Factors involved in combat readiness with hardiness as a mediator: an exploratory study
Thesis (MCom)--Stellenbosch University, 2015
ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The continued and ever growing involvement of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) to complex peacekeeping operations over the African continent has opened a platform in the academic field to better sharpen the SANDF’s performance and contribution to achieve peace in Africa. Previous deployments to various African countries has tested the SANDF’s level of preparedness. Although the organisation gives effort to train its forces to reach the desired level of combat readiness, the nature of the operations to which soldiers partake in has proven to be more demanding. This study was driven by the need to explore and provide a broader perspective of what constitute combat readiness. Utilising the SANDF, the study aimed to explore the relationship between the soldier’s relationship with the spouse (RWS) and the soldier’s relationship with the unit (RWU), and hardiness as a possible mediator variable to combat readiness (CR). Previous research and theories were explored to provide a theoretical background for the study variables. A non-experimental controlled inquiry was used to test the hypothesised relationship among the variables. A sample of 363 participants (across ranks, gender and race) was randomly selected from South African Infantry Battalion Group mobilising for a deployment to Sudan. Hypothesised relationships among the independent variables, mediator variable and dependent variable was determined using the correlational analysis (Spearman correlation). Partial Least Squares (PLS) – measurement and structural model was used to test the study model for combat readiness. The results showed significant correlations between the soldier’s RWS and CR. Furthermore, significant correlations were found between soldier’s RWU and CR. Partial mediation was explained by the path coefficients from RWU>hardiness>CR. No full mediating effect was found. The results also showed insignificant correlations between soldiers RWS and hardiness (rather than between soldier’s RWS and CR. These results were in support to previous research and proved to add insight to future research on CR.
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