-based knowledge in professional academic education should be to support the understanding, the critical thinking and development of the professional practice-based knowledge, and practical behaviors and actions. It is important to understand the different logics of these two types of knowledge and how they might affect students. Practice-based knowledge with adaptive learning has a logic of production, while research-based knowledge and creative learning have a logic of critical thinking development.

10.5 A Generic Officer Education Model for Producing Officers with Ambidextrous Competences and Skills The application of the concepts of research-based and practice-based knowledge, and the concepts of adaptive and creative learning, into concrete curricula and a model for leadership education resulted in the development of a generic pedagogic model for officer education containing seven variables (see Fig. 10.1).

Fig. 10.1 Generic officer education model for producing officers with ambidextrous competences and skills

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10.5.1 The Aim and Purpose of the Entire Officer Program The aim and purpose of any officer program might appear quite unproblematic, but, as seen in Pale’s (2010) overview of officer education in Europe, it is not very clear. This means that there could be a problem in creating a coherent, relevant curriculum with distinct, clear aims, and purposes for the entire program, which can be assessed and compared in line with the quality requirements in higher education systems. For example, the aim of the command and staff program at the Swedish Defence University (SEDU) is to educate student officers so they have the competence to be staff officers or commanders in national and international staffs. This means that all courses in the program should contribute to this aim.

10.5.2 Aim and Specific Purpose of Each Specific Course The aim and specific purpose of each specific course must be derived from the aim and purpose of the entire program and must be clear, distinct, and possible to evaluate. In professional officer education, the aims must always have a clear relevance for the development of the officer’s professional knowledge and skills. In some cases, this has been problematic for many European officer education programs since the transformation to more academic education (Paile 2010). The increased general academic profile of officer education has resulted in it losing part of its professional character. This can lead to officer education becoming more general academic education rather than professional vocational officer education. If it is not possible to identify at least some professional relevance in the aims of a specific course, there might be good reasons to change the course content. Furthermore, when deciding the aims and purpose of each course in the program, it is important to have a clear idea of what is to be achieved during the course, how to achieve it and how to assess the outcome—or, as described by Biggs and Tang (2011) and Ramsden (2003), a constructive alignment, which includes sound principles for devising objectives, curriculum content, teaching and learning activities, and assessment tasks that directly address the intended learning outcomes. In the leadership program of the command and staff course at the SEDU, one course is on leadership and team learning. The aim of the course is to increase the officer’s leadership skills to facilitate learning and learning activities in a military staff, an aim which is derived directly from the aim of the entire program.

10.5.3 Research-Based Academic Knowledge To become becoming an accredited institution in the higher education system, it is necessary to develop curricula and courses based on solid research-based academic

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knowledge. The research and academic knowledge can come from the fields of psychology, social psychology, sociology, organizational theory, military sociology, and pedagogy. In these academic fields, there is a lot of research and knowledge that is highly relevant in developing an officer’s professional knowledge and skills. Furthermore, many studies in psychology, social psychology, sociology, organizational theory, and pedagogy have actually been carried out in a military context, and in military sociology all studies are related to the military, which ensures the professional relevance of the research-based knowledge. The teachers of the research-based knowledge can be civilian university lecturers and professors or officers with a PhD. At least some of them should do research in the field they teach, because this promotes a constructive loop of research, development and education. The intention here is to build up a substantial body of civilian academics and officers with PhD degrees to create a productive mix of civilian and military academics and, not least, build up a sound body of research important for the development of the officer profession. The literature should generally be academic books and peer-reviewed articles from academic journals. This not only ensures a high standard of academic literature, but also that students are made aware of and updated on current research. This is important because it familiarizes officers with the academic world and journals that publish research on topics most relevant for the officer profession. They might also be inspired to do some research themselves. Without this knowledge of the literature, officers will find it very difficult to grasp what research-based knowledge actually is, how it is produced and how professional knowledge can enhance their own and other officers’ professional knowledge. In the leadership and team learning course, the teachers have PhD-level education, and the literature consists of peer-reviewed articles and books related to team learning and leadership in general and military contexts.

10.5.4 Practice-Based Knowledge Practice-based knowledge is essential to demonstrate how theories and academic knowledge can be applied in real-life situations related to the officer profession. It is in the meeting between research-based knowledge and practice-based knowledge that professional knowledge can grow, be understood and developed. The mix of research-based and practice-based knowledge is the key to relating research-based knowledge to professional knowledge, and it can also compensate for the students’ lack of personal professional experience. If there are no practical illustrations and applications of the research-based academic knowledge, it can be too abstract for students to fully understand. This could make it impossible for them to get into what Vygotsky (1986) calls the proximal zone, which is the knowledge zone where it is possible for students to learn with the help of someone else who knows more than they do. If the content and topic being taught is too alien, complex, or abstract, in relation to the students’ experience, it will fall outside their proximal zone and

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learning ability. It is then difficult to achieve holistic and deep learning; at best there could just be atomistic and surface learning, if any learning at all. Generally, the teachers on these courses (as is the case for the leadership and team learning course at the command and staff course) should be officers or other professionals with sound practical personal experience of what the theories and research-based knowledge are about. This is also a good way to give students an opportunity to meet experienced professionals.

10.5.5 Theoretical Application, Processing, and Reflection Theoretical application, processing, and reflection is the assessment of what students have actually learnt about the theories from research-based academic knowledge and practice-based knowledge. The choice of examination or assessment tasks is extremely important because it will have a considerable effect on the students’ perception of the aim of the course, and where it is important for them to focus their learning. If examinations focus on too many details in a way that lacks coherence and is untestable for the students, the result will be atomistic and surface learning (Biggs and Tang 2011; Ramsden (2003). The students will strive to learn by heart and not really try to gain a deeper understanding of the principles and the essence of the topic, i.e., a holistic deep-learning approach. The examinations must be a coherent part of the constructive alignment where intended learning outcomes are related to teaching and learning activities, which are examined and assessed with relevant tasks based on the course content. The students must get the possibility to reflect on, analyze and describe a professional situation that needs to be dealt with in a professional manner. They should then present how they would work with the task and suggest what can be done to develop or complete the task, relating their findings to what they have learnt about practice-based and research-based professional knowledge. This kind of examination is also partly inspired by a problem-based learning method (HmeloSilver 2004), where students have to cooperate to analyze and identify a problem, find the knowledge that can help to solve the problem, and finally suggest some solutions based on that knowledge. This need for cooperation among the students in the examination task is an important part of the pedagogic model because it will enhance opportunities for the students to learn from each other. In this case, the learning is a fundamentally collective process, which aims to improve the knowledge and skills of both individual students and the group. To make this happen, there is a need for a pedagogic method that makes it possible to tap the potential for many minds to be more intelligent than one (Senge 2006). According to Senge, this is a genuine dialogue, which, unlike discussion, is when no one strives to win; everyone is a winner. In dialogue, the students explore complex issues from many points of view and gain insights that could not be achieved individually. The intention of this pedagogic method is to create an effective, productive balance of adaptive learning and creative learning where students have to use what they have learnt, related to a relevant professional context, and where they also use creative

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learning, critical thinking, and reflection to create new professional knowledge. This ability to apply professional knowledge, gained through adaptive learning, in a professional context, and to create new professional knowledge by reflection on one’s own actions and creative learning, constitutes what Donald Schön (1991) calls “the reflective practitioner.” This is the essence of both the individual professional competence and shared professional competence needed to build up and develop the collective body of professional knowledge. This ability is what constitutes learning for the future and for the unknown, which is one of the important aims of higher education. In the team learning and leadership course, the theoretical application occurs when each student officer, based on theoretical and practical knowledge, and their own knowledge and experience, have to write a paper about how they, as a commander in a military staff, will promote good learning. They also have to present their answers in a seminar.

10.5.6 Practical Application, Synthesis, and Reflection Practical application, synthesis, and reflection occurs when students use and apply relevant theoretical knowledge in practical professional situations, which they will do on various kinds of military exercises during officer education programs, from a lower tactical level (squad/platoon) up to the operational level (formation), depending on the officer program. This is the output of the research-based and practice-based knowledge actually acquired by individual students. It is what each student has managed to synthesize and transform into practical professional competencies, skills, actions, and behaviors. Here, it will be obvious if the student has gained deeper, holistic knowledge, which can be transformed into real action and behaviors, rather than just atomistic, surface knowledge (Biggs and Tang 2011; Ramsden 2003). What students can actually do in action and practice shows the professional knowledge, skills, and behaviors they have actually learnt. In both theoretical and practical applications, the main aim is to use research-based and practice-based knowledge from the course and apply it in a professional context, where the essential aim is to learn rather than control. The aim is to develop functional professional knowledge, instead of just declarative university knowledge, which requires the student to execute, apply, and prioritize (Leinhardt et al. 1995). The practical application in the leadership and team learning course involves participation, as staff members and commanders, in the annual international Combined Joint Staff Exercises, with about 450 student officers from about 15 countries. Here they have to put into practice what they have presented in theory in their seminar papers. This gives them a very good opportunity to test their ideas and explore what kind of leadership best facilitates good team learning.

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10.5.7 The Effect for the Individual The effect for individual officers will vary, even if they have done exactly the same courses in the officer program. This is because they are all individuals, different people with different backgrounds, skills, interests, motivation, and so on. A useful pedagogic method to help students scrutinize their own progress and development, during their entire officer education, is to give them a “book of progress.” In this book, they reflect on, and write down what they have learnt in respective courses, and how this learning has affected them as officers and commanders, their perception of leadership, attitudes, and other issues related to the development of their professional knowledge, competencies, and skills. The main purpose of this “book of progress” is to get them used to reflecting on, and being aware of how the education affects them. It also gives them a very concrete example of a simple but very effective method for documenting their reflections, which is important in helping them to train themselves to develop their professional skills and competence and to become good “reflective practitioners” (Schön 1991). This is the final step in the leadership and team learning course. Here they have to evaluate, reflect, and draw some conclusions and lessons learned from their own and others’ performance during the staff exercise. Reflection is one of the core competences in higher education and the basis of developing both professional competence and lifelong learning. This is what each individual will actually take with them to develop their own professional development.

10.6 Discussion The aim of this chapter is to present a generic model for officer education to produce officers with ambidextrous competences and skills, in order to meet the ambidextrous requirements to educate officers in both professional current knowhow competences, based on practical knowledge and professional experience, and for an unknown future, based on research knowledge and methods, and reflective and creative thinking. The main arguments for and benefits of implementation of the generic pedagogic model are that the generic model can be used in all officer education from the basic entry officer program up to higher levels, such as command and staff courses. It will be an effective tool in transforming officer education from traditional non-academic vocational training based on practice-based knowledge and proven experience, to professional vocational education based on academic knowledge, research, and critical thinking. The progression in the programs will follow the same academic progress as regular universities with bachelor and master degrees. The model will also affect the balance of education and training; i.e., there is more education at higher levels and more training at the entry level. It can enhance the possibility of comparing curriculum and promote opportunities for mobility among students, teachers, researchers, and officers, which will increase understanding and

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cooperation between different nations’ armed forces and officer education. Nevertheless, the main argument could be that adaption and transformation to become part of higher education system mean that the military profession must start a process of professionalization by building up their own body of professional research-based knowledge. This means that there must be research into military practice, which continuously contributes to developing and improving officer education, and the common body of professional knowledge, in a systematic and constructive loop of research and development, in the same way as traditional professions, e.g., medicine and law. If military academies and universities around the world become part of higher education systems, they can build sound officer education based on sound research-based and practice-based knowledge, which will be both highly functional for the profession’s needs, and the requirements of higher education. Furthermore, they will become part of the worldwide higher education quality assurance system for research and education; they will join research communities for sharing and discussing research results, methods and, not least, establishing research networks and possibilities for cooperation and exchanges of teachers and students. The generic officer education model presented in this chapter should be perceived as a serious proposal for the development of a common model for the planning and execution of officer education, which can meet the ambidextrous requirements of both the military profession and of higher education. The generic model could also be useful in resolving the classical clashes in professional officer education, such as the tensions between: theory and practice, training and education, military and nonmilitary issues. The intention of this chapter is to invite scholars and professionals to join in constructive and fruitful discussion and dialogue to further develop the pedagogic model presented.

