Impact of Cultural Globalization on Soldiering
An Emerging Concern for Future Leaders
Maj. Md Sajibul Islam, Bangladesh Army
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Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be.
—Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Gen. Douglas MacArthur quoted the above epigraph while on the verge of his “fading away” from the U.S. Army after sixty years of soldiering. Anyone can feel the spirit of soldiering in those “three hallowed words.” Soldiering is one of the oldest professions in human civilization, and its role has transformed through the ages.1 Soldiering emerged as the noble cause of fighting for the nation after the Thirty Years’ War.2 It became more than a job, built on intrinsic motivation of sacrificing the dearest possession of human beings—life.3 Consequently, leaders could lead millions of people into war and alter the history of warfare. The world witnessed soldiers’ manifestation of self-sacrifice, guided by those admired values that emanated from the love of culture. However, in stepping into the age of the fourth industrial revolution, humanity is going through rapid transformation in thought and spirit. Arguably, cultural globalization is the catalyst for this transformation and makes leadership increasingly challenging.
Cultural globalization refers to the transmission of meanings, ideas, and values around the world to extend and intensify social relations.4 It is not a new phenomenon; instead, it is a natural continuation of civilization from the tribal age to the technological age. Technological innovations and multinational enterprises are turning the world into one homogeneous global village. Despite many positive attributes, cultural globalization influences a soldier’s cultural orientation, thereby negating the influence of the military organizational culture.
Soldiers are a faction of a society built upon its own culture. A society’s unique characteristics define every culture.5 Geert Hofstede’s cultural dimensions (see table 1) explain the variation between different cultures.6 Nevertheless, cultural globalization is gradually diluting these differences, and a homogeneous world is emerging. Change in cultural dimensions in any particular society may bring changes to human needs, which are directly linked to motivation. As such, cultural globalization creates a ripple effect that may negate the present motivational concepts of soldiering.
An Analysis of Cultural Globalization: Definition and Genesis
As an effect of globalization, cultural globalization is the process of interaction and integration among people, businesses, and nations.7 It started as an instinctive human curiosity more than five thousand years ago when people in cities began to trade within and between cities.8 Due to communication limits, globalization was slow and limited to trade and religion. Nevertheless, the rate of cultural globalization intensifies with different factors. The Renaissance and Industrial Revolution in Europe, for example, brought two factors that expedited cultural globalization: faster transportation and colonization, which brought about easier transmission of intellectual ideas.
Causes of Cultural Globalization
Currently, different factors fuel cultural globalization. Of the various causes, as delineated in figure 1, the rapid development of communication technology and the media stands out as a major catalyst for cultural globalization. While the development of transportation and migration can physically bring people from different cultures closer, the advent of the internet and its easy accessibility is more effective for transmitting ideas. Cultural globalization happens when different ideas, beliefs, and values spread globally.9 Knowledge of different cultures can change a person’s fundamental cultural values. The physical experience of traveling, mass migration, diverse cultures in society, and common usage of popular technology brands can challenge the traditional cultural identity of communities and promote the emergence of a homogeneous world.10
Understanding National Culture: Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions
The environment of a nation-state, its social structure, and the experience of the preceding generation shape human characteristics.11 In short, culture shapes human characteristics. In this context, Hofstede’s cultural dimension comes as a great tool to analyze national culture. In 1991, Hofstede identified six dimensions to analyze the differences of various national cultures, as illustrated in figure 2.12
Heterogeneity of Human Behavior in Different Cultures
Hofstede’s idea was groundbreaking in dissecting different cultures and their impact on human behavior. Figure 3 is based on Hofstede’s cultural analysis and displays a comparison between three different cultures: the United States, Bangladesh, and Malaysia.
As displayed, Malaysia and Bangladesh are very high in “power distance index” (PDI) and low in “individualism.” This essentially means that these societies accept power inequality while possessing a collective and cohesive mindset. Though historically, Malaysia was a feudal system and Bangladesh was an idyllic republic, the British ruled both. These societies, however, are historically collective, and both loyalty and allegiance were highly placed in their societies. Conversely, the United States ranks low in PDI and very high in “individualism”; its Pledge of Allegiance is based on the premise of “liberty and justice for all.”13 That said, cultural globalization is changing the states in figure 3.
