‘A Time of War’: contextual and organisational dimensions in the construction of combat motivation in the IDF

Uzi Ben-Shalom, Yizhaq Benbenisty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

This paper explores the construction of combat motivation in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), arguing that although Israeli society at large is in a ‘Post Heroic’ era, the ‘Heroic Spirit’ is revealed during emergencies. A total of 1535 questionnaires were administered among combat soldiers during large-scale operations fought during national emergency and during small-scale routine operations. The results reveal differences in the construction of combat motivation typical for emergency vs. routine, as well as for reserves vs. regular units. These results indicate that the Post Heroic era is a condition that could be shifted according to cultural, organisational and individual determinants. This paper discusses the roots of these constructions and their implications on the theory of combat motivation and combat experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-394
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Strategic Studies
Volume42
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - 7 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Combat motivation
  • IDF
  • Post Heroic warfare
  • risk aversion
  • unit cohesion

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