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Social learning and career navigation in the U.S. Military: the personal experiences, observations and socializations of servicewomen

Stephanie K. Erwin (USAF Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Montgomery, Alabama, USA)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 27 July 2022

Issue publication date: 20 September 2022

337

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the interactions of social learning and career navigation and their associated implications for women in military service.

Design/methodology/approach

Social learning theory (Bandura, 1977) exposes and aids in understanding the ability of an organization’s members to reconcile their personal experiences, socialization and observations. Drawn from a larger qualitative study of gender in the US military, this study highlights the US military’s rigorous socialization practices and the reliance on communal memory and social learning including matters pertaining to gender including career navigation.

Findings

Military servicewomen use these processes to learn military culture, acceptable behaviors, institutional norms and organizational realities for career navigation reflective of gender.

Originality/value

This article presents a novel exploration of gender in the military as it pertains to social learning and career progression.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, Department of Defense or the US Government.

Citation

Erwin, S.K. (2022), "Social learning and career navigation in the U.S. Military: the personal experiences, observations and socializations of servicewomen", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 54 No. 4, pp. 613-622. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-01-2022-0005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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