|Institution:||University of New South Wales|
|Department:||Humanities & Social Sciences|
|Keywords:||Leadership; Air Force; Culture|
|Full text PDF:||http://handle.unsw.edu.au/1959.4/53817|
The study explores unconstructive ideas of power in the military. In the thesis doctrine is seen to promote ideas of power over others under cover of the language of leadership. The study explains how Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 00.6: Leadership in the Australian Defence Force confuses ideas of command and leadership, and asserts that in doctrine unconstructive ideas of power have engulfed ideas of leadership. More than published text, doctrine is understood to describe ideas which have pervasive cultural meaning and impact. The thesis explores how acculturated myths of power are causally relevant to air accidents, decayed maintenance standards, and the prejudice borne by women in the Service. The so-called âwarrior cultureâ is interrogated as the rationalisation of unconstructive power and the aggregated risk which follows on its heels. The focus of the study is narrowed to the Royal New Zealand Air Force, and explicit attention is devoted to the âcharactersâ which give life to unhelpful elements of the âwarrior cultureâ. The thesis unpacks the âcharactersâ (âAircrewâ, âMaintenance Crewâ, and âSupport Crewâ) and explores how unconstructive ideas of power are discernable in Air Force culture. âAircrewâ are seen to infuse and dominate every aspect of Air Force life. âMaintenance Crewâ is a symbol for the Air Force maintenance culture, revealing the controlling influence and the practical repercussions of the âAircrewâ myth. âSupport Crewâ is more broadly indicative of the discriminatory themes which permeate and texture Air Force culture. The thesis reveals a propensity for a culture of resistance to reform, due to the persistence of deeply entrenched and profoundly unhelpful ideas of power. There is confusion surrounding the technicalities of leadership and command, ubiquitous when exploring doctrine. Practically, this sees unconstructive ideas of power masquerading as leadership. The study reveals that these unconstructive ideas of power perpetuate and promote the so-called âwarrior cultureâ. Carefully selected case studies are used to illustrate key themes and concepts, and demonstrate the abstract ideas introduced in the thesis. The thesis interrogates the meaning and the repercussion of organisational myths and establishes the dangers associated with the unwitting perpetuation of cultural stereotypes.