AbstractsSocial Sciences

13 years - Freedom or Security?

by Helena Bergström

Institution: Swedish National Defense College
Year: 2014
Keywords: Hofstede; culture; motivation; organizational structure; military; Social Sciences; Samhällsvetenskap; Humanities; Humaniora; Humanities; Other Humanities; Cultural Studies; Humaniora; Annan humaniora; Kulturstudier; Officersprogrammet (OP); Officersprogrammet (OP); Krigsvetenskap, självständigt arbete; War Studies Thesis
Record ID: 1330032
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-4783


In a world where multinational cooperation and cross-cultural challenges are part of daily life, understanding cultures has become increasingly important. That people and organizations develop together might seem obvious, but that culture can be studied to understand the structure and approach of organizations, is perhaps less so. In this paper, a major structural difference in the armed forces of Germany and Sweden is examined; having to sign a contract to serve for 13 years or not having to sign a contract with service length restrictions. Hofstede's theory Dimensions of National Culture is applied to the case to see whether the cadets' motivation and behavior is affected by this major difference in the two otherwise very similar organizations. The study aims also to explore whether the findings can be considered correct given that semi-structured interviews were conducted to see if the thoughts of the cadets are in line with what the theory claims. The conclusion is that the theory can be used to understand how cadets' motivation and behavior supports the structural organizations present in Germany and Sweden. However, the interviews show that the theory is very generalizing and that not all cadets' thoughts are consistent with what the theory states in every case.