Research by George Mastroianni

by Peggy Anthony published Nov 10, 2017 02:35 PM, last modified Sep 11, 2018 02:20 PM

Looking Back: Understanding Abu Ghraib

Author: George R. Mastroianni

Abstract:  A decade ago, in the autumn of 2003, a small group of soldiers criminally abused detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Two divergent narratives explaining these events emerged: a “bad apple” narrative and a “bad barrel” narrative. Neither does justice to the complex interplay of policy, organizational, and individual factors that contributed to these tragic events. A perfect storm of poor leadership, chaotic and confusing policy changes, and a small group of corrupt and immoral soldiers produced this fiasco with global consequences.

Citation: Mastroianni, G.R. (2013). Looking Back: Understanding Abu Ghraib. Parameters, 43(2), 53-65. Summer 2013.

Link: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f439/66bba484db2ebc52f84b07820a3f3092ccfc.pdf


Reframing Suicide in the Military

Authors:  George R. Mastroianni and Wilbur J. Scott

Abstract:  Suicide rates among members of the US military services began to rise in 2001, and have remained stubbornly high since. Suicide is seen as a supremely individual act: when an individual takes his or her own life, much attention is directed to the individual and the life experiences that may have contributed to his or her suicide. A century ago, sociologist Emile Durkheim studied patterns of suicide at the societal level and argued that there is also a social and cultural dimension to suicide. Suicide in the US military is examined in terms of both individual and social/cultural perspectives.

Citation: Mastroianni. G.R., and Scott, W.J. (2011). Reframing Suicide in the Military. Parameters, 41(2), 1-16. Summer.

Link: http://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/parameters/Articles/2011summer/Mastroianni%20and%20Scott.pdf


The Person-Situation Debate: Implications for Military Leadership and Civilian-Military Relations

Author: George R. Mastroianni

Abstract: The so-called person-situation debate in psychology, which pits internal, personality-based explanations of behavior against external, environment or situation-based explanations seems headed for a resolution that will somehow include elements of both perspectives. These two alternative views of human behavior have also been applied to that subset of human behavior thought of as leadership, and in this domain a rapprochement also seems well underway. In the domain of ethical leadership, however, especially as applied to military misconduct, public discussion of such events is dominated by strictly situation-based explanations, while institutional developments within the military are showing signs of integration, paralleling developments in the broader academic domain. The public discussion of such events thus lags behind the approach to ethical conduct in war taken by the military, which increasingly integrates personal and situational factors in the moral and ethical development of soldiers and leaders. Potential consequences of overreliance on situationist approaches to military ethics are discussed.

Citation: Mastroianni, G.R. (2011). The Person-Situation Debate: Implications for Military Leadership and Civilian-Military Relations. Journal of Military Ethics, 10(1), 2-16.

Link:  http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15027570.2011.561636


Occupations, Cultures, and Values in the Army and Air Force

Author: George R. Mastroianni

Abstract: Cultural differences exist among the various US armed services, and among sub-groups within the individual services. The US Air Force traces its origins back to the US Army Air Corps: the US Air Force became a separate service on 18 September, 1947. Leadership cultures in the present-day Army and Air Force are compared in light of the occupational profiles of members of the two services. Army leadership culture is shaped by the collective nature of war-fighting on the ground, while Air Force leadership culture is driven by the ideal of the single-seat fighter pilot. These orientations produce leadership cultures that appear to differ in the role and expression of authority, and in the management of discussion, disagreement, and dissent.

Citation: Mastroianni, G.R. (2005). Occupations, Cultures, and Values in the Army and Air Force. Parameters,35(4), 76-90. (Winter 2005-2006).

Link: http://ssi.armywarcollege.edu/pubs/parameters/articles/05winter/mastroia.htm