Lone Swede in an International Military Staff Context: A Qualitative Interview Study
The purpose of this study was to gain a deeper understanding of the experience of Swedish officers when serving as the only Swedes in a multinational staff context. The methodological approach was qualitative and inductive according to the Grounded Theory method, and the empirical material is based on twenty completed interviews. The informants possessed a wide range of experience in a number of leadership positions as well as extensive participation in international operations. The building of contextual self-esteem is the central theme that emerged in the data analysis that may improve our understanding of officers serving as the only Swedes on an international staff. Contextual self-esteem and its structure can be understood through the following four processes: interpretation, adaptation, influence, and withdrawal. These occur to a greater or lesser extent depending upon both the individual and the context. Contextual self-esteem increases over time as experience of international operations expands. The longer the duration of a mission, the greater the influence becomes in contrast to adaptation, although all the processes are significant. The findings may be valuable in educational settings regarding challenges faced while serving alone during international military missions in multinational contexts.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.