Different Cultures - One Mandate: Integration of Military and Civilian Personnel within Defence Organizations

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 8:45 AM
Room: Booth 50
Oral Presentation
Irina GOLDENBERG , Department of National Defence, Defence Research and Development Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada
Rebecca SCHIFF , U.S. Naval War College, Newport, RI
Most defence organisations are comprised of both military and civilian personnel working in partnership with each other towards the realization of defence goals. Civilian personnel (i.e., civil servants) in defence organizations often work closely with their military counterparts (e.g., in headquarters, on bases, on missions, in academic settings). Although the issue of civilian-military personnel collaboration within defence organizations has not historically been explicitly considered in the context of ‘collaborative work arrangements,’ it is indeed an important issue that affects both operational and organizational effectiveness. This presentation will introduce several related international initiatives to examine collaboration between military and civilian personnel across defence organizations, including a NATO Human Factors and Medicine Research Task Group (HFM RTG-226) and a cross-national survey initiative. Further, results from the Canadian Defence Team Survey will be presented. Civilian personnel in the Department of National Defence (DND) and military personnel in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), referred to as the Defence Team, work in partnership to meet the mandate of the CAF/DND. Together, personnel in this integrated represent a unique group dynamic allowing the DND/CAF to draw upon the expertise of military personnel who have specialized skills and knowledge related to military and operational functioning, as well as upon civilian personnel trained in a variety of occupations and possessing a range of knowledge and expertise. The Defence Team Survey, presenting the results of 644 Regular Force military members and 1,149 DND personnel, was designed to examine unique issues central to the partnership between civilian and military personnel. Recommendations will be provided for developing strategies and practices for enhancing the quality of collaboration between military and civilian personnel working within defence organizations.