Date of Award

8-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Program Name

Military Studies

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Jerome Sibayan

Abstract

The purpose of this capstone project is to study the influence of individual personality traits on the leadership and operational decision making of military commanders engaged in high-intensity conventional campaigns when faced with uncertain or rapidly changing situations. Using the case study method and a qualitative content analysis of existing relevant literature, the project analyzed the personality traits of General George S. Patton and Field Marshal Erwin Rommel through the framework of the Five Factor Model of personality and psychological hardiness. Research was based on the hypothesis that the World War II leadership and operational decision making of General Patton and Field Marshal Rommel, when faced with uncertain or rapidly changing situations, was significantly influenced by high conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, and psychological hardiness, as well as low neuroticism. The findings suggest that the personality traits of conscientiousness, openness, extraversion, and psychological hardiness are positively and significantly related to effective leadership and operational decision making in uncertain or rapidly changing situations. The findings further suggest that conscientiousness and psychological hardiness have the strongest and most consistent correlation, while openness and extraversion make significant contributions in context. The findings do not support neuroticism or agreeableness as significant influences.

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