The Ripple Effect of Cultural Globalization: The Road toward One World
Different studies indicate a changing trend in various indexes of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Professor Ming-Yi Wu, a researcher at Western Illinois University, found significant changes in various American cultural dimensions.14 Her work proved that power distance and masculinity are reducing in the United States, while uncertainty avoidance and individualism are ascending. On the other hand, millennials and Generation Z are rejecting a high-PDI environment in most Asian countries.15 The Arab Spring, Hong Kong protests, and “Me Too” movements are some remarkable examples of this wave of change.16 These changes of cultural dimensions and social trends pose a question: Are human needs evolving with this cultural change?
Human Need: A Bridge between Culture and Motivation
A brief look into human need is essential to draw inference on the interrelationship of culture and soldiering. Motivation and human needs are interwoven. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “motivation” originated from “motive,” which means needs, desires, wants, or drives within an individual.17 Motivation is the process of stimulating people to act in order to accomplish certain goals. Therefore, a discussion on “need theory” is imperative. In this context, none could define it more precisely than Abraham H. Maslow.
Maslow’s Theory of Needs
In his groundbreaking paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Maslow categorized five different types of human motivational needs: physiological, security, belonging, esteem, and self-actualization (see figure 4).18 Broadly categorizing them into basic needs, psychological needs, and self-fulfillment needs, Maslow initially argued that without fulfilling basic needs, higher needs do not generally arise.19 A starving man will not seek self-actualization. However, human spirit and motivation are unique, and a strong sense of purpose and passion can overrule the hierarchical characteristics of Maslow’s theory.
History illustrates that a more significant purpose of belongingness, esteem, or self-actualization can drive people beyond physiological needs. Since time immemorial, ideas, principles, and passions drove people to cross the barrier of safety needs. Though Maslow’s theory initially claimed that each need had to be satisfied sequentially, he later realized that 100 percent fulfillment of basic needs is not a prerequisite for the emergence of higher needs.20 Thus, we can deduce that humans can strive to fulfill different levels of needs simultaneously. Ideas transmitted through cultural globalization can influence those human needs, which puts the universality of human need in question.
Universality of Human Needs
Although Maslow’s hierarchy of needs tried to establish its universality, Maslow himself struggled with this idea. He mentioned that different cultures set different definitions for the same need.21 For example, a majority of Americans do not feel real hunger as a basic need; they feel an appetite. Citizens in lesser-developed countries experience the opposite. Moreover, characteristics of different generations will differ in how people prioritize needs and, subsequently, vary the trigger for their motivation. Thus, time and culture prove characteristics’ influence on human needs.
Drawing specific interrelation between cultural dimensions and human needs is exhaustive and beyond the scope of this article. However, figure 5 displays the deductions of the aforementioned arguments that different cultural dimensions significantly influence an individual’s priority of human needs. Consequently, existing motivational techniques might be obsolete due to this change in the needs of different generations. Therefore, in any particular time and space, the interdependence of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs must be understood by military leaders.
Impact of Cultural Globalization on Soldiering: A Soldier’s Entanglement with National and Military Cultures
The impact of national culture mostly supersedes the influence of military culture in a soldier. The military is an organization with distinct cultural artifacts.22 According to J. L. Soeters, military organizations are different in that they represent specific occupational cultures that are relatively isolated from society.23 D. M. Snider opined that the emergence of a military culture is directly linked with its task and purpose. Hence, the different nature of a military separates it from its society.24 Despite the significant differences between military culture and national culture, the latter shapes the cultural orientation of a soldier. Both Soeters’ and Snider’s arguments might be valid to a certain extent. Conflict with these ideas will arise as we dissect different layers of military organizational culture and identify possible conflicts with an individual’s cultural assumptions before joining the military.
Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner developed a conceptual framework for organizational culture with three different layers.25 Detail analysis has been delineated in figure 6, which was created to illustrate the relationship between a soldier’s cultural orientation and military organizational culture.26
In an all-volunteer military force, individuals are principally motivated to lay down their lives for their nation.27 However, a soldier’s underlying assumptions about his or her own culture are formed before he or she joins the military.28 As shown in figure 7, the core beliefs of a society also affect the understanding of human needs. No organizational artifacts can change that permanently. When further influenced by cultural globalization, friction is inevitable between individual core values and military values.
The impact of cultural globalization remains superior in its effect because it is dynamic and continuous in a society and in the information environment. Conversely, hierarchical military culture is conservative and traditional. A soldier’s stance, consequently, is paradoxically conflicted between these two distinct cultural environments.
Critical Motivational Factor of Soldiering
Cultural globalization can affect the fighting spirit of soldiers. Killing a human is not easy; it is more than pulling a trigger. Either a substantial cause or a unique cultural ethos can infuse that fighting spirit. History is a reminder of how humanity fought between different cultures. Differences in identity, race, and culture created a superiority or inferiority complex that fueled the fighting spirit of different societies. Thereby, the militaries of an individualistic society and a collective society are significantly different in their core motivation. For instance, Allied forces suffered more casualties in the Pacific than in other theaters of war.29 Japanese kamikaze attacks during World War II or Chinese “human wave” attacks during the Korean Conflict directly reflect aspects of Eastern culture. In both cases, motivations of the Japanese and Chinese soldiers led them to suicide attacks against U.S. troops.30 These motivational drives resulted from coinciding the organizational deep layer with a soldier’s cultural value, as displayed in figure 7.
Samuel P. Huntington, in his 1996 book Clash of Civilizations, illustrates how current and future warfare will be based on a clash between different ideas. However right he is, global civil society emerged in the later 1980s as a counterforce to conflict around the globe.31 The global populations’ increasing interconnectedness to each other’s ideas, cultures, and perspectives is causing an emergence of a global civil society as an antidote for war.32 This apparent utopian positivity of cultural globalization is also a cause for decay in the fighting spirit of younger generations.
Recruitment is one of the most discussed issues of different militaries affected by cultural globalization. The U.S. military, as well as many others, faces difficulties in recruiting candidates with expected psychological spirit and qualities. Some identified causes behind this problem include lack of mental aptitude, poor physical fitness, criminal records, and drug abuse, to name a few.33 As displayed in the graph in figure 8, only 15 percent of ideal candidates for the military from Generation Z are willing to serve.34 This is the state of the most influential and spirited army of the world, from the most influential culture impacting globalization. Culturally less influential countries are facing tremendous setbacks in their soldiering standard. This situation may justify the findings that Generation Z values individualism and diversity over united services.35 An increase in materialistic benefits contributed to minimizing this recruitment problem in the United States but created another new problem—materialism.
Materialistic View on Soldiering
The materialistic attitude of soldiers might change a military organization into a mercenary company. The prime difference between mercenaries and an all-volunteer force is service member’s attitude to materialism. Maj. Gen. Dennis Laich identified the prime reason for joining the U.S. military in the U.S. context to be individual financial security and not patriotism.36 He argued that in America’s all-volunteer force, 1 percent of poor and middle-class service members are manning the military, while 99 percent minimize guilt through placing an “I support our troops” bumper sticker on their cars. Furthermore, joining the military for materialistic gain causes nonalignment of moral value, and increases misconduct that is affecting the U.S. Army.37 When soldiers-at-arms pursue materialistic goals, fancy words such as patriotism, glory, or esprit de corps will be relegated to books and history museums.
Cultural globalization has increased ethical dilemmas among military personnel.38 The military uses a theoretical ethical triangle to facilitate decision-making where value-based, principle-based, and consequence-based ethics work in concert. However, history shows the ignorance of military decision-making from value-based ethics, which was compensated by loyalty. As globalization puts humanity first, a soldier’s ethical dilemma increases. For example, several whistleblowers from different armies have voiced their discontent with the unethical decision-making of their leaders.39 Our previously discussed priority of human needs also affects prioritizing ethical approaches. For instance, “belonging” or “self-actualization” needs may influence prioritizing ethical approaches to put humanity before the nation. Thus, cultural globalization increases the ethical dilemma by undefined “belongingness” of individual soldiers.
