Understanding military culture: A Canadian perspective


  1. English, A.D.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN);KMG Associates, Kingston ONT (CAN)
This is a study of cultural change related to the "Americanization" of the Canadian Forces (CF) and their officer corps in the last half of the 20th century. The concept of culture, the "bedrock of military effectiveness", has been used to explore the Americanization of the CF because of its power to explain the essence of the Canadian and American military cultures and to understand the impact of new technologies on military culture in the future. Three representative theoretical constructs from the discipline of organizational behaviour have been used in the paper to examine the concept of military culture. The paper concludes that future studies in Canadian military culture should take all three types of theories of organizational culture into account to better understand the Canadian and American armed forces of the 21st century. Based on these theoretical outlooks there is evidence to indicate that both the Canadian and US armed forces have some of the characteristics of dysfunctional, nonadaptive cultures that are resistant to change. While there are differences between the Canadian and American military cultures, there is no doubt that the CF have been Americanized to some extent. TRUNCATED
Military culture;CF (Canadian Forces);Organizational behaviour;American influence
Report Number
DCIEM-CR-2001-047 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
03 Apr 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk;Electronic Document(PDF)

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