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Ellström, P. E. (2010). Practice-based innovation: A learning perspective. Journal of Workplace Learning, 22(1–2), 27–40. Ellström, P. E., & Nilsen, P. (2014). Promoting practice based innovation in through learning at work. In S. Billet, C. Harteis, H. Gruber (Eds.), International handbook of research in professional and practice-based learning (pp. 1161–1185) Dordrecht: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/97894-017-8902-8. Hedlund, E. (2018). A generic pedagogic model for academically based professional officer education. Armed Forces and Society, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1177/0095327X17749488. Hmelo-Silver, C. (2004). Problem-based learning: What and how do students learn? Educational Psychology Review, 16(3), 235–266. Leinhardt, G., McCarthy Young, K., & Merriman, J. (1995). Integrating professional knowledge: The theory of practice and the practice of theory. Learning and Instructions, 5(4), 401–408. Mezirow, J. (1997). Transformative learning: Theory to practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education 5–12. http://doi.org/10.1002/ace.7401. Moon, J. (1999). Reflection in learning and professional development: Theory and practice. London: Routledge. Paile, S. (2010). The European military higher education stocktaking report. Brussel: General Secretariat of the Council, ESDC. Polanyi, M. (1967). The Tacit Dimension. London: Routledge & K. Paul. Ramsden, P. (2003). In Learning to teach in higher education (2 ed.). London: Routledge. Ryle, G. (1949/2009). In The concept of mind. London: Routledge. Scott, W. R. (1995). Introduction: Institutional theory and organizations. In R. Scott & S. Christensen (Eds.), The institutional constructions of organizations. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications Inc. Schön, D. (1991). The reflective practitioner. London: Ashgate Publishing Limited. Senge, P. (2006). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of learning organizations. New York, NY: Random House. Shields, P. M., & Soeters, J. (2017). Peaceweaving: Jane Addams, positive peace, and public administration. American Review of Public Administration, 47(3), 323–339. https://doi.org/10.1177/027 5074015589629. Shields, P. M., & Travis, D. S. (2017). Achieving organizational flexibility through ambidexterity. Parameters, 47(2), 63–76. Van Creveld, M. (1990). The training of officers. New York: Free Press. Vygotsky, L. (1986). Tought and language. USA, Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. Whiteman, W.E. (1998) In Training and educating army officers for the 21st century: Implications for the United States military academy. Defence Technical Information Centre, Fort Belvoir. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a345812.pdf. Accessed 20 Feb 2020.

Chapter 11

Carnival Mockery of the Locals: The Ambidexterity of Organizational Gossip in Print Ad van Iterson

Abstract Gossip on the work floor has only received scholarly attention in recent decades. One of the main findings of organizational gossip research is that it is ambidextrous in nature. Its double-sidedness, namely that gossip is used to blame others but also to praise others, has always been ignored, probably due to the historical negative connotations surrounding the practice of “evil tongues.” This chapter analyzes an organization’s carnival gazette full of mocking gossip leading to the conclusion that gossip need not be strictly praise or blame gossip. Discourse ambidexterity can take on subtle forms, constituting challenges for management and workforce alike. Keywords Organizational ambidexterity · Workfloor gossip · Carnival traditions · Content analysis

11.1 Introduction Gossip pervades social life (e.g., Dunbar 1996), thus also formal organizations, such as governmental and religious institutions, business firms, schools and universities, as well as the military. Unfortunately, gossip seems to traditionally have been ignored in management and organization studies (for a notable exception, see Davis 1953, 1969, 1973), or even trivialized and demonized. Only in the 1990s, scholarly studies of gossip in organizations began to emerge which looked at its antecedents, processes, and consequences at work (Kurland and Pelled 2000; Noon and Delbridge 1993). An early network approach to organizational gossip was developed by Sjo Soeters and me (Soeters and Van Iterson 2002; see also Grosser et al. 2010; Ellwardt et al. 2012). To date, there is still hardly any research available on the relationship between organizational form and incidence and content of gossip, although Michelson and Mouly (2004) hint at the possibility that gossip will thrive in work contexts where

A. van Iterson (B) Maastricht, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_11

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its members do not ordinarily have much control over their working lives, such as in military and quasi-military organizations. Whereas organization studies have only recent decades caught up with respect to gossip research, the social sciences in general have always displayed a wide interest in this type of social interaction, as is typified by numerous sociological and anthropological field studies (e.g., Amster 2004; Cox 1970; Gilmore 1978; Gluckman 1963; Haviland 1977; Herskovits 1937; Paine 1967). These studies have demonstrated that the discursive practice of gossip is ambidextrous in nature. Using a functionalist idiom, one can say that gossip has both positive and negative functions. Through gossip, social values are communicated to, and reproduced by, the members of a culture. Particularly, gossip plays a role in the socialization of members of groups or organizations (Bordia et al. 2006; DiFonzo and Bordia 2007; Guerin and Miyazaki 2006). But gossip also serves as a segregator. It helps to define and sustain who is an insider or outsider and reinforces power differences (e.g., Elias and Scotson 1995; Gluckman 1963; Suls 1977). More in general, gossip encourages the development of social relationships and networks (Doyle 2000; Emler 1990, 1994; Beersma and Van Kleef, 2011; Beersma et al. 2019), and in doing so promotes closeness and friendship (Bosson et al. 2006). Next, gossip enables (organizational) learning: Gossip is communication that can teach us about our social environment, about “how the things are done around here” (Baumeister et al. 2004) and how to set and attain new goals—in other words, gossip can serve exploitation as well as exploration. Gossip also is a vehicle of subtle resistance that, however, more often than not serves rather as a safety valve that supports the existing relations of power (Linstead 1985). Due to its secretive nature, gossip is rarely employed to outright deflate and debase authority (Clegg and Van Iterson 2009). Nevertheless, gossip can have destructive consequences for individuals, groups as well as organizations alike (Baker and Jones 1996; Van Iterson and Clegg 2008). Downright malicious gossip is regarded as a form of indirect aggression (Foster and Rosnow 2006). This view is particularly reflected in the general management and human resource literature. Much of this literature sees gossip as leading to a blame culture in the organization, causing physical or psychological injury and distress to members, or destruction of an organization’s reputation (Foster 2004). Such gossip, oftentimes leading to “a culture of fear,” is even considered and managed as a form of workplace bullying and violence (Einarsen, Hoel, Zapf and Cooper 2003). Lastly, gossip is fun. Employees who engage in gossip as entertainment derive excitement and relaxation from the activity. Mockery about peers and superiors can be appreciated as a specific form of gossip in which the fun part is predominant. In this, Chapter 1 analyzes a rare case of organizational gossip in print, namely an organization’s informal gazette which has been published for a number of years around carnival, the Western Christian feast that precedes the liturgical season of Lent, and which typically involves public parades, street parties and other entertainments. This case study aims at deepening our knowledge about the widespread discursive phenomenon of organizational gossip with its ambidextrous outcomes.

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But first I will further zoom in on gossip in general and present some of its basic characteristics.

11.2 Organizational Gossip Defined Providing a scientific definition of gossip is not easy because, historically, gossip has received negative connotations (cf. Bergmann 1993). Gossips have always been the doings of “evile tongues.” It is furthermore difficult since gossip is closely related to other forms of discourse, such as myths, stories, rumor, small talk, chatting and urban legends. But a number of basic characteristics of gossip are apparent. Gossip is informal, everyday communication. This means that it is neither constitutive of nor mandated by the occupational and organizational roles that organizational members fulfill. Rather, gossip is part of the “under-life” of formal organizations (Goffman 1961). Rosnow and Fine (1976: 87) define gossiping as spreading “news about the affairs of another, to one’s own memoirs or confessions, or to any hearsay of a personal nature be it positive or negative, spoken or in print.” Gossip can be fact based—it often is—but almost always does contain an element of valuation, as we have seen above, and a certain measure of exaggeration. Evidently, gossip is easy to get to and travels fast. A gossip story can go “under,” that is: It seems forgotten, but may pop up later again. It takes at least two people to engage in gossip. People gossip about a (usually absent) third party, such as an individual (Paine 1967) or a specific group of people (Herskovits 1937), or more generalized others, who are to be found in media stories, politics, sports, et cetera. The nature of gossip is evaluative: The information has a negative or positive component (Davis 1973). Hence, the ambidexterity of negative (or blame) gossip and positive (praise) gossip. As Yerkovich (1977) has argued: a certain intimate knowledge of the praised or blamed third party—be it via personal communication or via mass media, such as the “scandal press,” or via a combination of the two: social media—is essential. When the evaluative component is missing, one can better label the activity as small talk, or as chitchat. Van Iterson et al. (2011: 378) arrive at the following compound definition: Gossip is evaluative talk between minimally two persons about a third party that may be spoken, written (e.g., graffiti, anonymous memos, emails, text messages, entries and chat on social media), or visual (gestures and looks) (Waddington 2012) and that fulfills “a variety of essential social network functions including entertainment, maintaining group cohesiveness, establishing, changing and maintaining group norms, group power structure and group membership” (DiFonzo and Bordia 2007: 19). The latter part of the definition echoes the conclusions of anthropologist Gluckman (1963) who distinguishes three collective functions of gossip: to (i) create group morale, establishing and vindicating group norms and values; (ii) exert social control over newcomers and dissidents; and (iii) regulate conflicts with rival groups.

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The “triad of gossip” (Bergmann 1993) refers to the basic social structure and process of gossip. The three parties involved in (organizational) gossip are usually labeled as the gossiper, the recipient, and the target (or gossipee, see Jaeger et al. 1998). In general, the gossiper knows about the private situation of the individual or group being gossiped about, that is, the target. The gossiper transfers the knowledgecum-moral judgment to a recipient. The recipient has the choice to withhold the gossip or to convey it to a fourth party, or even to the target—even though this is usually against the gossipers intention. When passing on the gossip, the recipient becomes a gossiper him or herself. The gossip chain can become quite long before it reaches the target, if it does so at all. The factual and moral content can change significantly in the process. Often the gossip becomes more extreme, far beyond the personal intentions of the subsequent gossipers. The advance of the gossip is, like all social interaction, characterized by unforeseen and unintended consequences. In choosing the recipient, the gossiper has to keep in mind that the recipient may already have heard the gossip from someone else, unless the gossiper can be sure that it is otherwise. Telling a piece of gossip that is already known can cause embarrassment, although a slight one. More crucial is that the gossiper has to take into account that the recipient must be a willing partaker. “Is he or she on my side when I tell the gossip?” Support of the moral judgment, embedded in the gossip, is sought when the gossiper looks on the recipient as someone who concurs with the blaming or praising of the target. Disagreement with the moral judgment is sought when the gossiper regards the recipient as someone who is also to blame and/or does not deserve any praise either. The gossiper is aware that, through gossiping, she discloses herself as a gossiper. The gossiper may not be bothered if the recipient knows this, or may have a special objective. As a rule, the gossiper does not want the target, and other parties, to know that she is spreading the gossip. The combination of disclosure/closure adds to the morally ambivalent nature of gossiping. Gossiping, although often enjoyable to do, often elicits feelings of shame and guilt in the gossiper and sometimes also in the recipient. Gossip, being so ephemeral, constitutes methodological problems for academic research. Whereas some organizational gossip is written down—e.g., graffiti on toilet walls, anonymous letters, “funny” emails, satiric publications accompanying events such as a jubilee or retirement or organizational members’ diaries (Waddington 2005)—the vast bulk persists in people’s minds and memory only. And people often have valid reasons to withhold the gossip they have told or heard. Even if they are willing to cooperate with the researcher(s), the original gossip maybe severely distorted. The impediments of utilizing respondents’ memories may account for the fact that research in organizational gossip has largely remained conceptual (e.g., Noon and Delbridge 1993; Michelson and Mouly 2000; Kurland and Pelled 2000). Observation—often used to study gossip in local communities (e.g., Herskovits 1937; Elias and Scotson 1995; Gilmore 1978)—is a way out, but time-consuming. In the current chapter, an out of the ordinary source of printed information full of work floor gossip is analyzed, namely the annual carnival gazette issued at a higher education institution in Maastricht, the Netherlands (hereafter called “the School”).

