Attacking the lion : a study of cohesion in Naval Special Warfare Operational Units
McRandle, James T.
Jennings, Bryan V.
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Why is it that some military organizations succeed and others do not? What characteristics elude unsuccessful fighting groups that successful ones are able to capture and translate into positive outcomes? The study of organizational theory and design spans the multiple typologies of organizational functions and forms. However, at the foundation of all groups are the individuals and the interaction of those individuals within the organization. Given this, the concept of unit cohesion can provide some insight in the search for discovering what makes organizations successful. Why study unit cohesion within Naval Special Warfare (NSW) operational units? The simple answer is because cohesion can increase performance and effectiveness. Prior to the last century, the concept of unit cohesion was based on the anecdotal observations of military commanders and historians. The rise of the fields of psychology and sociology led to an increase in the study and understanding of unit cohesion. This study utilizes survey research to investigate specific factors related to unit cohesion in NSW operational units and how they are related to current issues in the community. Ultimately, the impacts of these relationships provide a basis for recommendations intended to improve cohesion in, and overall effectiveness of NSW operational units.
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