The psychological dynamics of civil-military Collaboration


  1. Thomson, M.H.
  2. Adams, B.D.
  3. Filardo, E-A.
  4. Flear, C.R.
  5. DeWit, Y.C.
  6. Febbraro, A.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Toronto Research Centre , Toronto ON (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This research was conducted in support of a Defence R&D Canada – Toronto (DRDC Toronto) applied research project (ARP) examining civil-military relations in operations. Military engagements today often require the coordinated efforts of civilian and military assets. Close collaboration with civilian actors may, however, present challenges for militaries, including the Canadian Forces (CF). Previous research suggests a number of potential barriers to effective collaboration among civilian and military actors, including a lack of respect and shared power (Thomson, Adams, Hall, & Flear, 2010; Thomson, Adams, Hall, Brown, & Flear, 2011). Thus, the current research explored psychological dynamics of civil-military collaboration with a focus on the role of respect and power in terms of the process and outcomes of collaboration, through a scenario-based laboratory study. CF personnel and individuals representing non-governmental organizations (NGOs) worked through two operational scenarios using Skype. Scenarios represented CF jurisdiction (project security scenario – PS scenario) and NGO jurisdiction (refugee camp scenario – RC scenario). Results suggested that NGO personnel felt less respected and reported having less power in the RC scenario compared to the PS scenario. Correlational analyses also showed relationships between respect and power and the process of collaboration and outcomes. For example, greater perceptions of being respected and having some power and influen
civil-military;collaboration;comprehensive approach
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2014-C77 — Contract Report
Date of publication
01 Apr 2013
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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