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Trust and control in the military

Dual or dueling forces?

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Trust and control in the military

Dual or dueling forces?

Rechten:

Samenvatting

Trust is of key importance in the military organization. Imagine, for example, a military convoy making its way along the dirt roads of Uruzgan, a province in southern Afghanistan. The threat of improvised explosive devices in such a situation is all around and the safety of the convoy depends entirely on the alertness of the servicemen at the front of the convoy. Despite their vulnerability, soldiers dare to face up to these dangerous circumstances, because they trust their colleagues, whose expertise, experience and goodwill will safeguard their lives. Trust, in other words, largely depends on the willingness to be vulnerable to the actions of another person or party. With the increasing number of military operations around the globe, military organizations have today not only become more dependent on internal, but also on external partners. Military organizations, for instance, are developing long-­ term relations with private partners to achieve significant cost reductions in the mainte - nance of material resources (see Chapter 7). Exploring unknown organizational territory, partners on both sides have to develop trust and control mechanisms in order to increase the level of cooperation and decrease feelings of insecurity and dependency. A similar experience can be discerned in the relationship between deployed soldiers and local interpreters in mission areas. The military often relies on local interpreters to enhance the communication capabilities of their troops in far-­ flung areas. Recruiting these local interpreters, however, is often viewed with ambivalence, for their linguistic and cultural knowledge can not only be perceived as a pragmatic tool, but also as a potential threat to the mission. The vulnerability that comes along with the cooperation with external partners rings especially true for the military organization, because their belief in the goodwill of the other partner affects the lives of soldiers and civilians in the mission environment. The key question, however, is whether trust, as the lubricant of cooperation, can be managed and whether attempts to that effect can be categorized as modes of trust, or rather as mechanisms of control. Through an implementation of examples of both the interorganizational and interpersonal level of military cooperation, this chapter seeks to examine the interplay between trust and control by analyzing the ways in which these phenomena manifest themselves within the military organization.

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Trefwoorden
OrganisatieNederlandse Defensie Academie
Gepubliceerd inManaging Military Organizations: Theory and Practice Routledge, London and New York, Pagina's: 162-173
Jaar2010
TypeBoekdeel
ISBN9780203857106
TaalEngels

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