Affected Core Military Values
The ripple effect of cultural globalization has changed the idea of loyalty and obedience. Military culture is essentially “conservative, rooted in history and tradition, based on group loyalty and conformity and oriented toward obedience to superiors.”40 However, in this information age, knowledge is accessible to all. As society is context aware, people are more informed, and their definition of values may become misaligned with traditional values. Citizens and soldiers wake up in the morning and see variations of the same news. Both factions of society are adapting to the chaos of misinformation, and it makes them instinctively good at spotting lies.41 Consequently, loyalty and obedience are redefined concepts with a younger generation and require new leadership approaches.
A Way Forward for Future Leaders
As civilization progresses, cultural globalization will expand rapidly. Stopping it is not only impossible but also counterproductive to its numerous blessings and opportunities. Similarly, changes in generational characteristics are indisputable. That leaves military organizations with one aspect to focus on in a solution-adaptive leadership. In Field Manual 6-22, Army Leadership, adaptive leadership is mostly focused on dealing with changes in a dynamic operational environment.42 As the “agent of change,” adaptive leaders also need to address dynamic changes in the cultural orientation of their soldiers.
Figure 9 is my approach to minimizing the negative impacts of cultural globalization in subordinates. Cultural globalization affects mostly newer generations in the military; therefore, analyzing the tendencies and characteristics of these people can provide insight into the required leadership style. Table 2 illustrates the characteristics of Generation Z, the most-affected generation due to cultural globalization, and what those characteristics imply for military leaders.43 Moreover, as the priorities of human needs vary from soldier to soldier, leaders need a comprehensive approach to fulfill those different needs: basic, psychological, and self-fulfillment. No organization can realistically fulfill all needs. However, careful consideration and an attitude to care about subordinates’ needs can pay dividends.
Identifying all soldier needs can lay the next steppingstone—applying time-demanding motivational techniques. Rewards and punishments are always useful if applied appropriately. However, the definition of reward varies from person to person. Human need can dwell in different layers simultaneously, and motivational tools must be used to meet those needs. Similar to Generation Z, future generations are likely to crave realization of both psychological and self-fulfillment needs. In this regard, talent management and creative employment are likely to be crucial to create a conducive military environment.44 Besides, talent management will enable an adaptive leader to solve adaptive problems in the highly ambiguous future.
Based on identified subordinate needs and motivational tools, prioritization of leadership traits is the next step. A modified level of leader-led interaction is crucial in creating an impact upon any new generation. Though American society is based on individualism, military organizational culture is built upon esprit de corps. While military effort in nurturing the cohesive culture is vital in maintaining esprit de corps, generational craving for freedom and personal space should not be forgotten by leaders.45 A delicate balance between these two can be maintained by optimizing the military environment periodically, which can support the varied needs of its members. Apart from personal interaction, authenticity in leaders may be the silver bullet to gain the trust of new generations.46
Finally, modifying military artifacts based on the changed national culture can minimize the discord identified in figure 7. Growing a secure attachment to a national identity is a prerequisite to do so. Nevertheless, the organization’s core values must not be compromised during this process. For the U.S. military, minimizing discord can be achieved by expanding military traditions, educating young generations with glorious history, and imbibing them with the uniqueness of American culture. Nevertheless, success will lie in aligning individual cultural orientation with organizational culture.
In this highly connected world, national identity and globalization are in constant tension. The tension for individuals expands when they join a military organization. While soldiering demands specific conservative traits, cultural globalization is infusing current society with liberal ideas. These ideas, in conjunction with homogeneous cultures, are changing the priorities of human needs. Despite numerous benefits of this heterogeneity and changing human needs, military organizations are facing different problems: recruitment, decay of spirit, materialism, and lack of motivation—to name a few. Consequently, the military profession must not become a mere job but remain a profession based upon selfless service with patriotic feelings.
