The Military Profession in Times of Change : Understanding the Capacities for Handling Military Change among Swedish Officers

University essay from Försvarshögskolan

Abstract: With the aim to situate the study of military professionalism and its relationship to change firmly in an empirical analysis, this thesis uses the method of grounded theory to study the elements of military professional mindset that impacts on the professional capacity to understand and handle military change. Theoretically the study situates itself in both the study of military professionalism and the study of military change, and challenges previous literature by stating that there are elements of the military profession that makes it adaptable to change. The results are based on data from interviews with military officers working for the Swedish Armed Forces and the analysis is developed through a multiple-step coding procedure which thoroughly grounds the study in empirics. The study finds that military professionals have a holistic mindset when understanding their own profession in relation to the military organisation and military change. Both rigid and definitive elements, such as hierarchy and loyalty, and less rigid elements, such as flexibility, adaptability and military preparedness, impacts the capacity to handle change and are seen as important elements of the professional mindset.

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