“New and improved technologies may enhance the 21st Century commander’s ability to communicate with coalition partners, but coalition efforts may still founder on the shoals of technical incompatibilities, language difficulties, cultural assymetrics, and ignorance of key historical and geopolitical issues.” R.H Scales, 2001
Can Worldviews predict differences in operators’ performance under stress (OPUS) derived from cultural differences?
If proven true, WAI might be very relevant to Command and Control (C2) environments which are often characterized as “teams of teams”.
What are worldviews?
Worldviews are sets of assumptions about life and the physical and social worlds. The ‘lens’ through which one perceives reality. The central insight of Worldview is that personal and cultural assumptions about reality have profound effects upon thought and behavior. The WAI (Koltko-Rivera, 2004) has 6 Core Dimensions, and is designed to assess crucial aspects of worldview.
Table 1. Pole Reflected by Score
|Metaphysics/ontology||over 40: Spiritualist||under 40: Materialist|
|Responsibility||over 56: External||under 56: Internal|
|Agency||over 32: Voluntarist||under 32: Determinist|
|Group||over 48: Collectivist||under 48: Individualist|
|Authority||over 24: Linear||under 24: Lateral|
|Mutability||over 16: Changeable||under 16: Permanent|
What have we done?
- Translation and validation of the Hebrew version of the WAI.
- Administration of the WAI to 305 Israeli participants (150 males and 155 females) mean age 25 SD(6), 22 SD(7) respectively.
- Comparison of the results across demographic characteristics (i.e., gender, age, strength of religious believe, military service background and domain, and workplace)
- Comparison of the results to the American sample reported by Koltko-Rivera
Summary of findings
The results reflect differences between American and Israeli samples, as well as differences among the Israeli participants. Some of these differences (e.g., relation to group) were related to the type of military service that participants had experienced. Thus, worldview or its components can possible contribute to the understanding of team performance in applied settings.
Differences within Israeli sample
- Ontology – Females were significantly more spiritual than males
- Relation to group – Those who served in combat roles in the IDF were more collectivists than those who served in field jobs or administrative ones
- Relation to authority – Females were significantly more lateral than males
Differences between American and Israeli samples
- There were items in the American WAI that did not load to any factor in the Israeli one. Therefore some changes were required to be made in order to generate the Israeli scoring.
Specific differences by dimensions:
- Ontology – Israeli sample more neutral, US sample more spiritual
- Responsibility – Both samples are internal but the Israeli sample is more skewed
- Agency – Both samples are voluntarists
- Relation to group – Both samples lean toward individualism
- Relation to authority – Israeli sample more neutral, US sample more lateral
- Mutability – Both samples are neutral