A Question of Faith: Religious Bias and Coercion Undermine Military Leadership and Trust
Armed Forces Journal, pp. 40-43, January 2008
5 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2008 Last revised: 25 Feb 2008
Using French and Raven's (1959) bases of social power, leadership is defined in terms of a dependency between leader and follower. The authors show how referrent and expert power are critical to the ascientific construct of leadership in predicting the extent to which trust can be created within organizational relationships. Using popular press reports of religious bias within military organizations, the authors illustrate how using one's religious values as a proxy for organizational values not only create a divisive organizational climate, but are counter to the mandates set forth by the US Constitution. The authors introduce the Oath of Equal Character as a potential remedy to the pervasive religiousity noted in government organizations across the US Armed Forces and advocate how the appropriate creation and judicious use of referrent power is chiefly responsible for the emergence of trusting relationships in military organizations.
Keywords: power, leadership, religion, military
JEL Classification: I28, Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation