Cultural Conflict within Civil-Military Cooperation: A Case Study in Bosnia

Tjallie A.M. Scheltinga, S.J.H. Rietjens, S.J. de Boer, Celeste P.M. Wilderom

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8 Citations (Scopus)


In peace-support operations, employees of international humanitarian organisations often clash with those of the military. A lack of familiarity with each other's practices and values, embedded in their respective organisational cultures, is often seen as the culprit. This article presents and illustrates a road map to manage such cultural differences between cooperating organisations. We found that the military culture, in our Bosnian case study, was seen to operate as a hierarchical culture (characterised by formalisation, stability, predictability and efficiency). The culture of international humanitarian organisations, on the other hand, was depicted as clan-type (characterised by teamwork, participation and consensus). To facilitate the creation of cultural awareness as well as respect for, and reconciliation of, cultural differences we recommend several concrete actions that could improve civil-military cooperation.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)54-69
Number of pages16
JournalLow intensity conflict & enforcement
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • IR-72784
  • METIS-224576

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