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This analysis may further our understanding of the ambivalent, ambidextrous nature of (organizational) gossip.

11.3 The Case: Yearly Carnival Mockery via Organizational Gossip Between February 1995 and February 2003, the Public Relations department of the School mentioned above issued a carnival gazette, called ’t Pileerke (“the little pillar,” mentioned after a local beer glass). Being a fulltime member of the School during those years I had not only easy access to all nine editions of ‘t Pileerke, but I could also profit from my intimate knowledge of both the formal and informal characteristics of that educational institution. Before I ventured a qualitative analysis of the carnival gazette’s content, capitalizing on my organizational involvement but trying to take a detached stance, I measured the sheer numbers of references to individuals and entities to establish which (groups of) employees are the major “targets” of the gossip as will be elaborated on below. The authors of ‘t Pileerke, who also formed the editorial board, were anonymous, which is in line with the tradition of carnival publications. Over the years, the authors comprised 5 academic staff members (2 full professors, 2 associate professors, 1 assistant professor) and 6 support staff members (2 student advisors, 2 public relation officers, 1 secretary, and 1 member of the exam administration staff) which is a fair representation of the School’s functional composition and range. Of these 11 authors, 9 are born and raised in or around the city of Maastricht, and 2 in an area in the Netherlands where carnival is virtually not celebrated. The two non-locals were both members of the academic staff. Nevertheless, since the great majority of the academic staff had non-local roots, this distribution of authorships’ backgrounds was strongly biased. School members are mainly invited to contribute to the gazette on the basis of their command of the local dialect and, next, of their familiarity with the (local) carnival esprit and institutions. Let it already be said that satire and mockery are significant elements of the carnival tradition.

11.3.1 A Short Excursion on the Esprit and Institutions of Carnival Mockery Carnival originated in various European places in response to the strict observation by the Roman-Catholic Church of the forty days fasting period before Easter, when it was prohibited to eat meat. Since many sacrifices had to be made to pay for one’s sins, a celebration before the start of this Lent would compensate for the stern weeks to follow, with the extra benefit that, through celebrating, the people’s food and drinks supplies could be consumed. So the feast of “carnival” evolved, reviving,

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probably, elements of pre-Christian Spring feasts. People were singing and dancing in the streets from Carnival Sunday to midnight on Shrove Tuesday. During these “three jolly days,” people wore masks and dressed fancy to hide their identity. In this way, they could ridicule the ruling nobility without being afraid of prosecution and punishment. As to ridicule, Bakhtin (1984) refers to the “second voice” of Menippean dialogue, a turn from the skeptical but sincere questioning of the Socratic dialogue to mocking and cynical questioning. This Menippean dialogue is, Bakhtin argues, is closely associated with the notions of laughter and carnival. One citizen was elected the “Fool” or “Prince of Fools.” He was supposed to mock the clergy, nobility and other notables for their mistakes. His vehicle was mainly the Fool’s public speeches. The Fool was followed by the other merrymakers. Their mockery also materialized in songs, comedies, pamphlets and periodicals, with mainly anonymous authorship. Frequently, these types of carnival mockery were phrased in gossip idiom. “Did you hear what happened to X?”—after which a mocking gossip about a powerful of famous person was sung or narrated (See for gossipy carnival songs in Andalusia: Mintz 1997). In early 1820s Cologne, carnival was re-organized by groups of bourgeois to counter the disorderliness and excessive vulgarity to which carnival, in their eyes, had degenerated (Frohn 2000). The cities of Mainz, Düsseldorf, Aachen et cetera soon followed. The German Rhineland model of modern, organized carnival, with its official parades and numerous other ceremonies and symbols, was essentially adopted in various villages and cities in the Southern provinces of the Netherlands. Maastricht, the capital of Limburg, is widely considered as one of the best places to celebrate carnival in the Netherlands. At the same time, the people of Maastricht themselves maintain that only they know how to really celebrate it. People from the northern part of the Netherlands will never fully understand and appreciate the real spirit. In that respect, carnival and carnival publications are vehicles of local pride, and a certain regionalism as well. Below I also examine whether this cultural battle can be identified in the School’s carnival gazette as well.

11.3.2 Targets and Themes of Carnival Mockery As to the major targets of the mock gossip: Tables 11.1 and 11.2 show that the full professors and the administrative and support staff are relatively more often mentioned than the associate professors, assistant professors, PhD students et cetera. If we take the 1999 employee composition as a point of reference, the ratios number of references/share in total School employment are respectively: 2.29 for the full professors, 0.55 for the other academic staff and 1.35 for the administrative and support staff. However, a different pattern arises when one considers the ten most-mentioned employees over the years: full professors seeming to draw by far the most attention (see Table 11.3). However, positions 11–50 in terms of number of mentions (see Table 11.4) again coincide largely with the functional distribution in Table 11.2.

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Table 11.1 Faculty’s functional composition January 1999 and January 2003 a Function

Full professors

Other academic staff

Administrative and support staff

Total

Year (January)

1999

2003

1999

2003

1999

2003

1999

2003

N employees

40

53

175

178

76

110

291

341

% employees

14

15.5

60

52

26

100

100

32.5

a Before 1999, there are no sophisticated data on the faculty’s personnel available. But one can safely

assume that the functional composition is approximately the same in the first years of publication of the carnival gazette Table 11.2 Number of references to individual faculty employees 1995–2003 Function

Full professors

Other academic staff

Administrative and support staff

Total

N %

35

37

39

111

32

33

35

100

Table 11.3 Top 10 of most-mentioned faculty employees 1995–2003 Ranking

Number of references

Function

1

17

Director of the faculty

2

13

Full professor A

3

11

Full professor B

4

8

Full professor C

(5)

8

Full professor D

6

7

Associate professor A

7

6

Full professor E

(8)

6

Support staff member A

9

5

Full professor F

(10)

5

Full professor G

(11)

5

Support staff member B

Table 11.4 Positions 11–50 in numbers of references 1995–2003 Number of references

Full professors

Other academic staff

Administrative and support staff

Total

4

2

1

3

3

4

2

1

6 7

2

5

11

11

27

Total

11

14

15

%

27.5

35

37.5

40 100

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11.3.3 Analysis: Time and Body Management As to the top-10 of most mentioned School employees in the carnival’s gazette (see Table 11.3), it should be noted that full professors A (position 2), D (position 4 ex aequo) and G (position 9 ex aequo) have also acted as Dean of the School in the period concerned (respectively from 1996–1998, 1998–2000 and 1994–1996). Full professor E (position 7 ex aequo) has also been Dean of the School, although in an earlier period. Since a 1988 law reform, the position of Dean has become much more powerful in Dutch university faculties. But it has always been a highly “visible” function: next to being the head responsible of the Board, the Dean of the School acted as figure-head, externally and internally. This visibility also applies to the Director of the School—albeit perhaps less for the academic staff than in the eyes of the administrative and support staff, who are directly supervised by the Director. The number one position on the carnival’s gazette’s gossip chart for this Director, who has been in this function ever since 1984, is therefore perhaps not surprising. Support staff member A (position 7 ex aequo) also held a highly visible position in a part of the period concerned. He was responsible for allocation and furnishing of the employees’ offices and was thus omnipresent in the School’s corridors. The same pertains to support staff member B (position 10 ex aequo). He was one of the School’s receptionists. Obviously, functional visibility does not need to concur with functional power, although it frequently does. Full professors B (position 3), C (position 4) and F (position 9 ex aequo) are “visible” because of their prominent function, but they also draw attention due to their presence and outspokenness in debates at the school, university and societal level. Associate professor A (position 6) enjoys some fame because of his fiction writing. Thus, visibility can be derived from function, but also from activities beyond the confined work role. In that respect, this carnival’s gazette’s gossip bears some resemblance with celebrity gossip in the tabloids and other media. Visibility enhances celebrity which again enhances visibility. Visibility and power alone cannot account for the relatively high incidence of references to the full professors, let alone for the high score of the administrative and support staff. The rivalry between local and cosmopolitan employees is a factor of greater significance. Of the 35 mentioned full professors, only 4 are born and raised in the city of Maastricht or its immediate environment and another 2 originate from an area where carnival is also celebrated, which together comprises 17% of the whole group. The administrative and support staff predominantly consists of locals: A conservative estimation would be that some 80% will be pretty familiar with the carnival esprit and traditions. This dichotomy between locals and non-locals over the “lower” and “higher” functions is typical of professional organizations (cf. Gouldner 1957, 1958). During the whole period considered (1995–2003), there was strikingly no female full professor employed at the School, whereas the administrative and support staff was mostly female (815% in January 1999; 735% in January 2003). Clearly, this double dichotomy (female locals versus. male cosmopolitans) in relation to work floor gossip accounts for the high incidence of “mentions” of both

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groups—quasi-negative about the cosmopolitans and quasi-positive about the locals. The dichotomy also sheds light on the specific themes in the carnival’s gazette. As to the mockery themes, then, Table 11.5 presents a ranking of the subject matters which emerged from a content analysis of the 9 editions of the carnivals gazette. The classification has been carried out in a professional effort at objectivity and trusting on my profound acquaintance with the School, its employees, and the spirit and institutions of (Maastricht) carnival. Multiple mentions of one person regarding the same issue within one text unit (one article, one “bits and pieces” sentence, one photo subscript, etc.) are counted as one record. The items as represented in Table 11.5 can be classified around a number of themes. A first distinction to be made would be between (a) clearly work (role) related values, behavior and conditions and (b) clearly not work (role) related values, behavior and conditions. The following items can be categorized under, respectively, (a) and (b) with little doubt only: (a) 7–8, 11–13, 17–29, 32–35; (b) 4–6 and 15. A sizeable number of items remains then difficult to categorize as these seem to relate to both (a) and (b): 1–3, 9–10, 14, 16, 27, 30 and 31, adding up to 48,5% of the records. This percentage could be even higher, dependent on the interpretation of the items. Strikingly, also, is that the three most popular items fall in this “both (a) and (b) category,” with together 34% of the records. The Dutch sociologist Anton Zijderveld (1979) claims that organizational gossip largely aims at the private person “behind” the work role. My content analysis of the carnival gazette editions seems to substantiate this assertion. If one understands “private person” in a broad sense—referring not only to the person “after work hours,” but also including her personal interpretation of the work role—all of the topics as represented in Table 11.5 fit the statement, except topics 11 and 13. The large group of “both (a) and (b) issues” may give more relief to Zijderveld’s contention. As we have seen, at least 48.5% of the records refer to issues at the intersection of “work” and “non-work,” of “public” and “private.” In these instances, it is not so much about the private person behind the work role, but, as indicated, about the blurring of private person and work role. From the point of view of the organization or the co-workers, such blurring is often problematic. A large number of these “a + b instances” have to do with breaking the rules that are, explicitly or implicitly, created to keep both domains separated. These rules revolve chiefly around body-related issues, ranging from mere physical attendance via personal appearance and hygiene to romance and erotic desire. Physical attendance. See item 3 (traveling, being unobtainable, having a sabbatical, dining outdoors by professors and the School director). This apparent privilege of upper echelon functionaries is ridiculed no less than 14 times. The main suggestion behind this mock gossip is that managers (to the support staff members, professors are principally managers) talk a lot about time and the necessity of promptness and time efficiency, but are nonchalant about it when it concerns their own time management. This item can be linked to item 10 (moonlighting, related to one’s professional expertise or the university’s reputation). Moonlighting, too, seems to be mainly a privilege of higher echelon functionaries, and when such a colleague is absent, the suspicion of moonlighting will grow. The same applies to leisure pursuit at work

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Table 11.5 Ranking of content topics of the carnival’s gazette 1995–2003 Ranking of the topics # Records Topic

Category a, b

1

21

Appearance: physical (un)attractiveness; (dis)tasteful clothing

A+B

2

20

Erotic allusions: sexual inclination, behavior, interest; puns

A+B

3

14

Physical attendance (of professors + director): A + B traveling, being unobtainable, having a sabbatical, dining outdoors

4

9

Private live preferences: (“strange”) hobbies, nights out, etc.

