Using a Case Study to Teach Leaders How to Enact Positive Organizational Change
Everett E. Spain, Laura A. Brennecke, and Lissa V. Young
Teaching and Learning the West Point Way: Educating the Next Generation of Leaders
Morten G. Ender, Raymond Kimball, Rachel M. Sondheimer, and Jakob Bruhl
Teaching and Learning the West Point Way is a unique compendium of the best teaching and learning practices from one of the most celebrated and storied undergraduate teaching and learning environments and institutions in America – the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, USA.
Drawing on the broad academic curriculum that the students follow at West Point – in addition to military leadership, character development, and competitive athletics – this book describes proven and effective undergraduate pedagogy across a number of academic disciplines. Case studies, strategies and techniques, empirical teaching and learning research results, syllabi, and assignments developed and deployed by West Point faculty are included, which faculty in other higher education institutions can adapt and apply to their own programs and courses. An accompanying companion website provides videos of classroom, laboratory, and fieldwork teaching and learning activities, as well as additional syllabi, course guides, lesson plans, and PowerPoint activity and lecture slides.
This is an opportunity to gain an in-depth insight into the programs and practices inside one of the world’s premier leadership development and educational institutions. It should appeal to new and experienced faculty and administrators interested in course creation and syllabus design across a wide range of disciplines in educational institutions and military academies across the globe.
Using Virtual Battlespace Classroom Gaming Simulations in the Classroom: Searching for IEDs in Class
Elizabeth L. Wetzler, Lisa M. Korenman, and Arianna D. Morell
Experiential learning is a cyclical, transformative process that involves four components. The learner has concrete experiences, reflects on those experiences, forms new abstractions, and then draws conclusions that can be tested in new situations. The process is continual, and each successive experience can be used to propel new abstractions, in particular when there is previous experience with course content. Advanced General Psychology for Leaders is a core course taken in cadets’ first year of education; it is an advanced course specifically designed for students who have completed prior coursework in psychology, at either the high school or college level. The military has one of the longest histories of using simulations to facilitate learning. The unique missions designed for this exercise are high fidelity, low-threat, and low-cost experiences that expose them to militarily-relevant scenarios where they can see the psychology concepts and theories they learn about in action. Cadets complete three missions in small teams at the simulation center.
Teaching and Learning the West Point Way
Lissa V. Young
This book chapter is an articulation of the course syllabus of an entrepreneurship course taught at the United States Military Academy.
Status-Based Stereotyping Effects on Military Team Performance
Lissa V. Young and Elizabeth L. Wetzler
Work teams are often touted as a way to increase or enhance organizational performance and yet, both research and anecdotal evidence suggest that they often fail to do so. While there are several reasons why teams may not succeed in producing optimal performance, one particularly salient issue is the underutilization of team members’ knowledge and skills. Indeed, it is well documented that team members are often unable to fully capitalize on the team’s collective know-how due to members’ inability to see beyond their own demographic, be it gender, race or social status, to leverage one another’s task-relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities. Unfortunately, this oversight can leave much of the team’s talent untapped, potentially hindering the team’s performance. The cost of this oversight can be significantly deleterious to military operations.
 Addison & Haig, 2012 ; Pentland, 2012 ; Devaraj & Jiang, 2019.
 Thatcher & Patel, 2011 ; van Dijk et al., 2012 ; Malik et al., 2019.
 Hackman, 2002 ; Bachrach et al., 2019.
 Foschi et al., 1985 ; Randolph, 2019.
 Kochan et al., 2003 ; Austin, 2003 ; Hochberg, 2020.
The Character Edge: Leading and Winning with Integrity
Robert L. Caslen and Michael Matthews
Among the most successful leaders throughout history―from Abe Lincoln to Rosa Parks, Mahatma Gandhi to Susan B. Anthony, Martin Luther King, Jr. to Nelson Mandela―some were brilliant mathematicians and economists, others were creative visionaries, still others were masterful at strategic planning. Their mastery of their field wasn’t the secret to their highly effective leadership. All of their skill, grit, resilience, charisma, and courage emanated from one thing: their strength of character.
Character―the moral values and habits of an individual―is in the spotlight now more than perhaps at any other point in modern history. Politicians distort facts. Corporations cheat customers and investors. Athletes are caught using illegal supplements. In addition to harming our culture at large, these failures of character have a profound and undermining impact on leadership.
