SOF ETHICS AND PROFESSIONALISM: EXPLORING CULTURAL DYNAMICS AND THEIR IMPACTS ON UNETHICAL OUTCOMES

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Authors
McDonald, Deandre L.
Rodriguez, Jose E.
Subjects
ethics
professionalism
culture
organization
Advisors
Strawser, Bradley J.
Date of Issue
2020-12
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
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Abstract
Over the last two decades, Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) have been under immense pressure to conduct back-to-back deployments combating terrorism. The speed of operations and the goal of placing the mission first has slowly changed the norms and behaviors, calling into question the ethics and professionalism within ARSOF formations. The deterioration of ethical performance has fostered an environment that erodes the trust that policymakers and senior leaders have placed in these unique elements. In this work, we identify the importance of organizational culture by asking two overarching questions: How does Special Operations Forces (SOF) organizational culture influence behavior? And why is SOF organizational culture important? The team utilized Edgar Schein’s framework on culture to evaluate SOF organizational culture from a qualitative perspective to understand the different SOF organizational culture levels. Then the team analyzed Civil Affairs Officers’ survey data to conduct quantitative analysis between organizational culture variables and how these may influence behavior and contribute to building trust. The thesis concluded by advocating for the resurgence of the basic tenets of coaching and mentoring leaders who would steward the legacy SOF profession now and into the future.
Type
Thesis
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Defense Analysis (DA)
Defense Analysis (DA)
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Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. distribution is unlimited
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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