(5)

9

Private wealth

B

6

7

Love of alcoholic drinks

B

7

6

Inaccuracy at work: making mistakes, high expense claims, fraudulent behavior

A

(8)

6

Incapacity at work: e.g., not being able to complete one”s PhD thesis

A

(9)

6

Personal hygiene at work: filthy/too neat behavior at the toilets, with regard to waste-paper baskets, etc.

A+B

10

5

Moonlighting

A+B

(11)

5

Financial resources at work: having a very high/low budget/salary

A

12

3

Time related issues: desirability of closer timekeeping, late arrival at work

A

(13)

3

Redundant jobs/work activities

A

(14)

3

Personal accent/choice of words

A+B

(15)

3

Private relations (with spouse)

B

(16)

3

Stinginess: at work or in the pub

A+B

(17)

3

Disobedience, pertness at work

A

(18)

3

Quality of the dean’s speech at the yearly Christmas lunch

A

(19)

3

Efficiency/effectiveness at work: e.g., inability A to solve problems, unwillingness to cooperate

(20)

3

Typical civil servant behavior (e.g., unworldly A behavior, nine-to-five mentality)

21

2

Shirking/industriousness (of the faculty board) A

(22)

2

Shirking/industriousness (of academic personnel)

A

(23)

2

Pursuing internal strife (“political games” at work)

A

(24)

2

Favoritism at work

A

B

(continued)

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Table 11.5 (continued) Ranking of the topics # Records Topic

Category a, b

(25)

2

Wasting money by the faculty board (e.g., on decoration, art)

A

(26)

2

Being well informed or not, e.g., knowing how A to use the informal channels

(27)

2

Romance at/via work

A+B

(28)

2

Attitude toward meetings, e.g., dislike of long meetings

A

(29)

2

Meticulousness at work

A

(30)

2

Mix-up of private hobbies and work tasks: e.g., leisure activities at work

A+B

(31)

2

Behavior at faculty/department trips

A+B

32

1

Shirking/industriousness (of the administrative support staff)

A

(33)

1

Arrogant behavior at work

A

(34)

1

Servile behavior at work

A

(35)

1

Shrewd behavior at work

A

Total# records a b

161

Work related values Not work related value

(item 30). If one is unreachable, e.g., because the office door is closed, one might well be indulging in hobby activities, such as playing computer games. Personal appearance and hygiene. See item 1 (physical ((un))attractiveness; ((dis))tasteful clothing) and item 9 (personal hygiene at work: filthy/too neat behavior at the toilets, with regard to waste-paper baskets, etc.). These two types of mock gossip are not particularly aimed at upper echelon functionaries. Nevertheless, it is considered to be more hilarious when a professor comes to the office in shorts. Romance and erotic desire. See item 2 (erotic allusions: sexual inclination, behavior, interest; puns) and item 27 (romance at work or through work). Here too, the targets are not only the professors, but any faux pas in this area from their side will induce extra attention and lead to mockery. As to the remaining issues, with some imagination a + b item 14 (personal accent/choice of words) can be related to the body as well. Item 16 (stinginess: at work or in the pub) and item 31 (behavior at trips—trips being betwixt-and-between work and non-work), both a + b as well, seem unrelated to any of the body issues.

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11.4 Conclusion The carnival mock gossip as published in the annual carnival gazette issued at the Dutch higher education institution (1995–2003) I called the School appears to be a blend of upfront derides aimed at upper echelon’ privileges and indirect derides at the weak spot of Western (male) (influential) intellectuals: their body management. Clearly, both the direct and indirect derides come about in a good-humored phrasing–very unlike the violent blame gossip toward the powerful that subordinated people often use to mentally survive (Scott 1990). Carnival does constitute a rebellion against the dominant culture, but at the same time is intimately tied to it (Gilmore 1999). Carnival mockery operates within the secure bounds of shared norms and expectations. It is critique, and at the same time adherence. To outsiders, carnival mock gossip may appear as uncouth. In fact, it is a very sophisticated way of gossip that would escape a strict dichotomy between praise and blame gossip (Elias and Scotson 1965; Soeters and Van Iterson 2002) as an either-or phenomenon. Carnival mock gossip can be praise gossip disguised as blame gossip or blame gossip disguised as praise gossip; in any case, it is gossip wearing a funny mask. For those who are sensitive to it, it is entertainment. For those who are not, it is infantile, tiresome, and a waste of time. It is a Janus Face wearing two masks. All in all, it is the rather friendly and quite harmless revenge of the locals on the visible powerful male cosmopolitans, who assume control again when the carnival is over. Although the editorial board comprises two non-locals, the mock gossip is mainly indigenous. It would, however, be erroneous to perceive first and foremost a cultural battle, fueled by local pride and regionalism, on the School’s carnival gazette pages. Rather it seems that the idiom and images of the modern carnival tradition are seized for enacting group coping strategies in an organizational arena. For future research, it would be interesting to seek other (printed) sources of organizational gossip that “borrow” an extraneous discourse. The indirect nature of such narration and visualization may enhance our understanding of organizational discursive practices and of the subtle politics of compliant and resistant organizational behavior.

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Haviland, J. B. (1977). Gossip as competition in Zinacantan. Journal of Communication, 7(1), 186–191. Herskovits, M. (1937). Life in a Haitian valley. New York: Alfred Knopf. Jaeger, M. E., Skleder, A. A., & Rosnow, R. L. (1998). Who’s up on the low down: Gossip in interpersonal relations. In B. H. Spitzberg (Ed.), The dark side of close relationships (pp. 103– 117). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. Kurland, N. B., & Pelled, L. H. (2000). Passing the word: Toward a model of gossip and power in the workplace. The Academy of Management Review, 25(2), 428–438. Linstead, S. (1985). The importance of humour in the maintenance of organizational culture. Sociological Review, 33(4), 741–767. Michelson, G., & Mouly, S. (2000). Rumour and gossip in organisations: A conceptual study. Journal of Management Decision, 38(5), 339–346. Michelson, G., & Mouly, V. S. (2004). Do loose lips sink ships? Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 9(3), 189–201. Mintz, J. R. (1997). Carnival song and society. Oxford/New York: Berg. Noon, M., & Delbridge, R. (1993). News from behind my hand: Gossip in organizations. Organization Studies, 14(1), 22–36. Paine, R. (1967). What is gossip about? An Alternate Hypothesis. Man, 2(2), 278–285. Rosnow, R. L., & Fine, G. A. (1976). Rumor and gossip: The social psychology of hearsay. New York: Elsevier. Scott, J. C. (1990). Domination and the arts of resistance. Newhaven/Londen: Yale University Press. Soeters, J., & Van Iterson, A. (2002). Blame and praise gossip in organizations: Established, outsiders and the civilising process. In A. van Iterson, W. Mastenbroek, T. Newton, & D. Smith (Eds.), The civilized organisation: Norbert Elias and the future of organization studies (pp. 25–40). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins. Suls, J. M. (1977). Gossip as social comparison. Journal of Communication, 27(1), 164–168. Van Iterson, A., & Clegg, S. R. (2008). The politics of gossip and denial in inter-organizational relations. Human Relations, 61(8), 1117–1137. Van Iterson, A., Waddington, K., & Michelson, G. (2011). Breaking the silence. The role of gossip in organizational culture. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. Wilderom, & M. F. Peterson (Eds.), Handbook of organizational culture and climate (pp. 375–392). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Waddington, K. (2005). Using diaries to explore the characteristics of work-related gossip: Methodological considerations from exploratory multimethod research. Journal of occupational and organizational psychology, 78(2), 221–236. Waddington, K. (2012). Gossip and organizations. London: Routledge. Yerkovich, S. (1977). Gossiping as a way of speaking. Journal of communication, 27(1), 192–196. Zijderveld, A. C. (1979). On cliches: The supersedure of meaning by function in modernity. London: Routledge Kegan & Paul.

Chapter 12

The Influence of Cultural Differences on the Relationship Between Employee and Supervisor, and Employee Attitudes and Behavior René Schalk and Kirsten van der Linden Abstract Today’s organizations increasingly employ employees and supervisors with different cultural backgrounds. Cultural differences can have an effect on the relationship between an employee and her/his supervisor and through that on employee attitudes and work behavior. Therefore, this study examined the influence of cultural similarity between supervisor and employee and the cultural intelligence of the supervisor on the employees’ perception of the relationship between supervisor and employee. In addition, the relationship between the perception of the relationship on the one hand and employee engagement, absenteeism and intention to quit on the other hand was assessed. In a sample of 798 employees of a multinational company in the logistics sector, it was found that cultural similarity and cultural intelligence were associated with the perception of the relationship between supervisor and employee. The perception of the relationship was found to be associated with the level of engagement and the intention to quit. However, there were no substantial differences between groups of supervisors and employees with different versus the same nationality, or with small versus large country culture differences. The implications of these results for managing cross-cultural differences and ambidexterity are discussed. Keywords Leadership · Cultural differences · Employee attitudes · Employee behavior · Ambidexterity

R. Schalk (B) Tilburg University, Tilburg, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] North West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa K. van der Linden Gemeente Leidschendam-Voorburg, Leidschendam, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_12

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12.1 Introduction Today’s organizations increasingly employ employees and supervisors with different cultural backgrounds (Earley and Peterson 2004). This creates multicultural environments, which inevitably brings about interactions and relationships between people who are culturally different. Tomorrow’s supervisors will need to learn how to work and function in a more boundless and global world (Thomas and Inkson 2009). This is not only the case in business, but also in the military. Operations involving military staff and personnel of several countries lead to more multicultural exchanges. Moreover, since cooperation increasingly involves military from different parts of the world, and takes place in different cultural contexts, more attention for how to handle cultural differences is needed. As a case in point, Kleinreesink (2012), based on her experiences at the ISAF headquarters in Kabul, provides many examples of cultural differences and language barriers between both the local population and the military of the countries participating in the military mission of NATO. That each country has its own rules makes things even more complicated. Chong and Thomas (1997) highlight the complexities of cross-cultural leadership and describe “complex situations,” in which members of distinct groups have culturally based differences. It thus becomes increasingly important to study the effects of culturally based differences (Gerstner and Day 1994). However, only few studies examined the influence of cross-cultural differences between supervisors and employees on employee attitudes and behavior of followers. Cross-cultural differences between supervisors and employees can make ambidexterity of organizations more complex. Exploring new options, trying to find new resources, and finding new ways of doing things can be facilitated by the benefits of the diversity of inputs from different cultures. On the other hand, aligning the diverse ideas on innovation into one unified direction is complex. Combining exploitation of core strengths to maintain efficiency and productivity, while at the same time striving for innovation is a difficult balance for supervisors. This is even more difficult when supervisors have to take different cultural perspectives into account. This study focuses on the influence of the perceived cultural similarity between supervisors and employees as well as the perceived supervisors’ cultural intelligence on employee attitudes and behavior among employees of a multinational company. The employee attitudes and behavior included in the study are the employees’ perception of the relationship with the supervisor, employee engagement, employee intention to quit and employee absenteeism.

