Military Organization Essay- 2500 Words
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The world as we know today is faced with a number of serious conflicts not only in the Arab world, Asia and war torn Africa but also in South America. Criminal gangs and extremist fighters continue to pose serious challenges for established governments in a fight for power, natural resources and securing the trade in narcotics. This has not only resulted in the loss of countless lives, regional stability and development but also brought about changing roles and responsibilities of military organizations (David, 2011). This has left military leaders grappling with extremely dynamic challenges. This paper seeks to look into avenues through which military organizations such as the army can incorporate new innovations, realize improved efficiency and achieve lower process costs. This paper intends to shed light on the myriads of problems that have and could in future tend to negatively affect group productivity within a ground army.
Countless hours of meticulous research have enabled for the identification of some keys challenges facing military organizations. These include role conflicts within groups, communication barriers among group members, poor cohesiveness more so in military operations involving members from diverse military background and finally, increased occurrences of intergroup conflicts (Himes, 2008). These challenges not only result in decreased productivity and morale among different military groups but also call for massive training exercises. This is so as to allow for all groups within a military organization to comprehensively understand best practices so as to improve on group productivity.
It is worth noting that serving in military organizations is regarded highly in nearly each and every cultural setting whether civilized or otherwise (Berdal & Ucko, 2009). Most military organizations expect all members to adhere to a set of core military values enshrined within military culture (Himes, 2008). These include honesty, respect, discipline, competence, helpfulness and a high degree of fair play.
Competency in military organization is critical in all military organizations more so due to the fact that there is always a reasonable degree in the complexity of different military interventions. Within military organizations, every individual member is required to be able to carry his or her individual weight (David, 2011). Contrary to such would mean that a fellow soldier would have to take up the others weight translating in decreased productivity in such a group.
Honesty is also a major contributor to improved group productivity. During military operations there is no time to consider whether a team member is exaggerating, suppressing vital information or blatantly lying (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). If a member in a group is untrustworthy, he or she experiences an uncomfortable degree of isolation which impedes on overall group productivity.
Past military organizations had a culture that incorporated the need for individuals to be helpful at all times. As such when a military member asks for another’s assistance there is seldom the chance that such assistance will not be offered (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). It is expected of military personnel as well as military groups to show the appropriate attitude in such cases. It is inappropriate for military personnel and groups to be overzealous in such incidences as they tend to be perceived by others as portraying other members as weak thus decreasing cohesiveness and productivity among groups. It is however important to point out that such overzealous behaviors are extremely rare in military operations (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006).
Fairness is another vital property in military discipline. It is said that nothing kills morale among military servicemen and groups than outright favoritism being portrayed towards a specific individual or group (Berdal & Ucko, 2009). Among military organizations, even leaders such as the generals were expected to be at the forefront during military campaigns so as to ensure there were no role conflicts in various military groups, communication breakdowns, or lack of cohesiveness among different groups.
Role conflicts in groups within military organizations
Conflict may be described as a situation arising due to incompatible activities emotions or intentions occurring together or simultaneously (Berdal & Ucko, 2009). Conflicts occur regularly in our daily interactions as family members, in the community, at worker and in the society at large due to our different attitudes, beliefs, cultural values and life experiences (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006).
If left unmanaged, conflicts can easily escalate in to violence thus harming interpersonal relationships and often leaving behind wounds that forever bleed (Berdal & Ucko, 2009). It is critical for one to understand that in instances where conflicts can be avoided entirely, critical issues are often left unresolved leading to resentments among groups resulting in an ever tense atmosphere when group members interact (David, 2011). However, when appropriate steps are taken towards conflict resolution, it easy to note that tensions ease considerably bring about understanding which nurtures the realization of an open as well as honest relations among different groups in military organizations. In other words, it is critical to understand that long term relationships are far more important than the consequences of a short term relationship (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). Calm discussions easily give rise to quick solutions towards conflict resolution or the realization that the perceived conflict never existed in the first place.