Therefore, time demands adaptive leadership in military organizations with the focus not only on “the mission” but also on “soldiers.” Scrutinizing the characteristics of those generations in service, identifying their needs, developing suitable motivational techniques, and identifying prioritized leadership traits may minimize the negative impact of cultural globalization among the military personnel. Since the United States is the world’s largest cultural melting pot, the U.S. military needs to update its doctrine on adaptive leadership. Hopefully then “duty, honor, country,” the three hallowed words of MacArthur, will echo among the hearts of soldiers and will transcend through generations beyond time.
- Merriam-Webster, s.v. “soldiering,” accessed 21 March 2020, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soldiering.
- Samuel P. Huntington, The Soldier and the State: The Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 1957), 21.
- MacGregor Knox and Williamson Murray, The Dynamics of Military Revolution, 1300–2050 (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2001), 60.
- Funlayo Vesajoki, The Effects of Globalization on Culture (Jyväskylä, Finland: University of Jyväskylä, 2002), 8.
- Ibid., 10. From the perspective of globalization, “culture should be seen as the process of the cultivation of an intricate inner life that takes on form and meaning in social action on a global scale. Inner life in this context would refer to the knowledge of humankind as a single and inseparable species common to earth.”
- Geert Hofstede, Dimensionalizing Cultures: The Hofstede Model in Context (Berkeley, CA: The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2011), 8, accessed 29 January 2020, https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/orpc/vol2/iss1/8.
- “What Is Globalization?,” The Levin Institute, 2016, accessed 1 February 2020, http://www.globalization101.org/what-is-globalization/. Globalization refers to acceleration and intensification of interaction among the people, companies, and governments of different nations; Aditya Sarthak, Transport, Geography, Tribalism (London: Aditya Publications, 2006).
- Abderrahman Hassi and Giovanna Storti, “Globalization and Culture: The Three H Scenarios,” in Globalization–Approaches to Diversity (Rijeka, Croatia: IntechOpen, 2012), accessed 12 February 2020, https://www.intechopen.com/books/globalization-approaches-to-diversity/globalization-and-culture-the-three-h-scenarios.
- Vesajoki,The Effects of Globalization on Culture, 9.
- Nkosinathi Sotshangane, What Impact Globalization has on Cultural Diversity? (Yalova, Turkey: Yalova University, 2002), 214–31.
- Lindsay Stace, “Culture, Mental Models, and National Prosperity,” in Culture Matters: How Value Shapes Human Progress, ed. Samuel P. Huntington and Lawrence E. Harrison (New York: Basic Books, 2000), 282.
- Hofstede, Dimensionalizing Cultures, 8.
- “What About the USA?,” Hofstede Insights, accessed 28 January 2020, https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country/the-usa/.
- Ming-Yi Wu, “Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions 30 Years Later: A Study of Taiwan and the United States,” Intercultural Communication Studies XV, no. 1 (2006): 37–41.
- Merriam-Webster, s.v. “millennial,” accessed 21 March 2020, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/millennial. Millennials refers to generations born in the 1980s or 1990s; Merriam-Webster, s.v. “Generation Z,” accessed 21 March 2020, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Generation%20Z. Generation Z refers to the generation of people born in the late 1990s and early 2000s; Kate Sweetman, In Asia, Power Gets in the Way (Brighton, MA: Harvard Business Publishing, 2012), accessed 19 February 2020, https://hbr.org/2012/04/in-asia-power-gets-in-the-way.
- Sweetman, In Asia, Power Gets in the Way.
- Merriam-Webster, s.v. “motivation,” accessed 21 January 2020, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/motivation.
- Abraham H. Maslow, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Psychological Review 50, no. 4 (1943): 370–96.
- Ibid., 380.
- Abraham H. Maslow, Motivation and Personality, 2nd ed. (New York: Harper and Row, 1970), 54.