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12.2 Theoretical Framework 12.2.1 Perceived Similarity, Perceived Cultural Intelligence, and the Relationship Between Supervisor and Employee Research has shown that supervisors can have a positive influence on followers (Zhu et al. 2009). However, being a supervisor in a cross-cultural environment is complex (Chong and Thomas 1997). Leading followers with a different cultural background is difficult. The similarity between the supervisor and employee influences how both supervisor and employee process information about each other and about objects and beliefs associated with the other culture (Benschop 2001; Testa 2009). The cultural dimensions of Hofstede (1995) are often used to explain differences between country cultures. Cultural heterogeneity refers to the degree to which separate cultures are dissimilar (Bradley 2005). Cultural congruence refers to cultural similarity. Cultural similarity exists when supervisors and subordinates are originating from the same national culture (Testa 2009). In this study, perceived cultural similarity refers to the perception of an employee of the differences associated with culture between her/him and the supervisor. Perceived cultural similarity between the supervisor and employee is expected to influence the possibility of the leader to create a good relationship with the employee. The extent of cultural similarity between persons has been found to influence how they process information about the other person or objects associated with other cultures (Shaw 1990). Cultural dissimilarity can lead to categorizing people with another cultural background in a different category. People tend to react less positive to others categorized as dissimilar than to others categorized as similar (Van Knippenberg et al. 2004). Particularly when subordinates are from different cultures, supervisors may have to actively manage the impression they make (Testa 2009). Research has shown that interactions between expatriates and host country nationals are influenced by their cultural (dis)similarity (Gudykunst 2005). Van Knippenberg et al. (2004) offered evidence that dissimilarity was related to negative employee outcomes (e.g., commitment) and that similarity between individuals was related to positive outcomes. Additionally, Testa (2002) found that cultural differences between the supervisor and employee impacted the way subordinates responded to their supervisors. According to Bradley (2005), greater cultural distance (greater dissimilarity) between individuals leads to more difficulties. This implies that establishing a good relationship in cases of dissimilarity between the supervisor and the employee will be more difficult for the supervisor. Testa (2009) concluded in a highly diverse sample of 520 members of cultural (dis)similar supervisor—member dyads that cultural similarity impacted employee perceptions of the relation with the supervisor. This leads to our first hypothesis: Hypothesis 1 The employee perception of the cultural similarity with the supervisor has a positive relationship with the employee perception of the relationship with the supervisor.

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The consequences of dissimilarity are attributable to the complex, and often implicit, differences in perspectives, assumptions, and causal beliefs (Van Knippenberg et al. 2004). Conscious and unconscious preconceptions and beliefs of employees can create serious coordination difficulties (Milliken and Martins 1996). It is more difficult for a supervisor to lead dissimilar employees. Cultural intelligence is the capability to interact effectively across cultures (Thomas and Inkson 2009). When supervisors operate in complex, cross-cultural environments (Grisham 2006), the ability to interact effectively across cultures is very important (Thomas and Inkson 2009). Some individuals are more successful than others in cross-cultural business situations (Crowne 2008). Cultural intelligence is a competence, which can be improved through cross-cultural interactions and cross-cultural training (Thomas and Inkson 2009). Cultural intelligence consists of four components (Ang and Inkpen 2008:341): meta-cognitive, cognitive, motivational, and behavioral. Meta-cognitive cultural intelligence refers to a supervisors’ level of conscious cultural awareness during cross-cultural interactions. People with strength in meta-cognitive cultural intelligence consciously question their own cultural assumptions, reflect during interactions, and adjust their cultural knowledge when interacting with those from other cultures. The meta-cognitive component is important within interpersonal interactions (Ang et al. 2006; Earley 2002) because supervisors adapt meta-cognitive strategies when thinking about and interacting with employees who have different cultural backgrounds (Ang et al. 2006). Cognitive cultural intelligence refers to a supervisors’ knowledge of norms, practices, and conventions in different cultures that have been acquired from educational and personal experiences. This is a critical component of cultural intelligence, because knowledge of culture influences people’s thoughts and behaviors. Consequently, those with high cognitive cultural intelligence are better equipped to interact with people from a culturally different background. Motivational cultural intelligence refers to a supervisors’ capability to direct attention and energy toward learning about and functioning in situations characterized by cultural differences. Motivational cultural intelligence is a critical component of cultural intelligence because it triggers effort and energy directed toward functioning in novel cultural settings. Finally, behavioral cultural intelligence refers to a supervisors’ capability in exhibiting appropriate speech acts, that is, verbal and nonverbal actions taken while interacting with people from different cultures. It describes interpersonal skills and the capability to engage in high-quality social interactions in cross-cultural encounters. Because behavioral expressions are especially salient in cross-cultural encounters, the behavioral component of cultural intelligence may be the most critical factor for success when working closely with partners from another culture (Ang and Inkpen 2008; Earley 2002). Cultural intelligence is expected to influence the social exchange relationship between supervisor and employee (Yu and Liang 2004). Therefore, we hypothesize: Hypothesis 2 The employee perception of the cultural intelligence of the supervisor has a positive relationship with the perceived relationship with the supervisor.

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12.2.2 The Relationship with the Supervisor and Engagement, Intention to Quit, and Absenteeism The relationship between the supervisor and an employee is often assessed by the concept of Leader-Member Exchange (LMX). A meta-analysis of research on antecedents and consequences of LMX (Dulebohn et al. 2012) shows that LMX has strong relationships with attitudinal employee outcomes (f.e., r = 0.36 for affective commitment, r = 0.42 for general job satisfaction), as well as employee behavioral outcomes (f.e., r = −0.34 for turnover intentions, r = 0.30 for job performance). In this study, we focus on three outcomes that reflect active employee intentions and behavior (engagement, intention to quit, and absenteeism) as indicators of employee factors that influence organizational performance. For turnover intentions, we therefore expect the following: Hypothesis 3 The perceived relationship with the supervisor has a negative relationship with the employee intention to turnover. An important attitudinal work-related outcome is engagement of employees. Colbert et al. (2004: 737) define engagement in terms of a “high internal motivational state.” Wellins and Concelman (2005: 603) define it as “the illusive force that motivates employees to higher (or lower) levels of performance.” Here we define engagement following Schaufeli et al. (2002: 74) as “a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption.” Vigor refers to high levels of energy and mental resilience while working, the willingness to invest effort in one’s work, and persistence even in the face of difficulties. Dedication refers to a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge. Absorption refers to a particularly strong involvement that goes one step further than the usual level of identification. Only few studies examined the relationship between engagement and the relation between supervisor and employee (Els et al. 2016; Matta et al. 2015). These studies found positive relations. Therefore, we expect: Hypothesis 4 The perceived relationship with the supervisor has a positive relationship with employee engagement. A potential behavioral outcome of the relationship between the supervisor and an employee is employee absenteeism (van Dierendonck et al. 2002). Based on Social Exchange Theory (SET), we expect that when the relationship between the supervisor and an employee is not good, employees will have a higher tendency to stay at home and be absent from work. This leads to our fifth hypothesis: Hypothesis 5 The perceived relationship with the supervisor has a negative relationship with employee absenteeism. The conceptual model for this study is in Fig. 12.1. In addition to testing the relationships included in the conceptual model, we examine the influence of cultural differences in two ways. First, we test whether the

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Fig. 12.1 Conceptual model

associations in the model are the same or different in supervisor–employee dyads of a similar versus a different cultural background (nationality). Second, we test in the sample of supervisor–employee dyads with a different cultural background (nationality) whether the associations are the same or different for more similar or more different cultural backgrounds. We expect that the relationships will be stronger in more dissimilar supervisor–employee dyads.

12.3 Method The study took place in a multinational company with headquarters in the south of The Netherlands. The company is a global market leader for value-added logistic process automation at airports, and in the parcel market. The company is also a leading supplier of process automation solutions for warehouses. At the time of the study, the company consisted of 2419 employees located in thirteen countries (The Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, France, UK, Germany, Spain, India, China, Dubai, South Africa, USA, and Canada). The second author approached executives of all local centers within the company by internal mail and/or by telephone in order to inform them about the study and to acquire permission to conduct the study. After permission was granted, all employees first received an e-mail with information on the study. After that, each employee received an e-mail with a link to an electronic anonymous survey.

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12.3.1 Sample In total, 1897 employees started with the questionnaire, which is a response rate of 78 percent. For this study, we only included employees with no missing values (N = 798; response rate 33%). Of the respondents, 81.6% was male and 18.4% female. The mean age of the participants was 39.8 years, and the mean length of service at the company was 7.7 years. Of the respondents, 42.4% classified themselves as intermediated white collar worker or supervisor of white collar workers, 30.2% as upper white collar worker or middle management, and 9.4% as management or director. Participants were employed in all kinds of departments, with relatively high numbers in engineering (21.3%), service/maintenance (15.7%), and R&D (6.1%). The largest groups with respect to nationality were: 52.8% Dutch, 12.8% German, 9.6% British, and 7% American.

12.3.2 Measures The questionnaire contained questions on the perception of the cultural similarity between the supervisor and employee, the perception of the cultural intelligence of the supervisor, the perception of the relationship with the supervisor, the level of engagement, intention to quit, and absenteeism. Cultural similarity with the supervisor was measured by means of questions developed by the authors based on the four Hofstede dimensions. The seven questions on perceived cultural similarity were: “With respect to avoidance of uncertainty my direct supervisor and I are….”, “With respect to our views on power differences my direct supervisor and I are…”, “With respect to avoidance of uncertainty my direct supervisor and I are…”, “With respect to our views on gender differences my direct supervisor and I are…”, “With respect to orientation to the future my direct supervisor and I are…”, “With respect to encouragement of performance improvement my direct supervisor and I are…”, and “With respect to our views on fairness my direct supervisor and I are…”. All items were scored on a 7-point frequency rating scale ranging from 0 (very different) to 6 (very similar). A principle components factor analysis on the seven items of the cultural similarity scale revealed that there was one component with an eigenvalue higher than 1, explaining 59.06% of the variance, on which all 7 items loaded. Cronbach’s alpha for cultural similarity was 0.88. Cultural intelligence of the supervisor was assessed with the 20-item intelligence scale developed by Van Dyne et al. (2008). The perceived cultural intelligence of the supervisor is a reflection of the perception of employees on the extent their supervisor is culturally intelligent. An example question for measuring the perceived meta-cognitive cultural intelligence of the leader was: “This person is conscious of the cultural knowledge he/she uses when interacting with people with different cultural backgrounds.” An example question for measuring the perceived cognitive cultural intelligence of the leader was: “This person knows the rules for expressing

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nonverbal behavior in other cultures.” An example question for measuring perceived motivational cultural intelligence was: “This person enjoys interacting with people from different cultures.” An example question for measuring perceived behavioral cultural intelligence was: “This person changes his/her verbal behavior (e.g., accent, tone) when a cross-cultural interaction requires it.” The Likert scale ranged from 0 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). Cronbach’s alpha for the entire scale was 0.95. Relationship with the supervisor was assessed with one item (“I have a good relationship with my direct supervisor”), on a rating scale ranging from 0 (strongly disagree) to 6 (strongly agree). Employee engagement was assessed with a short version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES), consisting of nine items, which was used in a study of Balducci et al. (2010) in the Netherlands and Italy. An example question for vigor was “When I get up in the morning, I feel like going to work.” An example question for dedication was “My job inspires me,” and an example question for absorption was “I get carried away when I am working” The rating scale ranged from 0, strongly disagree, to 6, strongly agree. Cronbach’s alpha for this scale was 0.89. Employee intention to turnover was assessed with one item (“These days, I often feel like quitting”), on a rating scale ranging from 0 (strongly disagree), to 6 (strongly agree). Employee absenteeism was assessed with one item (“How many days have you been absent from work due to your state of health over the last 12 months?” (in days).