Internal or external circumstances lead to conflicts among different group members and groups among military organizations. External influences can cause conflicts arising from circumstances arising from outside a group (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). For example, the army as a group could be faced by natural disasters such as earthquakes or avalanches which may bring about conflicts with elite members of a community in regard to disaster preparedness.
Internal influences on the other hand, bring about conflicts as a result of interactions or attitudes that may lead to circumstances which tend to propagate conflict within a group. Given that there are many ways in which conflicts can arise among group members, it is appropriate to mention a few. These include resistance to change, peer pressure, prejudices, jealousy, or insults (Himes, 2008). Most factors leading to conflicts among groups in military organizations such as the army can be classified with regard to the root causes of a given conflict situation. These root causes can result from varying perspectives on a particular situation, variances in belief systems or cultural values among group members given the different personal backgrounds and life experiences as well as differences in interests or objectives (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006).
Lack of cohesiveness
It is important to understand that in military organizations there are groups which are trained to perform different tasks (Cunningham, 2011). As such there different training techniques may lead to role conflicts when military personnel from different army units are called in to arrest a particular situation such as a terrorist attack where there are hostages to be freed. In such a situation, there may be more than one military unit called in. In the event that these units have specific military training communication among the different units may not be as fluid as may be desired (Himes, 2008).
As a military personnel in the army, whether as a leader or in lower ranks, it is important to have the ability to recognize and isolate potential conflicts early (Cunningham, 2011). Such an action can effectively limit such a situation from escalating into a hazardous fighting situation. The application of conflict management techniques limits the degree of frustration and anger thus making it much easier to resolve a potential problem (Berdal & Ucko, 2009).
Communication problems among group members
Conflicts in most instances arise from relationships, interests, structural, data and values. Conflicts arising from relationships arise as a result of negative emotions, miscommunications, stereotypes or repeated negative behavioral tendencies. Harassment which is common military organizations is a form of relationship conflict (Himes, 2008). Interest conflicts arise when one member of a group or group feels that so as to attain personal needs or those of the group the needs of other members or groups have to be sacrificed. As such, this results in an unfair situation causing conflicts in a military organization (Himes, 2008). Structural conflicts are consequently caused as a result of limitations in physical military resources, time, geographic limitations, logistical constraints, and organizational challenges (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). Territorial disputes lead to structural forms of constraints. Misinformation or the lack of vital information which promotes the realization of good decision making is a form of data conflict (Himes, 2008). There are instances where different high ranking military personnel tend to impress personal values and beliefs on different military units. This is a form of value conflict (Himes, 2008).
Strategic conflict resolution
It is important that every military personnel member in a military organization such as the army to comprehensively understand that they have the ability to control how they choose to approach a conflict situation (Gill & Fleck, 2010). Using the laid out chain of command, it is possible for a junior officer to comprehensively arrest a potentially potent conflict situation. However, there are some instances whereby the best course of action is to do nothing or simply walk away. This is especially the case where the conflict situation does not have a consequence on the operations of a group or the military organization as a whole (Gill & Fleck, 2010). Or in the instance where a given conflict situation has zero chances of ever being experienced again, where a group member or group is simply trying to provoke another group into a fight. A member or group in a military organization can choose to walk away from a conflict situation when it is clearly evident that it is the wrong time to participate in a conflict as it is a cooling off moment (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006).
For members of the military, walking away from a conflict situation is often unthinkable. However, the aforementioned situations tend to demonstrate a high degree of emotional maturity as well as diligence in self-control. In some instances however, the best possible action is to confront a conflict situation (Gill & Fleck, 2010). This is especially the case when the conflict situations can linger leading not only to resentment but also to hostility or even an escalation in violence. The army as a complex organization has established ground rule necessary for conflict resolution (Cunningham, 2011).
