The Concept of Job Satisfaction in the Swedish Armed Forces

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The concepts of job satisfaction and organizational commitment are vital in ensuring effectiveness of a military organization which requires the full commitment of members who place their lives at risk constantly (Aliyinus et al., 2017). The study will utilize the grounded theory to conduct a research on the level of organizational commitment among the military top officials of the Swedish Armed Forces and the Sweden Defense University. The findings from the top personnel will be an indication of the nature of organizational framework in the whole institution since peer-reviewed journals indicate that job satisfaction starts from the top management. When a top leader is dissatisfied in his job, there is a high likelihood of subsequent dissatisfaction of the junior subordinates. The underlying problems within the organizations will be addressed and applicable solutions will be highlighted in the text. A recommendation will be made about the most effective way of dealing with the problems in the highlighted military organizations.

Job Satisfaction in the Military


Job satisfaction is a form of mental contentment of individuals towards the work they do. In any organization including the military, job satisfaction is regarded as the essential attitude in achieving an outstanding performance. The Swedish government advocates for job satisfaction among the military personnel who play an important role in guarding Sweden, a country which is usually under constant threats of attack by exterior and interior enemies (Allen, 2009). The government has therefore implemented various measures for ensuring the military personnel are content in their work (Aliyinus et al., 2017). The measures will be discussed in this paper. The paper will focus on job satisfaction and commitment of military personnel who hold high hierarchal positions in the forces since they influence the junior personnel in very many ways. For example, the military personnel are expected to abide by the commands of their seniors at all times without objection (Aliyinus, 2017). Therefore, the concept of job satisfaction runs all through the hierarchal system, implying that the job outcome or quality will be affected if a high hierarchy senior makes a poor command out of job dissatisfaction.

Job satisfaction has a significant relationship with organizational behaviour. The paper will analyze the aspects of organizational conduct such as the organization challenges, problem-solving, motivation, the integrative framework, and roles of different individuals in an organization (Schoon, 2008). The study utilizes information from the members of the army from the Swedish Armed Forces Headquarters and the Swedish Defense University. Different approaches of organizational theories will be utilized in analyzing the above aspects. Facts and different case examples will be utilized to support the contexts of the paper. A recommendation about the essential forms of ensuring job satisfaction will be made.

Step One

Brief Summary of the Organization

Swedish Defense University, located in Sweden was started with the main aim of performing research and development in disciplines of state and international security. The organization trains and provides diverse knowledge and skills to military recruits and civilian residents, to give them a wide knowledge of handling security matters and critical circumstances. The university has specialized in modern military education such as military science, political science, military specialization in unique areas, history of the army, military leadership, state laws and peace-keeping techniques. The country is proud of the competence of military personnel from this institution since most reports indicate top performance and leadership of individuals from the university. Random informants of mixed gender were selected from the university to provide information about job satisfaction in their work, and organizational commitment in general.

The Swedish Armed Forces are the highest military organization in Sweden, in charge of interior and exterior security. The organization recruits over 4,000 personnel annually, for training into the Swedish army (Allen, 2009). The army is responsible for four main tasks of defending the country from foreign attack, to affirm and maintain the territorial integrity of the country, provision of support to citizens in case of natural disasters and deployment in global peacekeeping missions (Alyinius et al., 2017). A study on the organizational commitment and job satisfaction was conducted by interviewing military personnel holding higher ranks in the army, such as the colonels, army commanders and navy commanders working in the main headquarters in Stockholm. Both genders were uniformly represented in the study.

Organizational Challenges

Most military personnel of higher ranks highlighted organization loneliness as their main overriding issue. They stated that such positions come with a lot of personal responsibilities and hard decisions that should be made, without consulting other members for support (Allen, 2009). As a result, negative impacts of a decision may be experienced in the unit since there is a policy for less consultation among top-level members, in order to promote independent leadership (Schoon, 2008). Additionally, the individuals stated that they are forced to make hard decisions such as retrenching junior military personnel or changing their tasks in the forces. Such decisions come with mixed reactions, especially blames and negative attitudes from junior members.

A significant number of highly ranked personnel stated that poor performance appraisal through less appreciation, motivation and recognition from top leaders was a challenging factor (Aliyinus, 2017). The individuals stated that secondary challenges of the problems in top management were evident among junior military personnel who follow the command and footsteps of their seniors. Less acknowledgement resulted in declined morale in the work is done and poor management of junior employees.

All informants, including junior personnel, stated that they experienced stress due to huge workloads and hard tasks performed in abnormally long hours and tight deadlines. The result was physical, mental exhaustion and ailments due to psychological stress (Schoon, 2008). For example, two informants said that they had visited the occupational health centre for diagnoses of heart-related conditions, but the physicians identified stress-related body effects from the symptoms of the medical assessment. Secondary effects of work stress and overloads was a less family time commitment by most of the military members (Aliyinus et al., 2017). For example, most informants stated that they had not seen their families within the last one year from the day of research. Majority of the women military members acknowledged that there was a form of gender prejudice in the top management positions of the military, stating that women were less considered in holding top position ranks (Schoon, 2008). The statement was confirmed by making a quick assessment of the gender-based ranking. Our research indicated that in the Swedish armed forces headquarters based at Stockholm, there were only five major female colonels compared to thirty-two male colonels.