12.3.3 Statistical Analyses We calculated means, standard deviations, and correlations for the variables included in the study. We tested the causal relationships of the conceptual model with AMOS (Arbuckle 2014) in the entire sample. In addition, to examine whether the effect sizes were comparable in different groups (same versus different nationalities of supervisor and employee and small versus large differences in country cultures), we used multigroup comparison in AMOS (Arbuckle 2014).

12.4 Results The means, standard deviations, and correlations are listed in Table 12.1. The relationship with the supervisor and the level of engagement has high scores (above 4 on a scale 0–6). The intention to quit is low. On average, employees have been absent because of illness for 4 days in the last 12 months. The correlations between variables are rather high and significant. Only correlations with absenteeism are low. The causal relationships as indicated in the conceptual model (Fig. 12.1) were tested with AMOS (Arbuckle 2014). The model (with correlated error terms) had a

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Table 12.1 Means, standard deviations, and correlation coefficients Variable

Mean SD

1

Cultural similarity

3.85

1

2

3

4

5

2

Cultural intelligence

3.70

0.78 0.49**

3

Relationship supervisor

4.79

1.25 0.69**

0.45**

4

Engagement

4.46

0.75 0.47**

0.34**

0.40**

5

Intention to turnover

1.34

1.70 – 0.41**

– 0.21**

– 0.40**

– 0.46**

6

Absenteeism 4.14

– 0.04

– 0.03

– 0.14**

1.10

12.35 – 0.05

0.10**

** p < 0.01

good fit with the data (Chi square = 7.47; df = 3; p = 0.06; AGFI = 0.98; RMSEA = 0.04). Table 12.2 provides the estimates and standard errors for the relationships. All relationships were significant, with the exception of the association between the perceived relation with the supervisor and absenteeism. Therefore, hypothesis 1 (The employee perception of the cultural similarity with the supervisor has a positive relationship with the employee perception of the relationship with the supervisor), hypothesis 2 (The employee perception of the cultural intelligence of the supervisor has a positive relationship with the perceived relationship with the supervisor), hypothesis 3 (The perceived relationship with the supervisor has a negative relationship with the employee intention to turnover), and hypothesis 4 (The perceived relationship with the supervisor has a positive relationship with employee engagement) were confirmed. Hypothesis 5 (The perceived relationship with the supervisor has a negative relationship with employee absenteeism) was rejected. We performed two additional group comparisons to examine whether there would be differences in the size of effects between groups. First, we split our sample into two groups, a group with employees and supervisors of different nationality (N = 125) and a group with employees and supervisors of the same nationality (N = 673). The estimates for both groups are in Table 12.3. There were no significant differences Table 12.2 Estimates and S.E.’s for relationships in the whole sample (N = 798) Relationship

Estimate

S.E.

P

Cultural similarity  relation supervisor

0.706

0.032

***

Cultural intelligence  relation supervisor

0.237

0.041

***

Relation supervisor  engagement

0.419

0.029

***

Relation supervisor  intention to turnover

– 0.787

0.064

***

Relation supervisor  absenteeism

– 0.788

0.498

0.114

*** p < 0.001

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Table 12.3 Estimates and S.E.’s for relationships in similar and dissimilar employee–supervisor nationalities Similar (N = 673)

Dissimilar (N = 125)

Relationship

estimate

S.E.

estimate

S.E.

Dif

Cultural similarity  relation supervisor

0.698

0.034

0.777

0.084

– 0.863

Cultural intelligence  relation supervisor

0.209

0.046

0.306

0.098

– 0.900

Relation supervisor  engagement

0.426

0.033

0.367

0.057

0.899

Relation supervisor  intention to turnover

– 0.759

0.073

– 0.934

0.128

1.183

Relation supervisor  absenteeism

– 0.666

0.600

– 1.121

0.463

0.601

Table 12.4 Estimates and S.E.’s for relationships in dissimilar employee–supervisor nationalities with small and large cultural differences Small (N = 61)

Large (N = 64)

Relationship

estimate

S.E.

estimate

S.E.

Dif

Cultural similarity  relation supervisor

0.872

0.136

0.703

0.106

– 0.982

Cultural intelligence  relation supervisor

0.200

0.179

0.387

0.117

0.875

Relation supervisor  engagement

0.201

0.065

0.453

0.079

2.450*

Relation supervisor  intention to turnover

– 1.090

0.201

– 0.823

0.168

1.019

Relation supervisor  absenteeism

– 1.033

0.781

– 1.208

0.565

– 0.181

* p < 0.05

in the size of the effects between groups. Second, we divided the sample with employees and supervisors of a different nationality in two groups, based on the cultural distance between the nationalities of employee and supervisor. The difference score was calculated based on the figures for country culture dimensions as provided by Hofstede (1995). We compared the effect sizes for a group of rather similar country cultures (N = 61, f.e., Dutch and Belgian) with the group with dissimilar country cultures (N = 64, f.e., British and Chinese). Table 12.4 provides the estimates and differences between groups. With the exception of the association of the relation with the supervisor with engagement, the effect sizes were not significantly different.

12.5 Discussion The results of this study confirmed that cultural intelligence of the supervisor as well as cultural similarity between employee and supervisor have a strong and direct positive association with the relationship between supervisor and employee. The perception of the relationship with the supervisor was positively associated with

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employee engagement and negatively associated with the employee intention to turnover. No significant effect was found for the association between the relation with the supervisor and employee absenteeism. The relation with the supervisor mediated the relationship between cultural similarity of supervisor and employee, as well as the cultural intelligence of the supervisor on the one hand, and employee engagement and the intention to quit on the other hand. The effects were consistent in different contexts. The effect sizes were largely the same for employees who had a supervisor with the same versus a different nationality. Moreover, the size of the differences in country culture did not affect the size of the relationships (with the exception of the association between the relation with the supervisor and employee engagement). The results highlight the importance for supervisors to take differences with their subordinates into account. Perceived similarity and the perceived cultural intelligence influence the relationship between supervisor and employee. This has an effect on employee engagement and the intention to quit. Improving the cultural intelligence of supervisors and making supervisors aware of the effects of dissimilarity will improve their relationships with subordinates. Training programs could be developed for supervisors to highlight the effects of cultural differences. Practices that can foster and enhance an inclusive climate in the organization can prevent cultural differences to negatively affect performance and well-being of employees and supervisors. Investing in improving supervisors’ cultural awareness and cultural intelligence is likely to improve employee engagement and supervisor–employee interactions. However, although cultural intelligence and cultural similarity matter, in the company, we studied it seemed that not nationality or country culture as such mattered for the effects on employee attitudes and behavior. Supervisors who were perceived as more similar and more cultural intelligent established better relationships with their employees, regardless whether supervisor and employee had the same or a different nationality, and regardless the cultural differences between their countries of origin. Future research in cross-cultural contexts is needed to examine further in depth what the effects of differences in culture are. The company we studied has a strong and shared organizational culture. The employees in our sample have mostly white collar or managerial jobs. This might have limited the effects of cross-cultural differences. When the organization culture is strong and shared, and employees and supervisors share the same values and norms and use the same frames of reference, cross-cultural differences might be less influential. Therefore, future research is needed involving a larger diversity in the sample under study. Including more multinational companies in the same study might also ensure more diversity. In a more diverse sample, it can be examined whether a strong organizational culture indeed diminishes the effects of cross-cultural differences. This study contributes to the field of ambidexterity in showing that cultural similarity and cultural intelligence of supervisors influence the relationship between supervisor and employees. Especially in work situations that include people form diverse cultural backgrounds, supervisors need to find mechanisms to foster good relationships with employees and to engage employees. Supervisors should take

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into account that cross-cultural employees may be engaged in different ways, and that engaging employees is dependent on the cultural background of the employees. The challenge of ambidexterity, that is combining the benefits of exploiting existing structures and human and social capital in the organization while keeping options for necessary innovative improvements on the move, can be met by supervisors who are capable to make full use of the diversity of employees with different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, it is important that organizations develop the cultural intelligence of supervisors. In multinational companies, training courses can be developed to improve supervisor cultural intelligence since this has the benefit of improving employee attitudes, which is beneficial for the organization as a whole.

References Ang, S., & Inkpen, A. C. (2008). Cultural intelligence and offshore outsourcing success: A framework of firm-level intercultural capability. Decision Science, 39(3), 337–358. Ang, S., Van Dyne, L., & Koh, C. (2006). Personality correlates of the four-factor model of cultural intelligence. Group and Organization Management, 31(1), 100–122. Arbuckle, J. L. (2014). Amos (Version 23.0) [Computer Program]. Chicago: IBM SPSS. Balducci, C., Fraccaroli, F., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2010). Psychometric properties of the Italian version of the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (UWES-9): A cross-cultural study. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26(2), 143–149. Benschop, Y. (2001). Pride, prejudice and performance: Relations between HRM, diversity and performance. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12(7), 1166–1181. Bradley, F. (2005). International marketing strategy. Europe: Prentice Hall. Chong, L., & Thomas, D. (1997). Leadership perceptions in cross-cultural context: Pakeha and pacific islanders in New Zealand. The Leadership Quuarterly, 8(3), 275–293. Colbert, A. E., Mount, M. K., Harter, J. K., Witt, L., & Barrick, M. R. (2004). Interactive effects of personality and perceptions of the work situation on work-place deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(4), 599–609. Crowne, K. A. (2008). What leads to cultural intelligence? Business Horizons, 51(5), 391–399. Dulebohn, J. H., Bommer, W. H., Liden, R. C., Brouer, R. L., & Ferris, G. R. (2012). A meta-analysis of antecedents and consequences of Leader-Member Exchange: Integrating the past with an eye toward the future. Journal of Management, 38(6), 1715–1759. Earley, P. C. (2002). Redefining interactions across cultures and organizations: Moving forward with cultural intelligence. Research in Organizational Behavior, 24, 271–299. Earley, C., & Peterson, R. S. (2004). The elusive cultural chameleon: Cultural intelligence as a new approach to intercultural training for the global manager. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 3(1), 100–115. Els, C., Viljoen, J., de Beer, L., & Brand-Labuschagne, L. (2016). The mediating effect of leadermember exchange between strengths use and work engagement. Journal of Psychology in Africa, 26(1), 22–28. Gerstner, C. R., & Day, D. V. (1994). Cross-cultural comparison of leadership prototypes. The Leadership Quarterly, 5(2), 121–134. Grisham, T. (2006). Cross-cultural leadership. RMIT, Melbourne.: Doctor of Project Management, School of Property, Construction and Project Management. Gudykunst, W. B. (2005). Theorizing about intercultural communication. USA, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications. Hofstede, G. (1995). Multilevel research of human systems: Flowers, bouquets and gardens. Human System Management, 14(3), 207–217.