- Maslow, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” 38.
- Multinational Military Operations and Intercultural Factors, ed. Angela R. Febbraro, Brian McKee, and Sharon L. Riedel (Brussels: North Atlantic Treaty Organization Research and Technology Organisation, 2008), 1–8.
- J. L. Soeters, “Culture in Uniformed Organizations,” in Handbook on Organizational Culture and Climate, ed. Celeste P. M. Wilderom, Mark F. Peterson, and Neil M. Ahskenasy (London: Sage, 2004), 465.
- D. M. Snider, “An Uninformed Debate on Military Culture,” Orbis 43, no. 1 (1999): 11–26.
- Fons Trompenaars and Charles Hampden-Turner, Riding the Waves of Culture (London: McGraw-Hill, 1993), 21.
- Ibid., 20, 21. As displayed in figure 6, layer one, layer two, and layer three represent artifacts and practices, attitude and expectations, and deep structure, respectively. Layer one (artifacts and practices), the surface layer, is tangible and observable, which represents the explicit culture of the organization. For the military, explicit culture includes the uniforms, ceremonies, and traditions. The second layer (attitude and expectations) is more intangible; the military attitudes and expectations are built through traditions, customs, myths, and beliefs. Deep structure is built into the third layer, which represents the underlying assumptions of an individual in the organization. Bringing change to these layers becomes progressively difficult from layer one to layer three.
- Dennis Laich, Skin in the Game: Poor Kids and Patriots (self-pub., iUniverse, 2013), 9.
- Tarak Barkawi, “Globalization, Culture, and War: On the Popular Mediation of ‘Small Wars,’” Cultural Critique 58, no. 1 (2004): 115–47, accessed 2 January 2020, https://www.jstor.org/stable/4140775.
- David Haberstam, The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (New York: Hyperion Books, 2007), 307.
- Thomas G. Bradbeer, Eighth Army Fights Back (Fort Leavenworth, KS: U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 2019), 14.
- John Keane, Global Civil Society? (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 114.
- Ibid., 3.
- Mark Perry, The Recruitment Problem the Military Does Not Want to Talk About (Washington, DC: The American Conservative, 2018), 2, accessed 22 January 2020, https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-recruitment-problem-the-military-doesnt-want-to-talk-about.
- Dennis Laich, “Manning the Military: America’s Problem,” Military Times (website), 22 July 2019, accessed 30 January 2020, https://www.militarytimes.com/opinion/commentary/2019/07/23/manning-the-military-americas-problem.
- Levy Leidy, “Generation Z Stalls Army Recruitment Efforts,” Valor Worldwide, accessed 24 January 2020, https://www.ourmilitary.com/generation-z-army-recruitment.
- Laich, Skin in the Game, 9.
- Kyle Borne, “The Army’s Moral Recruiting Problem,” Small Wars Journal, 17 September 2016, accessed 24 January 2020, nhttps://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-army%E2%80%99s-moral-recruiting-problem.
- Jack Kem, “Ethical Decision Making: Using the ‘Ethical Triangle’” (paper, CGSC Ethics Symposium, Fort Leavenworth, KS, 21 April 2016), 3. Ethical dilemmas can be defined as conflicts between two different values that are correct from different approaches.
- Ted Thomas and Ira Chaleff, “Moral Courage and Intelligent Disobedience,” InterAgency Journal 8, no. 1 (Winter 2017): 59, accessed 11 March 2020, http://thesimonscenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/IAJ-8-1-Winter2017-pg58-66.pdf.
- Gail Zellman et al., “Implementing Policy Change in Large Organizations,” in Sexual Orientation and US Military Personnel Policy: Options and Assessments (Washington, DC: RAND Corporation, 1999), 370.
- Tracy Francis and Fernanda Hoefel, “‘True Gen’: Generation Z and Its Implications for Companies,” McKinsey & Company, 12 November 2018, accessed 21 March 2020, https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/our-insights/true-gen-generation-z-and-its-implications-for-companies.
