The military profession: Managing military power

The aim of the research project is to provide insights into how armed forces are managed and how management within armed forces takes place. This will generate knowledge that is necessary in order to make the expertise of the officer profession visible in dialogue with policy makers, and to identify conditions and methods for effective internal management in the military organisation.

The research is conducted in three partly overlapping research areas:

  • External management
  • Internal management and organisation
  • Doctrine

External management

This research area examines challenges related to the direction and management of military activities, with a focus on the interaction between the political level and the armed forces.

Internal management and organisation

This area deals with questions about how, and under what conditions, management is exercised within the various branches of defence, as well as between the tactical, operational and military-strategic levels. The impact of different processes and structures on the prerequisites and conditions for effective management are important elements of the research.


The research area focuses on the role of doctrine in the management of various military activities. The starting point for the research is the concept of the multi-domain battlefield which means that both traditional (land, sea, air) and modern arenas (cyber, space, etc.) are addressed.

Marine tactics - theories and principles

In subproject 1, Naval Tactics - Theories and Principles, the idea is to produce an introductory book on naval tactics. The book will also function as a synthesis of existing research in the field, preferably in warfare research but also in doctrinal texts. Concepts, theories and principles are at the centre, rather than empirical cases and historical examples. The book deals with conditions relevant to small states and their officers. Since naval combat is conducted within the context of a wider operational environment, influences from other domains, such as the land and air domains, will be addressed.

Project Manager: Jerker Widén, Professor of War Studies at the Swedish Defence University.

David's fight against Goliath in the air domain

Few scientific studies highlight how the smaller player can prevail over a larger adversary in the airspace. The aim of subproject 2 is therefore to inductively develop a theoretical framework that can explain how "David" can defeat "Goliath" in the air domain.

Project Manager: Arash Heydarian Pashakhanlou, Senior Lecturer in War Sciences at the Swedish Defence University.

Information Management in Military Command Systems

Subproject 3 addresses information management in military command and control systems. A number of factors contribute to the generation of large amounts of information to which military command and control at different levels must relate, such as new technologies in the form of satellite surveillance, positioning, sensors, communications and new weapon systems; cross-domain and multinational integration thinking; and an increased importance and awareness of grey zone issues and hybrid threats. This raises major challenges in terms of the capacity to manage, process and interpret information flows, and to make relevant decisions based on them. The project examines trends in today's military command and control environment, particularly in the field of ground operations, and from the perspective of the multidimensional battlefield. Empirical examples are drawn from contemporary warfare in Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria and Ukraine, among others.

Project Manager: Niklas Nilsson, Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Swedish Defence University.

Programme design and its effects on naval tactics

Part of military effectiveness is about practicing and doing what the doctrine says. Doctrinal guidance thus influences military action. One factor that affects how well doctrine can be adhered to (and developed) is the design of training. Subproject 4 aims to study how the design of a training programme affects military effectiveness by using the nautical track of the Officer Training Programme as a case study. The study will start from the knowledge and skills necessary for the doctrine to be enforced and then track these skills and forms of knowledge as they are manifested in the programme, in order to see to what extent these coincide. The results of the study will make visible, among other things, the degree of professional relevance in the training of future naval officers.

Project Manager: Emma Björnehed, Senior Lecturer in War Studies at the Swedish Defence University.

The research is carried out within the framework of the Armed Forces Research and Technology Development programme.

Responsible Department

Department of War Studies


The Swedish Armed Forces


The Swedish Armed Forces



Published 2022-07-07 Updated 2023-08-30