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Kleinreesink, E. (2012). Officier in Afghanistan. Achter de schermen van onze militaire missie. Amsterdam: Meulenhof. Matta, F. K., Scott, B. A., Koopman, J., & Conlon, D. E. (2015). Does seeing “eye to eye” affect work engagement and organizational citizenship behavior? A role theory perspective on LMX agreement. Academy of Management Journal, 58(6), 1686–1708. Milliken, F. J., & Martins, L. L. (1996). Searching for common threads: Understanding the multiple effects of diversity in organizational groups. Academy of Management Review, 21(2), 402–433. Schaufeli, W. B., Salanova, M., Gonzalez-Roma, V., & Bakker, A. B. (2002). The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(1), 71–92. Shaw, J. B. (1990). A cognitive categorization model for the study of intercultural management. Academy of Management Review, 15(4), 626–645. Testa, M. R. (2002). Leadership dyads in the cruise industry: The impact of cultural congruency. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 21(4), 425–441. Testa, M. R. (2009). National culture, leadership and citizenship: Implications for cross-cultural management. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 28(1), 78–85. Thomas, D. C., & Inkson, K. (2009). Cultural intelligence: Living and working globally. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Van Dierendonck, D., Le Blanc, P. M., & van Breukelen, W. (2002). Supervisory behavior, reciprocity and subordinate absenteeism. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 23(2), 84–92. Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., & Koh, C. (2008). Development and validation of the CQS: The cultural intelligence scale. In S. Ang & L. Van Dyne (Eds.), Handbook on cultural intelligence: Theory, measurement and applications (pp. 16–38). New York: M.E. Sharpe. Van Knippenberg, D., De Dreu, C. K. W., & Homan, A. C. (2004). Work group diversity and group performance: An integrative model and research agenda. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(6), 1008–1022. Wellins, R., & Concelman, J. (2005). Creating a culture for engagement. In: Macey, W. H., & Schneider, B. (2008). The meaning of employee engagement. Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 1(1), 3–30. Yu, D., & Liang, J. (2004). A new model for examining the leader-member exchange (LMX) theory. Human Resource Development International, 7(2), 251–264. Zhu, W., Avolio, B. J., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2009). Moderating role of follower characteristics with transformational leadership and follower work engagement. Group and Organization Management, 34(5), 590–619.

Chapter 13

Controlling Material Resources in the Military: The Need for Ambidexterity Jacqueline Heeren-Bogers

Abstract This chapter examines how organizations can achieve careful –responsible and ethical –employee behaviour with respect to material resources. First, the impact of culture on material resources management is investigated. Furthermore, this study aims to determine which kind of controls is more effective in managing the material resources, hereby drawing a distinction between hard and soft controls. The data, on which this chapter builds, were collected by means of a survey among employees, both civilian and military, with responsibilities in material resources management of the Dutch Defence organization. This study shows—contrary to the expectation— that military culture has a positive impact on material resources management. This study also shows that soft controls have the expected direct positive impact. Hard controls only have an indirect effect; embedded in a system of soft controls, they also influence material resources management in a positive way. These findings demonstrate the Dutch Defence organization has to be skilful in hard as well as soft controls to manage the material resources carefully proving the need for ambidexterity. Keywords Management control · Soft controls · Hard controls · Military culture · Public sector

13.1 Introduction Employees do not own the resources of an organization, they are given the responsibility to use these resources in the way that suits the organization’s goals best. However, these goals may not always be perfectly clear. Especially in public organizations, the emphasis on the continuation of the activities or the importance of the public cause—particularly if matters of life and death are at stake—may prevail over the efficient use of the available resources (Meyer et al. 1989; Seibel 1996: This chapter is based on the dissertation of Heeren-Bogers, J. J. D. (2018). Control with Care: The value of soft controls in the management control system of the Dutch Defence organization. J. Heeren-Bogers (B) Faculty of Military Sciences, Netherlands Defence Academy, Breda, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021 J. Heeren-Bogers et al. (eds.), The Yin-Yang Military, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-52433-3_13

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1019). Organizations in the public sector in general are input-oriented and thus require careful managerial attention with respect to processes and results in material resources management (Barzelay and Thompson 2006). It is not surprising that such organizations face continual problems in keeping the use of the resources under control (e.g. Meyer et al. 1989). Therefore, this study aims to determine the relative importance of different kind of controls on the careful management of material resources. A specific category of public organizations is Defence organizations. They are specific because of their direct connection with and subordinate position towards politics and government, the permanency of their goals and tasks, the multiplicity of deployments in a national and international context, their essentially bureaucraticlegal functioning and—the very essence—the management of violence in lifethreatening environments (Soeters et al. 2010: 1–7). The research question, how to keep the management of resources in such a specific organization under control, has been studied by means of a survey at the Dutch Defence organization. This organization is particularly interesting as it has been criticized by the Dutch Court of Audit for inadequately managing their material resources for several years in a row (Court of Audit 2006 till 2016). This has been qualified not only as a general taxpayers’ issue but also as a problem related to safety issues. Guns, ammunition and crypto devices should always be accounted for, because when these material resources end up in the wrong hands they can have a disastrous impact on society. The question that arises is under which circumstances employees display behaviour that leads to careful material resources management. According to Merchant (1982: 43) management control is important because individuals are sometimes unable or unwilling to act in the organization’s best interest. A set of controls must be implemented to guard against undesirable behaviour and to encourage desirable actions. After a review of management control research, Strauß and Zecher (2013: 263, 264) concluded that at first management control systems were regarded as a means to provide information for decision-making purposes in the context of organizational goals. Such a management control system is essentially a cybernetic process of planning, performance measurement and rewarding. In this view, only formalized controls were included. The scope of management control systems gradually widened to include behavioural-influencing aspects as well. This holistic understanding of management control systems puts an emphasis on the control of human behaviour by formal and informal control mechanisms. As such, management control can be seen as a package (Malmi and Brown 2008) or a system of both formal and informal mechanisms (Grabner and Moers 2013). Another way of labelling formal and informal control mechanisms is the distinction between so-called hard and soft controls (Roth 1998). This distinction has become increasingly influential over the last few years (Kaptein 2008, 2011). Hard controls refer to formal efforts to influence employee behaviour such as rules and regulations with respect to planning, budgeting, spending, and registration, formal descriptions of job authority and separation of duties (Merchant and Van Der Stede 2012: 82). On the other hand, research has demonstrated the influence of soft controls, the informal practices in an organization (Treviño et al. 2006; Kaptein 2008; Molina 2018). Examples of soft controls

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that have been found to be of importance to enhance and sustain careful employee behaviour are clarity of norms, role modelling of management and openness to discuss ethical issues (Kaptein 2008, 2011). This chapter investigates to what extent the Dutch Defence organization uses ambidexterity in the management control of the material resources. Ambidexterity originally refers to being able to use your right and left hand equally well, which is operationalized by Soeters (2008: 109–100) as “being equally skilful in (seemingly) contradictory competencies”. In this chapter, ambidexterity is operationalized as the extent to which hard and soft controls should be used simultaneously in establishing careful employee behaviour. The questions that arise are how they affect behaviour regarding careful material resources management, how they are interrelated and to what extent? In the following section, a theoretical framework for the empirical study resulting in four hypotheses is outlined. The design of the empirical research is then discussed and the findings are presented. In the last section, these main findings are summarized into a conclusion.

13.2 Theoretical Framework Management is the process of designing and maintaining an environment in which individuals, working together in groups, efficiently accomplish selected goals (Koontz and Weihrich 2010: 2, 3). Therefore, management has two related functions: to encourage employee behaviour that leads to effectively and efficiently realizing predetermined goals and to prevent employee behaviour that impedes this.

13.2.1 Careful Employee Behaviour Much research has been conducted on negative employee behaviour, which is often indicated as deviant, unethical or counterproductive work(place) behaviour. Martinko et al. (2002: 37) review various definitions thereby following Collins and Griffin (1998) who assert that counterproductive workplace behaviour is characterized by a disregard for societal and organizational rules and values. Other definitions indicate that counterproductive workplace behaviour threatens the well-being of an organization and its members, and break implicit and explicit rules about civil, respectful and appropriate behaviour (e.g. Robinson and Bennet 1995; Spector et al. 2006, 2010). There are two major types of counterproductive workplace behaviour identified in the literature: individual and organization directed (Bennett and Robinson 2000: 350). This chapter will only address counterproductive workplace behaviour directed towards the organization. This includes any type of behaviour that is harmful to the organization like production deviance (e.g. purposely doing one’s work incorrectly; purposely working slowly when things need to get done); sabotage (e.g. purposely

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wasting your employer’s materials/supplies; purposely damaging a piece of equipment or property); theft (e.g. stealing something belonging to your employer; putting into being paid for more hours than you work); and withdrawal (e.g. coming to work late without permission; staying home from work and saying you were sick when you weren’t) (Spector et al. 2006, 2010). Of course the opposite of counterproductive work behaviour is productive work behaviour. Haski-Leventhal et al. (2017: 37) speak of Employee Socially Responsible (ESR) behaviour, which includes the socially responsible actions of employees in the workplace. The positive side of employee behaviour is the perspective used in this chapter. However, the idea of productive work behaviour is chosen to be broadened because not only elements of effectiveness and efficiency but also the legitimacy of the use of the material resources are considered important. Therefore, the concept of “careful employee behaviour” leading to “careful management” of the resources is chosen. Careful behaviour towards the organization itself may relate to responsible, ethical behaviour with respect to the organization’s material resources. According to Ghiani et al. (2004: 1), material management deals with the planning and control of material flows and related information in organizations. Its goal is to get the right materials to the right place at the right time, while optimizing a given performance measure (e.g. minimizing total operating costs) and satisfying a given set of constraints (e.g. a budget constraint).

13.2.2 Military Culture The typical culture of an organization can affect the extent to which managers and employees deal carefully with the material resources of their organization. The culture of an organization consists of the prevailing beliefs about what is good and bad (Schein 1985). The specific culture can have a positive or negative impact on material resources management. The influence may be positive if the managers and employees of an organization have a right and strong common understanding of what is careful and what is careless material resources management. If this strong shared understanding is missing or the common understanding is not focused on careful management, this has a negative impact on the actual management of material resources. Defence organizations are a prime example of public sector organizations. They serve a valued public cause, whose life-or-death importance prevails over money and material issues. The extent to which cost awareness is present among military employees is foreseen to be influenced by the existence of subcultures between the “hot” and “cold” organization (Soeters 2000: 473; Soeters et al. 2006: 246–248). Employees in the operational organization parts, especially those who are deployed on a regular basis, may feel that decisions regarding the performance of their tasks should not be influenced by other goals, such as lowering costs. This is similar to healthcare practitioners in “managed care systems”, assuming responsibility for both

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the financing and provision of health care. According to Feldman et al. (1998: 1630), managed care diminishes the ability of the physician to place the interest of the patient first. This attitude towards costs can be represented in the fact that the values and norms interacting with executing the primary function of the military are seen as more important. In this case, Snider (1999: 17) refers to Huntington (1957: 61) who makes quite clear that the professional function of the military, the management of violence and the responsibility for military security of the state, is the principal determinant in the military ethos. Moreover, these cultural aspects are expected to be reinforced due to on-the-job experience when an employee is deployed, because for those employees performing their main tasks is rewarded more directly than following administrative procedures. Nonetheless, the supportive organizational parts are less concerned with these main tasks, since those parts are more comparable to an ordinary office organization, where bureaucracy with hierarchies, specialization, rational decisionmaking, (strategic) planning, paperwork as well as quality and cost control are the main components (Soeters et al. 2006: 246). Therefore, it is expected that increasing the presence of the military culture will lead to decreasing cost awareness. The idea here is that civilians care more about managing the organization’s material resources properly, whereas “core” military people care less, occupied as they are with the core business of the organization. The first hypothesis is therefore: H1 : The more adherence to the military culture the (lower the level of cost awareness of managers and employees and subsequently) more careless material resources management within the Dutch Defence organization.

