Motivational Strategies Within the Military

Numerous studies have been conducted analysing the role of motivation in enhancing performance of an individual, organization, or a practice (Outgunned, 2012; Zbylut et al., 2007; Dadabhay, 2011). The term motivation is in most cases used when suggesting that failure or success in any event is as a direct result of an individual’s endeavour, involvement and enthusiasm (Wong et al., 2003; Chizek, 2003). Most issues that are related to motivation have a foundation of the aspects of the human mind. These issues are also the driving force in a person or a group of persons (Morrison et al., 2007). Simply put, if the reason for taking a certain action is relevant and strong, it merits making an effort or a sacrifice regardless of a person’s capability.
Therefore, the concept of motivation and its application in the military is central to the success of an individual in effectively conducting the duties of military personnel. It is imperative for a military leader to be able to motivate the followers to accomplish hazardous and physically challenging task that is life threatening and dangerous, which is a common working environment of the military.

This study intends to conduct an analysis on existing literatures on performance motivation and its application as a form of leadership strategy used for motivating soldiers. To be able to fully explore on this issue, it will be necessary to analyse the current theories of motivations and the actual motivation practice in the military environment. This is important in developing a foundation for expounding on the research issue exhaustively.
Aims and objectives of the research
This research aims to analyse the probability of adopting theoretical motivational strategies in the military. To be able to meet this aim, the following objectives will guide this study:
To identify and describe the current motivational theories and techniques that have the greatest potential of increasing a soldier’s performance.
To identify those principles, practices, and techniques from various motivational theories which could have potential use in a military unit environment
To review the effectiveness of existing theoretical models and approaches of leadership and motivation in improving the learning and training capability of soldiers
To identify the conditions and requirements for applying various performance motivation techniques in military environment
To identify the practices that need reinforcement and also identify the processes and policies that require improvement in the process of fostering motivational levels of the military
Research questions
To be able to fully meet the above objectives, this study will attempt to provide response to the following research questions:
What leadership tools and motivational strategies do military commanders use to motivate soldiers
How effective are the methods and models used and are there areas identified for improvement
What were the common areas that are deficient
Literature review summary
The concept of leadership and motivation as viewed from a military perspective has been analysed by various authors (Outgunned, 2012; Dadabhay, 2011). Various forms of leadership approaches for military have been suggested by different authors including Gardener-leadership (Wong et al., 2003), collaborative leadership (Zbylut et al., 2007; Chizek, 2003), servant leadership (Cook, 1999), strategic leadership (Morrison et al., 2007) among many other forms of leadership. All these forms of leadership will be scrutinised in this study in an attempt to addressing the research issue. Furthermore, other theoretical forms of leadership that are not applied in the military will also be reviewed to gather deeper insights into leadership approaches and their link to motivation of followers. The information gathered in the analysis of the theories and approaches will be central in developing a response to the problem statement identified above.
Proposed methodology
The fact that this study analyses a specific phenomenon in the current environment, collection of primary data was deemed the most appropriate for conducting the study. In this case, quantitative research methodology will be used to collect and analyse data. Specifically, an online case study will be used for gathering data from the participants in an attempt to address the research questions.
The questionnaire will be designed with reference to the information that will be gathered from the review of the literature and the research questions of this study. These questions will then be posted to participants via their mail for collection of the responses. The collected data will be analysed using a statistical package of social sciences to be able to derive a social meaning in the data collected.
This study aims to provide updated information about motivation among the military and go ahead and develop the most appropriate method for promoting motivation among soldiers. This research is very important because its concepts will be important in developing pragmatic policies for leadership aimed at sustaining higher levels of motivation among soldiers especially the new recruits.
Cook, M. L., 1999. Moral Reasoning as a Strategic Leader Competency. Undated, .
Chizek, J. G., 2003. Military transformation: Intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE.
Dadabhay, M., 2011. The Mediating Role of Workplace Spirituality on Perceptions of Transformational Leadership, Organisational Commitment and Employee Job Satisfaction within a sample of South African Muslim School teachers (Doctoral dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand).
Morrison, J. E., Fletcher, J. D., Moses, F. L., & Roberts, E. J., 2007. The Army science of learning workshop. US Army Research Institute for the Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Outgunned, A. A., 2012. The Missed Opportunity p46. Military Review.
Wong, L., Kolditz, T. A., Millen, R. A., & Potter, T. M., 2003. Why they fight: combat motivation in the Iraq war. ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA.
Zbylut, M. L., Metcalf, K. A., Kim, J. M., Hill Jr, R. W., Rocher, S., & Vowels, C., 2007. Army excellence in leadership (AXL): A multimedia approach to building tacit knowledge and cultural reasoning. ARMY RESEARCH INST FOR THE BEHAVIORAL AND SOCIAL SCIENCES FORT LEAVENWORTH KS.

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