The merits of the expression of the organizational challenges include factors such as recurrence of the problem statements from the personnel who were interviewed differently, using the same sets of questions. The fact that similar challenges were outlined by most members without biases during interviewing indicates a higher accuracy in the information obtained from the informants (Schoon, 2008). In addition to that, medical evidence from the physician`s report indicated the existence of physical and emotional stress among the personnel who stated it as the main issue.

Roles of Various Individuals in the Problem Solving Approach

Different individuals play different roles in the manifestation of the problems and problem-solving in the Swedish military. For example, the junior personnel stated that their senior officers had a more powerful influence in ensuring the problems in solving the problems in the military since they possess more influence in changing the existing policies (Alyinus et al., 2017). On the other hand, the top level personnel stated that the policy changing process for problem-solving approach would be a lengthy process which would compromise their jobs at some point.

Challenges, threats and opportunities in problem-solving. The problem-solving approach to ensuring job satisfaction comes with various challenges. When solving a military problem, objective solutions and major facts should be presented, to make an applicable and concrete decision (Schoon, 2008). Junior personnel and military members, in general, face the challenge of expressing their concerns openly, in a job field where individuals are expected to abide by the commands of their seniors. In most occasions, military members are warned against defying guidelines provided, whether satisfactory or unfavourable. Consequently, most of these individuals suffer from unexpressed grievances and dissatisfaction in the job environment (Aliyinus et al., 2017). Additionally, military men and women are expected to be very emotionally and physically strong people. As a result, unsatisfactory policies and other changes are made by their seniors without any expectation of objections since it is assumed that the military can cope in any situation.

The problem-solving process comes with various possible threats that should be considered before making an aggressive move. Military personnel face the threat of retrenchment, rank lowering or unfair job role rotation (Aliyinus, 2017). Informants in the armed forces headquarters stated that most people opted to stay silent about their problems since they would face the threat of job rotation from the office to a dangerous mission deployment since such individuals are seen as a threat to the management of the forces.

Problem-solving in the military comes with numerous opportunities to the benefit of the nation and all the stakeholders (Bakar et al., 2015). For example, a proper approach to finding solutions is a strengthening factor to the country in general. The army is more likely to exhibit better performance when they are motivated and satisfied with their job. Moreover, the young subordinates can provide great ideas and inventions when they are more involved in the decision making and problem-solving process.

Role of leadership in problem-solving. An effective military leader should not undermine the power of the subordinates in the problem-solving process and in the creation of growth opportunities. Proper leadership should be aimed at mentoring the junior members and engaging them in solving basic problems in the unit (Schoon, 2008). The grievances of each member of the army, regardless of the hierarchy level should not be ignored, since job satisfaction is an essential element, especially in the military. A good military leader should build trusting relationships and team spirit among members of his unit, to create contact and better interaction among them. Navy officials acknowledge that their job satisfaction is higher since they maintain close contact with each other on a personal level when stuck on a ship for long periods.

Environmental factors should be considered in the promotion of job satisfaction and effective organization commitment. The environment affects the motivation and productivity of the military. The military rotational cycle is common in most countries including the Swedish military system. Job rotation is done to ensure better performance and motivation of military personnel across different environmental settings. The individuals are deployed in different places without biases by rotating them after a specified period of time (Bakar et., 2015). Additionally, the environment may be changed by changing the job roles of a military officer, in order to ensure diversity and morale through the break of job monotony. Diversity in the job environment and roles of personnel is a problem-solving approach to the challenges faced by people when working in an area of operation are eliminated by switching to new areas of operation. The social environment of an individual has a positive impact on the job output since a favourable communal environment has fewer challenges of blocking factors such as language barriers, discrimination, racism and other forms of prejudice.

Step Two

Grounded Theory Approach to Job Satisfaction

The grounded theory was the most effective concept in researching about the job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the Swedish armed forces and Sweden defence university since it extracts much theory from the data provided by the informants. The theory utilized qualitative research instead of quantitative exploration in the identification of the problems that existed in the two military organizations. Open-ended questions were used since they provided exact information about the contexts of the research. A qualitative research provided accuracy in the information presented since top hierarchy members were interviewed as the informants. The senior members of the military had the relevant and wide information that was required to conduct research.

The grounded theory relates to the problem described in this paper since it provides information about the experience of the top hierarchy army members, the relationship between senior members and young subordinates, the main obstacles while in a leadership position, their decision-making tactics, and their strategies for ensuring job satisfaction & organization commitment. The data gained through the grounded theory methodology was then used to assess the strongholds and drawbacks of the study. For example, the main overriding issue was easily identified through the study. The level of job satisfaction of the military members was determined by using information from the main informants. From the study, it was evident that leadership should be strengthened in the Swedish armed forces to provide a better platform for the young subordinates to express their grievances and concerns.

