The Impact of Military Service on Business Mindsets
37 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2012 Last revised: 14 Nov 2012
Date Written: August 8, 2012
The purpose of this study was to identify the significant mindsets transferred from military service to business settings, and to determine the influence of factors such as 'Time Served' (Length of military service), 'Branch Served' (Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force), and 'Culture' (American vs. European), on the transferability of mindsets to business.
Method: A reliable survey based on open-ended questions was sent to a sample of business professionals (CEOs, Senior Managers, and such) with military experience. Completed surveys were received from 368 respondents.
Results: The study revealed a set of 19 significant mindsets that business professionals tend to transfer from military service to corporate settings. These mindsets will be described in this study. 'Time Served' was found to have a significant impact on mindset transferability. Specifically, longer military service produced a higher likelihood of transferring more mindsets into a business, as well as higher transfer rates of particular mindsets, such as 'Goal-Oriented' and 'Strategic.' Shorter military service produced a higher likelihood of transferring the 'Bold' and 'Die hard' mindsets.
The 'Branch Served' factor was also found to have a significant impact on various mindsets.
Specifically, U.S Army experience produced higher transferability rates of the 'Communicative' and 'Decisive' mindsets, while U.S Navy experience produced higher transferability rates of 'Team-Work', 'Systematic' and 'Leader' mindsets. U.S Marine Corps experience service produced higher transferability rates of the 'Implemental' and 'Die Hard' mindsets, whereas U.S Air Force experience produced higher transferability rates of 'Disciplined', 'Goal-Oriented', 'Responsible', 'Strategic' and 'Analytical' mindsets. Finally, when compared with veterans of European militaries, results showed U.S military experience produced significantly more transferred mindsets to business (a 25% difference), as well as higher transferability rate of the 'Implemental', 'Team-Working' and 'Die Hard' mindsets.
Conclusions: Our study results suggest that military service creates mindsets transferrable to business settings. We found that 'Time Served', 'Branch Served', and 'Culture' have a significant impact on the transferability rates of particular mindsets. These could be explained by aspects associated with longer or shorter military experience, as well as differences among various military branches and values, doctrines and training programs. The findings of this study could be helpful for employers, soldiers, and policymakers, in improving and easing the transition process for veterans entering various business fields.
Keywords: military experience, business mindsets, veterans employment, military service
JEL Classification: M19, M10, O15, A12, J19, J26, J20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation