|dc.description.abstract||The Canadian Army (CA) has pursued increased digitization as Canadian society is experiencing unfettered access to the internet and supporting digital tools. Researchers study the impacts of information and communication technologies (ICTs) extensively in civilian populations, but most of the results of these studies are not directly transferable to Canadian military populations. This dissertation by portfolio presents new research that examined the impacts of ICTs on social fitness in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) from an emic perspective.
The research informing this dissertation followed a two-case study with recently retired PPCLI members forming the first case and serving members of PPCLI forming the second case. The cases yielded similar findings, less some differences explained by participant status as retired or serving. This study found that peer support, relationship maintenance and the ability to communicate and connect socially were the main opportunities ICTs presented to social fitness. Boundaryless work, changes perceived to be on a whim and the professional consequences of online activities were the main ICT-enabled challenges in both cases.
My research findings are presented in this three-part portfolio consisting of a journal article manuscript for Journal of Military and Strategic Studies, a policy report in the form of a CA service paper and digital media content in the form on an online artefact exhibit. Although this project was not intended to be broadly generalizable to the CA, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) or Department of National Defence (DND), insights are provided into the opportunities and challenges ICTs present to social fitness and operational readiness in PPCLI. The findings herein may be useful to organizations beyond PPCLI given ICT access and the pursuit of increased digitization.
This synthesis paper provides an overview of the problem statement, the theoretical framework used, methodology and methods, data analysis, key findings, the rationale for selecting the dissertation by portfolio and linkage between components, the theory of change and a description of each of the portfolio components. Supporting materials and a copy of each portfolio component are in the Appendices.
Keywords: social fitness, soldier readiness, Canadian Army Integrated Performance Strategy (CAIPS), information and communication technologies (ICTs), social media, networked individualism, boundaryless work.||