Academic journal article Journal of Positive Management

The Role of Military Leadership in Strategic Communication (Stratcom)

Academic journal article Journal of Positive Management

The Role of Military Leadership in Strategic Communication (Stratcom)

Article excerpt

1.Introduction

Contemporary military operations are conducted in the environment that is characterized by a high degree of complexity and unprecedented multidimensionality. They take many forms and often require an entirely new definition of the scope of activities that are carried out within them. They are, in fact, a manifestation of dimensional shift from the physical impact on the selected objectives to the influence of a non-kinetic character. Twenty-first century conflicts combine elements of different dimensions, including military, political, economic, social, cultural ones and others. The best example of such a conflict is difficult, tense and volatile situation that appeared in Eastern Europe in 2014. The conflict between Russia and Ukraine is the clash of different concepts of functioning of the state in the international environment. The conflict referred to as a "hybrid war" seems to be a phenomenon difficult to master, which entails the involvement of a number of formal and informal factors, and includes the wide use of disinformation and propaganda. These actions are not a new phenomenon 32 * in the public space defined in terms of military operations as the information environment. The information environment itself provides a new way of perceiving the space defined once as a "battlefield". The latter term turns out to be too narrow and limited in meaning to properly describe the reality of modern conflicts. The information environment is an ideal space to carry out activities of an asymmetric nature that seem to dominate the characteristics of many conflicts emerging recently. Such a changing environment, including the information dimensional dynamics of the public space, forced contemporary decision-makers to take measures to develop a specific system to shape the information environment. An adequate response to the new challenges of the contemporary environment seems to be the concept of Strategic Communication (StratCom). The new concept was based on the assumption of a redefinition of the social communication foundation and taking into account the development of communication techniques. Along with the development and spreading access of a growing number of the process participants, the concept of Strategic Communication developed as well, especially in terms of its essence, the scope of the implemented projects (functional areas involved) and its meaning (role) in the broad sense of non-military and military operations. A number of countries initiated StratCom-related actions by creating their own national solutions which were reflected later on in the relevant Alliance documents published between 2009 and 2010.

From that moment on, Strategic Communication has found its permanent place in all actions taken by the security sector, both internationally and in relation to the internal national system solutions. The Republic of Poland was among the countries that recognized the need to regulate and exploit existing information capabilities in the context of StratCom. It resulted in the development and adoption of The Concept of Strategic Communication in the Polish Armed Forces dated 19th December 2013. The changes made in the Polish Armed Forces' command and control system resulted in modification of the concept. Minister of National Defence implemented them in the form of his decisions in 2014. The changes had no impact on the main idea of the StratCom because its essence was based on the invariable operating principles. One of the basic principles of the concept is the involvement of military leaders in the process of effective Strategic Communication. Properly exercised leadership is the ultimate condition of achieving the desired effect including the required influence results concerning specific audiences and conveying accurate information to the public. It may also be utilised for the purpose of further development of the generally perceived positive management concept, both in its practical and theoretical dimensions. …

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