- Army Doctrine Publication (ADP) 6-22, Army Leadership (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2012 [obsolete]), 9-5, superseded by ADP 6-22, Army Leadership and the Profession, November 2019.
- Denise Villa, The State of Gen Z 2017: Meet the Throwback Generation (Austin, TX: The Center for Generational Kinetics, 2017), 4. Generation Z is the new “kid on the block,” born between 1996 and 2015. That generation is part of the incoming workforce and the future of the military services. In the United States, the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001 are the main event for shaping perspectives of millennials and Generation Z. Generation Z does not remember it at all, while 9/11 is a defining moment for millennials. Generation Z, a technologically sophisticated generation, reflects the impact of cultural globalization more significantly than the previous generations. Though few studies on the generation are available in military literature, a lot of generational analyses exist in the fields of business and anthropology. Scrutiny of scholarly research addressing the generation identified Generation Z’s various characteristics in the workplace. Table 2 illustrates those characteristics and their likely implications for a military leader. For more information regarding the characteristics of Generation Z, see Amarendra Pratap Singh and Jianguanglung Dangmei, “Understanding the Generation Z: The Future Workforce,” South-Asian Journal of Multidisciplinary Studies 3, no. 3 (April 2016): 1–5; Teresa Bridges, “5 Ways the Workplace Needs to Change to Get the Most out of Generation Z,” Fast Company, 19 August 2015, accessed 21 March 2020, http://www.fastcoexist.com/3049848/5-ways-the-workplaceneeds-to-change-to-get-the-most-out-of-generation-z; “From Innovation to Expectation–How M&E Leaders are Responding to Gen Z,” (New York: Ernst & Young, 2016), accessed 20 February 2019, http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/ey-media-entertainment-leaders-respond-to-gen-z/$FILE/ey-media-entertainment-leaders-respond-to-gen-z.pdf; Bascha, “Z: The Open Source Generation,” OpenSource, 19 September 2011, accessed 25 February 2020, https://opensource.com/business/11/9/z-open-source-generation; Francis and Hoefel, “True Gen”; Bridges, “5 Ways the Workplace Needs to Change to Get the Most out of Generation Z”; Matt Kampbell, “Generation Z Talent: How the New Generation of Workers will Reshape Talent Management” (Amstelveen, Netherlands: KPMG, 2019), accessed 20 March 2020, https://advisory.kpmg.us/articles/2019/generation-z-talent.html; Villa, The State of Gen Z 2017, 14; “Deep Focus’ Cassandra Report: Gen Z Uncovers Massive Attitude Shifts toward Money, Work and Communication Preferences,” Deep Focus, 30 March 2015, accessed 21 March 2020, https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2015/03/30/1308741/0/en/Deep-Focus-Cassandra-Report-Gen-Z-Uncovers-Massive-Attitude-Shifts-Toward-Money-Work-and-Communication-Preferences.html.
- “Deep Focus’ Cassandra Report.”
- Kampbell, “Generation Z Talent.”
- “From Innovation to Expectation.”
Maj. Md Sajibul Islam, Bangladesh Army, is a student at the Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He is a graduate of the Defense Services Command and Staff College, Bangladesh, and holds a master’s degree from Bangladesh University of Professionals. He has held instructor, staff, and leadership positions at various levels of the Bangladesh Army, and he led a United Nations Task Force company in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa. Islam has also had diplomatic assignments in the United States, United Kingdom, and Turkey.
This U.S. State Department policy paper published in November 2020 provides historical background and elaborates on China’s aggressive foreign policy initiatives that stretch to every region of the world. Flouting international law, communist China has openly asserted territorial claims against many of its neighbors and waters in the South China Sea and espoused policy objectives that include becoming the predominate military, economic, and cultural power in the world. Furthermore, it aims not merely at preeminence within the established world order—an order that is grounded in free and sovereign nation-states—but to fundamentally revise world order, placing the People’s Republic of China at the center and serving Beijing’s totalitarian goals and hegemonic ambitions. To view this paper, visit https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20-02832-Elements-of-China-Challenge-508.pdf.
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