In the army, the leader of a group or unit is tasked with the role of quickly eradicating conflict situations by maintaining group stability through objective and ideal processes (Gill & Fleck, 2010). This is the case whether a conflict is arising from external or internal sources. It is critical to observe that most group conflicts arise from petty misunderstandings which can be simply resolved through a firm statement or explanation (Himes, 2008). In the instance where an explanation is not deemed as the best probable cause of action, then it is appropriate for group leaders to come to some sought of compromise or offer alternatives through negotiations.
Group leaders are therefore expected to display attitudes that are not only firm but also authoritative towards dissolving any persistent conflict situations between groups (Gill & Fleck, 2010). Group leaders in military organizations ensure cohesiveness among group members is maintained diligently by all group members as ensuring that interactions are naturally harmonious. This implies that a poor group leader tends to contribute towards a conflict situation (Cunningham, 2011). This is the case when a leader exhibits negative qualities such as being a poor example to junior members in a group, indecisiveness, rigidity, critical of a group’s legacy, procrastination and being poorly informed.
For a group to perform its duties effectively, the goals set by a leader ought to conform to a group’s overall goals. As such, a group leader in any military organization is tasked with offering every possible form of assistance aimed at ensuring the groups sets goals according to accepted group values and norms (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). A good leader must at all times demonstrate leadership qualities that promote the highest regard for the betterment of a groups functionality achieved through gaining the appropriate input from every member of group (Cunningham, 2011). It common to find that in a complex military organization such as the army, conflicts may arise hindering the realization of set goals due to few members or group being in disagreement with other members or groups. Leaders are thus expected to justify why set goals have to be attained and by so doing gain positive participation from all group members as well as among groups (Gill & Fleck, 2010). In some instances, the leader has to clearly offer explanations as to why goals have to be set and attained to convince any such dissenting groups or group members.
Language is a particularly essential tool in in conflict resolution as it is a universal means of communication (Gill & Fleck, 2010). As such there are fighting words which in essence precede a violent situation. It is thus critical to note that good communication is hindered by instances where a group or group member lays blame, demeans, insults, interrupts, makes excuses or threats against another group or group members (Gill & Fleck, 2010). Conversely, words can be used appropriately to resolve a dispute fully or realize de-escalation in conflicts. Such words include perhaps, seems like, sometimes, I wonder, I think and so on.
Non-verbal communication which is also referred to as body language is a commonly accepted mode of communication in military organizations (Gill & Fleck, 2010). It thus has very heavy implications among the disciplined forces as it greatly impacts the success of a military operation (Britt, Adler & Castro, 2006). As pointed out earlier, in instances where military personnel from different units are called in to resolve a given conflict situation, sign language is in many instances the best mode for communication. It is therefore important for such operatives to have distinctively similar training experience in the use of sign language where stealth is necessary to combat hostilities (Gill & Fleck, 2010). It is also quite important to note that success in conflict resolution is dependent on the positive application of appropriate communication skills.
Group conflicts arise from varying external and internal causes in an effort to realize cohesiveness, sound communication and eliminate role conflicts in groups it is appropriate that proper training is offered for leaders and group members according to rank and competence. Role conflicts as discussed are as a result of conflicting goals among groups or power struggles for positions of authority. As much as conflicts occur naturally in life, it can be termed as positive or negative with respect to the manner in which leaders and their subordinates opt to handle a conflict situation. Continuous training is thus vital to ensure that the operations of complex organizations such as the army are fluid and successful incorporating new innovations, realize improved efficiency as well as achieve lower process costs.
Berdal,M., & Ucko, D. (2009). Reintegration of Armed Groups after Conflict. London: Routledge.
Britt, T. W., Adler, A. B., & Castro, C. D. (2006). Military Life: Military culture. Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.
Cunningham, D. E. (2011). Barriers to Peace in Civil War. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
David, J. D. (2011). The Air Force role in low-intensity conflict. Pennsylvania: Diane Publishing.
Gill, T., & Fleck, D. (2010). The Handbook of the International Law of Military Operations. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Himes, J. S. (2008). Conflict and Conflict Management. Georgia: University of Georgia Press.
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