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16 Military Samhandling (Book chapter)

ISBN: 9788202535025 Year: Pages: 18 DOI: 10.23865/noasp.36.ch16 Language: English
Publisher: Cappelen Damm Akademisk/NOASP (Nordic Open Access Scholarly Publishing)
Subject: Sociology --- Social Sciences
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-15 13:34:08

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"The chapter describes and discusses interaction within the Norwegian
Armed Forces. Military interaction is understood as the dynamic and sometimes unpredictable
action undertaken when two or more services interact. The chapter explores
why interaction between military services, such as land, sea and air forces, is
difficult – and, in some circumstances, completely absent. How can inadequate interaction
between the military branches be explained? As Europe’s armed forces become
increasingly complex and sophisticated, two perspectives from organisational theory
are applied. First, an instrumental perspective is used to comprehend the problem.
Particular attention is paid to the tension between hierarchical authority and the division
of labour. Thereafter, a cultural perspective is used to comprehend inter-service
rivalry. Here, attention is paid to informal rules and regulations, or habitual ‘rules of
thumb’ that have become institutionalised over time. These ‘the behavioural patterns’
affect the way military services perceive themselves in contrast to others. The main
finding is that Norway’s Armed Forces suffer from ‘limited rationality’. This is because
Norway’s military units operate within a fragmented command structure that consists
of many different sub-organisations; individually, in times of peace in Norway, they
pursue their own myopic agendas rather than a comprehensive national objective. In
this process, the branches are also forced to compromise with each other to reach their
individual objectives. A form of limited rationality therefore arises because the Army,
Navy and Air Force act rationally. This is, however, not on the basis of what serves
Norwegian security best, but on the basis of what is rational for their specific branch."

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