The authors of this book are experts on the value of character, its correlation with successful leadership, and how to build it in individuals and prospective leaders. General Robert L. Caslen, Jr. served the US Army for over 43 years and served as Superintendent at the US Military Academy at West Point. Psychologist Dr. Michael D. Matthews is a Professor of Engineering Psychology at West Point who has focused on the psychology of character for years. Together they witnessed firsthand that raw talent is not enough to stand on its own; successful leadership relies on the critical foundation of a strong character.
In The Character Edge they leverage their perspectives to offer an empowering, story-driven argument―backed by the latest scientific research―that character is vital to success. They give readers the tools to build and sustain character in themselves and their organizations by testing readers' strengths of the gut, head and heart and teaching how to build trust and nurture the seeds of character.
Ubiquity with a Dark Side: Civil-Military Gaps on Social Media Usage
Karin K. DeAngelis, Ryan Kelty, Morten G. Ender, David E. Rohall, and Michael D. Matthews
Social media has fundamentally changed communication and interaction in today's society. Apart from being used by individuals, it is also omnipresent in public sector organisations such as the armed forces.
This book examines the opportunities and risks associated with social media in the context of the armed forces from an international, social scientific perspective. It discuses the impact of social media in the everyday life of military personnel and analyses the extent to which social media influences their performance, be it as a distraction or as a source of perceived appreciation. It particularly highlights the representation of masculinity and femininity in military social media channels, since the way gender is portrayed on social media has an effect on how future recruits and – at the other end of the military career spectrum – veterans feel they are approached.
The book also focuses on the new form of follow-up discussion, which enables the armed forces to interact with the population. On social media, the armed forces are publicly presented, and this shapes the public’s opinions on them. Further, the armed forces can use debates as a monitoring tool of society's attitudes towards them or towards events that have an effect on society. Conversely, social media can lend a voice to military personnel, allowing them to be publicly heard. As discussions on social media can only be controlled to a limited extent, the context in which the armed forces are discussed alters their sphere of influence and potentially leads to a loss of control. An extreme example of this is the use of social media as a tool to strategically distribute misinformation in order to shape public opinion and threaten national security. Moreover, the use of social media to demoralise adversaries or to harm their credibility results in social media being considered a cyber weapon that affects politics and military activities.
Head Strong: How Psychology is Revolutionizing War Revised and Expanded Edition
Michael D. Matthews
Since the publication of the first edition of Head Strong: How Psychology Is Revolutionizing War in 2014, developments in military psychology have been rapid and important—so much so that this revised edition is necessary to accurately capture the vital role that psychology continues to play in twenty-first-century military success. The ideas contained in the first edition influenced emerging doctrine in the Army’s Human Dimension and informed military leaders around the globe of ways that psychological science and practice may be leveraged to improve combat effectiveness. Many of the predictions made in the first edition have come true, and new and exciting products of military psychology now offer novel ways of impacting military outcomes. This revised edition of Head Strong updates the 13 chapters included in the first edition with breaking news in military psychology and adds new material to augment those chapters. Two entirely new chapters are included in this edition. The first focuses on human performance optimization. It captures rapid developments in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and other disciplines that may help the military optimize soldier and unit performance. The second dives deeply into character and discusses how to measure it, how to develop it, and how character plays a vital role in the performance of individual soldiers and their units. Like the other topics in Head Strong, these two new chapters have significant applicability to nonmilitary organizations including schools, corporations, and sports teams.
Early Predictors of Successful Military Careers Among West Point Cadets
Everett S. Spain, Eric X. Lin, and Lissa V. Young
The importance of leadership to organizational performance puts a premium on identifying future leaders. Early prediction of high-potential talent enables organizations to marshal scarce develop- mental resources and opportunities to those who are best positioned to show distinction in elevated roles. Much of the existing literature indicates that general mental ability remains the strongest predictor of future professional performance. Using data from 13 classes of West Point graduates who stayed in the Army to be considered for at least early promotion to the rank of major (N = 5,505), regression analyses indicate that cadet military grade point average surpasses both cognitive ability and academic performance by a considerable margin in the ability to predict future professional outcomes such as selection for early promotion or battalion command. Moreover, these differences in predicting managerial career outcomes endure over 16 years. Both practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Foreword to The Routledge international handbook of military psychology and mental health
Michael D. Matthews
Military psychology has become one of the world’s fastest-growing disciplines with ever-emerging new applications of research and development. The Routledge International Handbook of Military Psychology and Mental Health is a compendium of chapters by internationally renowned scholars in the field, bringing forth the state of the art in the theory, practice and future prospects of military psychology. Incorporating enlightening contributions of eminent scholars from around the world, the volume is a comprehensive repository of current perspectives and future directions in the domain of military psychology. It will prove a valuable resource for mental health practitioners, military leaders, policy-makers and academics and students across a range of disciplines.