Key Indicators for Theory to the Concept Application in Organizational Behavior

The author applied theory to the concept of military organization behaviour by outlining the basics of scientific leadership in highlighting how military jobs could be done more effectively. The author stated that proper leadership starts with the determination of the objectives which should be used as the guidelines for control of people (Rouet & Zannad, 2004). For example, he stated that the senior soldiers believed that a leader should make his soldiers work in a bigger context of loyalty to the state. The author also indicates the significance of close contact leadership with junior personnel, who may provide extra knowledge and advice to the top management. This concept is applied when the relationship between a navy leader and his unit in a ship is indicated in the text. Aliyinus et al. (2017) also show that transformational leadership has a positive impact on organizational commitment. Finally, the concept of developmental leadership is outlined, indicating the importance of training employees to increase their motivation and job satisfaction.

A decision-making approach theory is used to solve the problems stated in the two military organizations. The author states that the decision-making process should be inclusive of the junior subordinates and the senior military members (Rouet & Zannad, 2004). Top-ranked military individuals can reduce organizational loneliness by engaging their subordinates, in the formulation of important judgements that affect the success of the whole group.

Finally, the authors state that job satisfaction is the background for organizational commitment (Aliyinus et al., 2017). Continuous and stable satisfaction among military people leads to a long-term commitment which is essential in the military since their lives are usually at risk while in their working environment. According to Aliyinus et al. (2017), a military officer should be fully satisfied and committed to his work either when working alone or in a group, for the success of a mission. Therefore, the concepts of establishing a foundation for job satisfaction should be implemented and subsequently, organizational commitment will be achieved.

Most Relevant Portions in the Article

The article provides information about the significance and difference of job satisfaction and organizational commitment in the military. The author states that job satisfaction is a short-term element. Organizational commitment is a long-term element that is established through constant job satisfaction of the military members. The study further suggests that proper management of a military organization is highly dependent on the top-ranked individuals in the army since they formulate policies, direct events and provide guidelines that should be followed without objection. When there is poor management in a military organization, the whole organizational framework is compromised since the army operates on a strict chain of command. A weak organizational commitment puts the lives of the stakeholders involved at risks especially in a war mission.

Moreover, transformational and developmental leadership are the best strategies for developing competence and commitment in the military from the basic level to the top position. The grounded theory was the most preferred research methodology since it provides accuracy of data when a small portion is sampled, instead of sampling a wide population which may provide vague and irrelevant information. A small sample of the top military personnel provided detailed information that was used to create and apply conceptual knowledge to valid solutions. The author further suggests that the organization commitment model of a military situation could be applied in other organizational structures such as education systems, corporate organizations, government and other companies.

Step Three


From the study, many recommendations can be made to solve the problems in the Swedish armed forces and the Swedish defence university. Firstly, a human resource department should be established to act as the link between the top-ranked military personnel and the junior subordinates in the military. The human resource section would ensure that the core principles of the organization are followed to guarantee job satisfaction and subsequent organization commitment. The department would also act as a leadership check to avoid biases or unfair control of people and activities.

Secondly, the grounded theory should be utilized in determining whether there is a significant decline of job satisfaction and commitment of junior subordinates due to poor leadership or management from their seniors. In the study, it was presumed that the decline in motivation and work obligation due to poor leadership was spontaneous, without a tested hypothesis.

Thirdly, the two military organizations should provide a feedback or expression forum for the military personnel where their levels of job satisfaction are assessed to determine the next course of action. Through a feedback forum, the sentiments of the junior members of the army can be considered and improvements can be made. My personality style fitting in the recommendations is my nature of advocating for transparent and open leadership.

Finally, this method of ensuring organizational commitment and job satisfaction should be tested in other business organizations and applied if found favourable to the setting of the business. Other theories should also be utilized in performing such a research, to test and compare their effectiveness with the grounded theory.


Allen, D. (2009). Correlates of Military Satisfaction and Attrition Among Army Personnel. Business Information Center, 18(1), 113-115.

Alyinius, A., Johannsson, E., & Larsson, G. (2017). International Journal of Organizational Analysis. Bingley. Vol 25, Iss, 2: 312-326

Bakar, N., Ishak, S., & Mahmud, M, (2015). Job Satisfaction and Morale of Enlisted Personnel: Implications Towards Provision in the Military Organization. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences. Vol 6 (3). 22-28

Rouet, V., & Zannad, H., (2004). Organizational Commitment in Innovative Companies. Mont Saint. Esc Routen.

Schoon, H. (2008). Person-Supervisor Fit: Implications for Organizational Stress, Organizational Commitment and Job Satisfaction.

January 19, 2024

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