13.2.3 Hard Controls In addition to organizational culture, different control mechanisms can be applied to stimulate careful material resources management. According to Langfield-Smith (1997: 208), formal controls include rules, standard operating procedures and budgeting systems. These are the more visible, objective components of the control system and thus, the easiest to research. Empirical research that studies management control systems has focused primarily on formal controls. These hard controls are the necessary rules of the game. Without them, no one would know what is right or wrong. Clearly, hard (generally legally based) controls constitute the foundation of all management control practices in organizations, particularly in government-led public sector organizations. As such, they are expected to contribute to careful material resources management. This leads to the following hypothesis: H2 : The more hard controls are present in the Dutch Defence organization, the more carefully its employees use the material resources.

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13.2.4 Soft Controls However, managers are not able to control organizations by means of hard controls only. Research of a series of high profile corporate collapses and scandals revealed that the causes could not always be found in missing or failing hard controls (e.g. Kaptein 1998: 11; Nixon and Burns 2005: 261). This directs our attention to the importance of another kind of controls which are based on the notion that popular values, social sanctions and widely shared conceptions of right and wrong should play an important role in guiding the uses of public resources. Hence, there is an increasing need for informal or soft controls. Informal controls are not consciously designed (Langfield-Smith 1997: 208). They include the unwritten policies of the organization and often derive from, or are an artefact of the organizational culture, the concept discussed earlier in this section (Ouchi 1979: 838). According to Roth (1998: 32), it is clear that the vast majority of business failures were not the result of inadequate tangible internal controls, but the result of weaknesses in the control environment, which is the realm of soft controls. These soft controls imply an emphasis on integrity and ethical values, role modelling and communication (Roth 1998; Kaptein 2008, 2011). They are associated with commitment of employees who regulate their behaviour themselves and external factors with a more implicit character to guide employees towards careful behaviour. Leading by example and creating an open atmosphere where dilemmas can be discussed are different ways to control employee behaviour. These soft controls are expected to guide employees to behave carefully with respect to the organization’s resources. This leads to the following hypothesis: H3 : The more soft controls are present in the Dutch Defence organization, the more carefully its employees use the material resources.

13.2.5 Interplay Between Hard and Soft Controls Besides these three hypotheses, it is interesting to examine not only the straightforward positive causality of hard and soft controls on material resources management but also the interplay between them. Simons (1995: 4) draws a distinction between positive, inspirational forces (belief and interactive control system) and constraints to ensure compliance with orders (boundary and diagnostic control systems). The need to balance these opposing forces and integrate different kinds of controls—the complementary forces of Yin and Yang alike—is an essential element of Simons’ philosophy. According to Merchant and Van der Stede (2012: 6), management control “includes all the devices or systems managers use to ensure that behaviours and decisions of their employees are consistent with the organizations’ objectives and strategies”. This understanding of management control explicitly encompasses informal controls, personnel and cultural controls, in terms of Merchant. One of the most recent frameworks is

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proposed by Malmi and Brown (2008). They prefer the term “package” to “systems” as the concept of a package indicates that individual systems are designed and implemented (possibly by different actors and at different points in time). Central to the package approach is the idea that management control directs employee behaviour through different forms of control. According to Grabner and Moers (2013: 409), when the different forms of control are interdependent, and the design choice has taken these interdependencies into account, used together to solve the same control problem, the term management control “system” should be preferred to the term “package”. Research into formal and informal ethical infrastructure found support for an interactive effect of formal systems that direct employees towards ethical acts and informal systems that direct employees toward fraudulent behaviour (Smith-Crowe et al. 2015: 798–799). Their study found that the effectiveness of formal systems is greater when participants feel pressure from their co-workers or supervisors to violate their organizations’ standards. Conversely, in the absence of a strong push to do wrong, the strength of formal systems has little impact on fraudulent behaviour. So focusing on formal systems, while ignoring informal systems, can lead to unnecessary costs and frustration for organizations truly committed to discouraging unethical behaviour. Hence, this study looks for the possible combined or interacting relationships between hard and soft controls in their impact on material resources management. This leads to the following hypothesis: H4: Soft controls will strengthen the positive relationship between hard controls and material resources management in the Dutch Defence organisation. Obviously, both hard and soft controls play a role in supporting organizational objectives and drive organizational performance. It is important, however, to ascertain which hard and/or soft controls are relevant and in what mixture it can reach the largest positive impact on the achievements and results of the organization.

13.3 Methodology To find empirical evidence for the relations between the variables described in the theoretical framework, this study utilized a quantitative research method in the form of a survey. After consulting representatives of the Taskforce “Improving in a better way”, it appeared that the companies in the Royal Netherlands Army (about 100–180 full time equivalents), the ships in terms of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the squadrons in terms of the Royal Netherlands Air force and the districts in terms of the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee are the best hierarchical level to conduct the survey. Regarding the Joint Support Command, the Defence Materiel Organization and the Central Staff, the larger departments are used. Given the fact that the organization is composed of seven organization parts which should be represented in the sample in proportion

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to their size, every fifth unit has been randomly selected. This procedure of sample selection leads to a selection of 111 units. The individual respondents who are employees of those organization units are the most important source of information. Yet, not every employee in those units of the Dutch Defence organization is included; only those with responsibilities in material resources management have been approached with the request to fill out the questionnaire. Of the total of 111 selected units, 436 employees with responsibilities in the area of material resources management were asked to fill out a hard copy questionnaire. The survey was conducted in 2010 and 2011. The net response of the survey was 213 respondents (49%), and list wise deletion (Field 2009: 231) was used to deal with missing values. This procedure led to a sub-sample of 181 respondents on material resources management (=42%) for the analysis on the level of the individual respondent. With the alternative method, pairwise deletion, a larger sample (N = 197) could be analysed but this did not lead to different results. The same independent variables have a significant influence on the dependent variables using both methods.

13.3.1 Dependent Variable Material Resources Management According to the Regulation of Material Resources Management (Ministry of Defence 2009a), material resources management is the care for movable property (other than financial resources) from the time of receipt to the moment of disposal. The Ministry of Defence is by far the largest manager of material resources within the Dutch national government. The material resources management for the defence organization should be legitimate, orderly, controllable and efficient and as such consistent with the code of conduct of the defence organization. This starts with “prudent-man regulation” that applies to all defence employees. Only then, it is certain that the equipment is available in the right amounts and the right condition for the execution of the task. In the Improvement plan of Material Resources Management (Ministry of Defence 2009b), four themes are differentiated, namely management of ammunition, management of weapons, management of cryptographical equipment and management of other material resources than ammunition, weapons and cryptographical equipment. The first three, management of weapons, management of ammunition and management of cryptographical equipment, are called sensitive material management since inaccuracies in these types of material management almost instantly lead to far greater problems with potential consequences for the society as a whole. A measurement for material resources management in the respondents’ organizational units was developed following the four themes of the Improvement Plan of Material Resources Management. The corresponding four items of the following type, “In my view the management of weapons in my unit is”, similarly rated from 1 till 6, were used to measure the respondents’ assessment of material resources management (α =0.73).

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13.3.2 Independent Variable Military Culture As a proxy for military culture, the degree to which each respondent would identify with being a core military person was registered, ranging from low (=civilian) to high (=special forces with extensive deployment experience).1 The idea here was that civilians would care more about managing the material resources properly, whereas “core” military people would care less, focused as they are on the more salient aspects of the core business of the military.

13.3.3 Independent Variable Hard Controls The classical instruments in hard control are risk analysis, internal auditing, segregation of duties, rules and procedures, and recording. These five hard controls were each measured by means of three items regarding the design, existence and contribution. The items were rated from 0 (=I don’t know), 1 (=strongly disagree) to 6 (=strongly agree). This results in 15 items of the following type: “Within my unit segregation of duties contributes to careful material resources management”. All items together turned out to constitute a reliable scale with an α of 0.92.

13.3.4 Independent Variable Soft Controls The measurements of the soft controls were based on the Corporate Ethical Virtues Model developed by Kaptein (2008). This CEV Model mainly results from Solomon’s virtue-based theory of business ethics (2000, 2004). This theory contains that in order to excel morally, individual business people as well as business organizations should possess certain virtues. To define these virtues, Kaptein conducted a qualitative analysis of 150 actual cases that included a variety of types of unethical employee conduct that was (partly) caused by the organizational culture. The outcome of his analysis and categorization of the organizational factors was seven virtues that contributed to the unethical conduct of employees: clarity, congruency, 1 The

values for the military professional culture are as follows: 1 is a civilian who has never been deployed; 2 is a soldier in a secondary support function who has never been deployed; 3 is a soldier in a secondary support function who has been deployed 1–3 times; 4 is a soldier in a secondary support function who has been deployed more than 4 times; 5 is a soldier in a primary support function who has never been deployed; 6 is a soldier in a primary support function who has been deployed 1–3 times; 7 is a soldier in a primary support function who has been deployed more than 4 times; 8 is a soldier in a combat function who has never been deployed; 9 is a soldier in a combat function who has been deployed 1–3 times; 10 is a soldier in a combat function who has been deployed more than 4 times; 11 is a soldier of the special forces who has never been deployed; 12 is a soldier of the special forces who has been deployed 1–3 times; 13 is a soldier of the special forces who has been deployed more than 4 times.

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feasibility, supportability, transparency, discussability and sanctionability. For this research, the original questionnaire was adapted to the different object of study. The items were of the following type: “My direct supervisor is leading by example in case of material resources management”. All together for material resources management, 27 items were rated from 1 (=strongly disagree) to 6 (=strongly agree); they proved to constitute one reliable scale with an α of 0.93.

13.4 Findings As Table 13.1 shows, there are no significant correlations between the control variables and material resources management. Respondents assess the material resources management of their units very careful with an average of 4.87. The dependent variable for material resources management and the independent variables regarding the hard and soft controls demonstrate logical, significant inter-correlations. There is no significant inter-correlation between the dependent variable and military culture. Hard controls and soft controls show a significant correlation. The size of this association at 0.27 (at p < .01) does not constitute cause for concern regarding the independence of the two constructs because the correlation does not exceed the criterion for multicollinearity (e.g. Field 2009: 224). In the regression analyses, all control and independent variables were inserted respectively. First, the control variables were inserted in Model 1. In Model 2, military culture was added to the control variables. In Model 3, hard controls were added, and in Model 4, soft controls were added. At last, to pursue the testing of hypothesis 4, we included in Model 5 the product term of “hard controls x soft controls”. This inclusion in multiple regression is an appropriate way of testing for interaction (Allison 1998: 167). Table 13.1 Descriptives and Pearson correlations material resources management (N =181) Range

Mean

SD

1–6

4.87

0.77

1

2

3

4

1

Material resources management

2

Age

1–6

3.86

0.93

0.04

3

Gender

0–1

0.96

0.19

0.01

0.13

4

Military culture

1–13

5.65

3.21

0.13

−0.29**

0.13

5

Hard controls

0–6

3.73

1.27

0.17*

0.17*

0.00

−0.22**

6

Soft controls

1–6

4.41

0.60

0.34**

0.03

−0.09

−0.05

* p < .05; ** p < .01

5

0.27**

6

13 Controlling Material Resources in the Military: …

193

Table 13.2 Regression analyses material resources management Material resources management (N =181) Model 1

Model 2

Model 3

Model 4

Model 5

Constant

4.72***

4.45***

4.02***

2.34***

2.23***

Gender

0.01

−0.02

−0.02

−0.01

0.01

Age

0.04

0.09

0.06

0.06

0.06

0.16*

0.20*

0.19*

0.18*

0.20**

0.12

0.10

0.31***

0.34***

Military culture Hard controls Soft controls Hard controls × soft controls

0.07

R2

0.00

0.02

0.06

0.15

0.16

Adjusted R2

0.00

0.01

0.04

0.13

0.13

F statistic

0.13

4.06*

7.27**

18.74***

0.99

* p