1. West Point leadership. (Senior co-editor with Smith, D.). New York, NY: Rowan Technology Solutions, 2018.
This is the Public Edition of West Point Leadership. For USMA cadets taking PL300, please navigate here.
Developed in conjunction with the Behavioral Sciences & Leadership Department at West Point, this flagship Leadership Development course is the gold standard for developing transformational leaders. Authored by experts of military leadership, West Point Leadership is the authoritative source on leader development.
With interactive case studies, video interviews, dynamic tutorials, concept animations, competency assessments, and a vast array of other innovative features, West Point Leadership helps anyone learn and retain a command of group psychology, while empowering leaders to improve leadership skills in themselves and others.
General Patton and Lieutenant Winters: a contrast in leadership
Jordon Swain and Lissa V. Young
The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) has received an increasing amount of focus in recent years from psychological, sociological and organizational scientists (Côté, 2014). However, while researchers from these various disciplines have endeavored to explain the variance between outcomes of interest (e.g. effectiveness as a leader) and a person’s general mental ability or personality, the way these scientists have conceptualized EI has not always been in complete agreement (Livingstone and Day, 2005). The most popular competing models in existence fall into one of two general categories: ability-based or mixed-model (Mayer et al., 2000, 2008). The ability-based conceptualization of EI views EI as a set of several skills or capacities related to perceiving, understanding, facilitating and managing emotions, and views EI as a classically defined intelligence or aptitude (like traditional IQ). This ability-based conceptualization posits that EI can be developed over time or through training (Van Rooy and Viswesvaran, 2004).
Teaching social perspective taking: How educators might learn from the Army
Hunter Gehlbach and Lissa V. Young
Frequently and accurately discerning others’ thoughts and feelings is associated with multiple valued educational outcomes across an array of settings. Despite its foundational role in social interactions, it is unclear whether individuals can be taught to improve their social perspective taking capacities. This experiment assesses whether a curriculum taught to US Army personnel (N = 116) improved their social perspective taking prior to deployment. Results showed that participants improved their social perspective taking in three ways: through more accurately detecting biases in others, by generating more initial hypotheses to explain others’ behaviours, and by adapting their hypotheses in the face of new evidence. The curriculum did not affect participants’ perspective taking accuracy on a video measure. We discuss these ﬁndings with respect to their implications for other learning environments.
Implementation teams: A new lever for organizational change.
Monica C. Higgins, Jennifer Weiner, and Lissa V. Young
This paper introduces a team form called an “implementation team”—a team charged with designing and leading the implementation of an organization-wide change strategy—and investigates this teamtype in a context ripe for change, U.S. public school systems. Unlike prior teams research that has focused on teams as diagnostic collectives or strategic decision-making bodies, this study forwards the notion that teams can be used to implement organizational change. In this study, we examined how positional and tenure diversity and work context relate to team member learning, a critical factor in sustaining organizational change. Results from 25 school district instructional improvement strategy teams over two years challenge some basic assumptions regarding what constitutes a “real team.” We find that some taken-for-granted aspects of teams, such as team member stability, may not be central or even appropriate when considering “real teams” in this change context; rather than stability of team membership, the stability of members’ roles may matter most. We conclude by suggesting that scholars further investigate this team form and reframe, reconsider, and renew their conceptualizations of “real teams,” especially for teams engaged in implementing organizational change.
Leading teams of leaders: What helps team member learning?
Monica C. Higgins, Lissa V. Young, and Jennifer Weiner
A study of Connecticut leadership teams finds that they are more effective when team members, not team leaders, coach other members and when coaching focuses on accomplishing their task.
All That You Can Be: Stereotyping of Self and Others in a Military Context
Monica Biernat, Christian Crandall, Lissa V. Young, Diane Kobrynowicz, and Stanley Halpin
The authors tested the shifting standards model (M. Biernat, M. Manis, & T. E. Nelson, 1991) as it applies to sex- and race-based stereotyping of self and others in the military. U.S. Army officers attending a leadership training course made judgments of their own and their groupmates' leadership competence at 3 time points over a 9-week period. We examined the effects of officer sex and race on both subjective (rating) and objective/common-rule (ranking/Q-sort) evaluations. Stereotyping generally increased with time, and in accordance with the shifting standards model, pro-male judgment bias was more evident in rankings than in ratings, particularly for White targets. Self-judgments were also affected by sex-based shifting standards, particularly in workgroups containing a single ("solo") woman. Differential standard use on the basis of race was less apparent, a finding attributed to the Army's explicit invocation against the use of differential race-based standards.
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