Israeli Military Leadership

Back to The Israeli Military

 
 
In work carried out with researchers from the IDF’s Center for Leadership Development we utilized the concept of social navigation to show how Israeli commanders during the Second Lebanon War creatively emerge within multiple and uncertain time-lines centered on careers, projects related to soldiers under their command, synchronization of organizational of schedules and timelines and managing themselves and their units within flows of operations and assignments. In other words, rather than focusing on leadership as consisting of essential and static characteristics we look at how leaders develop, mature, as part of the dynamics of the units they are embedded within.

In another project with the Center we continued to ask how leadership develops along a time axis. The project entailed a longitudinal study examining the development of junior officers in the ground forces of the Israeli military. It accompanied Israeli officer cadets along two years from the beginning of officers’ course, specialized officer training in the four combat arms (infantry, armor, engineering and artillery) through to the completion of their first assignment about a year or a year and half after being commissioned. Concretely, we argued that one can understand the emergence of junior leaders as the outcome of the meeting between the ideal script of the platoon leader (of basic trainees) and other scripts in the field. This cultural script is the one that typifies officer training and is based on premises – beginning in basic training and squad leaders course – about very basic images of the military and war. The platoon leader, to put this point simply but not simplistically, is the first officer role within the idealized picture of conventional war and a regular armed force. What we showed is that upon their commission and first assignment the young officers use the script to make sense of, decode, make distinctions and construct boundaries in the new situation. The development of the young officers takes place through a dialog between this script and local circumstances (and often other scripts) often expressed through key experiences that they undergo.

Publications

Ofir Wainshell, Henriette Kones-Fonte and Eyal Ben-Ari The Dynamics of Emergent Leadership: The Second Lebanon War as a Case Study. Mirrors of Leadership July 22-43, 2009. (Hebrew)

PowerPoint


Uploaded on authorSTREAM by eyalba

Ofir Wainshell, Carmit Padan and Eyal Ben-Ari: The Emergence of Junior Military Leaders in Israel. Mirrors of Leadership April 52-65, 2010. (Hebrew).

PowerPoint


Uploaded on authorSTREAM by eyalba