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Awareness Development across Perspectives Tool (ADAPT)

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Author: Vliet, A.J.. van
Type:article
Date:2010
Publisher: NATO
Source:Human Modelling for Military Application, 02/1-02/9
series:
RTO
Identifier: 426420
Report number: RTO-MP-HFM-202 AC/323(HFM-202)TP/365
Keywords: Defence · Human · HOI - Human Behaviour & Organisational Innovations · BSS - Behavioural and Societal Sciences

Abstract

The Issue: According to the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (Defence Plan 2007-2016) “Modern war fighting concepts are not aimed at disrupting a Nation in a most destructive manner, but through threats and discouragements and if necessary proportional and precise force to inhibit the desire and capability of opponents to fight. The local population in a conflict area is given the promise of better times. The communication of the aims of the operation is of utmost importance, at the strategic level, but also local through information operations. InfoOps need to become a mature military capability.” Internationally military organizations recognise the importance of understanding human behaviour with respect to strategic, operational and tactical support of military operations. Understanding how to recognise and interpret behaviour, and insight into its determinants and antecedents can pave the way to a better understanding of how behaviour affects the success of a mission and how to change undesirable behaviour if necessary. Fundamental scientific insights on behavioural change whether at the individual, group or organizational level are available in the scientific literature dispersed over a multitude of disciplines but they need to be translated into a tool military personnel can use in operational settings. With this tool an integrated approach to behavioural influence in a military setting can become a reality. This paper discusses the development of this Awareness Development across Perspectives Tool (ADAPT). The Approach: Our research and development effort focuses on making a tool based on (1) knowledge developed within diverse scientific disciplines (e.g. cultural anthropology, social psychology, economics, etc.). and (2) our unique knowledge of influence activities. This project results in a practical and robust tool for commanders and their staff to apply within the processes of analysis, planning, intervening and evaluating. Importantly, the tool explicitly identifies and expounds non-military perspectives crucial for mission success. The underlying theory of sense making based on the writings of Carl E. Weick suggests different perspectives have different corresponding actions, on which we can capitalize. The key is the possibility of switching perspectives and their corresponding actions but at the same time making explicit, or at the very least making aware how the perspectives are connected. Lacking in the operational reality of task force commanders is a tool that enhances insight into the interdependencies between factors that can be manipulated within the different perspectives. We provide means for identifying targets (individuals, groups, organizations, etc) and behaviours of interest and how these could be influenced at a specified level (strategic, operational, tactical and technical). The process of sense-making is critical in this respect. This process requires the formulation of hypotheses but also the testing thereof through smaller or larger probing actions. Expected Results: ADAPT is: a “Wikipedia-like” electronic set of newly generated documents (text, tables, images, sounds etc.) with indexes, lexical search tools, “how-to” instructions and relevant links to existing knowledge bases. The envisioned embedded tools in this Wikipedia will include checklists, morphological fields, concept maps, forms, spreadsheets, etc. These do not require specific applications other than the standard Microsoft Office package (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) and an internet browser, preferably Internet Explorer (with some added plug-ins). Consequences: ADAPT helps task force commanders and their staff to identify targets and clusters of behaviours that can be influenced. It also facilitates the formulation, implementation, and evaluation of interventions.