Psychological Safety During Military Integrations

Frederik Wermser, Susanne Täuber, Peter Essens, Henricus Molleman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


Increased military cooperation between member states of the European Union is a political given. The Netherlands and Germany form a spearhead in this process by integrating entire military units (i.e., brigades, battalions, companies) into higher-order units of the respective other nation (i.e., divisions, brigades, battalions). Researchers and decision makers emphasize that military integration is a long-term process for which the costs come before the benefits. In this chapter we will suggest that, in addition to the well-recognized financial, technical and procedural challenges resulting from military integrations, attention has to be paid to challenges revolving around soldiers’ identities and cultural differences. Integrations are likely to disrupt soldiers’ social environment and bear the risk of (intercultural) tensions at work—thereby impeding perceptions of psychological safety. By providing an understanding of the cultural and identity processes unfolding during a military integration this chapter aims to inform decision makers and encourage future research on how to overcome the initial psychological costs of military integrations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNL ARMS Netherlands Annual Review of Military Studies 2016
Subtitle of host publicationOrganizing for Safety and Security in Military Organizations
EditorsRobert Beeres, Gwendolyn Bakx, Erik de Waard, Sebastiaan Rietjens
Place of PublicationDen Haag
PublisherT.M.C. Asser Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)978-94-6265-135-7
ISBN (Print)978-94-6265-134-0
Publication statusPublished - Sept-2016

Publication series

NameNetherlands Annual Review of Military Studies


  • Military integrations
  • OrgOrganizational identification
  • Identity continuity
  • Cultural differences
  • Expectancy violation
  • Psychological safety


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