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“A Few Good Man” by Rob Reiner: Organizational Behavior

Organizational behavior is a theme that combines elements of sciences such as psychology and sociology. With this concept’s help, both the demeanor of individuals and the entire management system as a whole is described. In general, five types of organizational behavior are distinguished; however, regarding the film “A Few Good Man,” the following three deserve special attention: autocratic, support, and collegial model. The first model’s leadership positions are built on strict discipline, while relations in the last two types are based on teamwork and mutual support. Following this, the psychological results of subordinates in the first case are significantly lower due to the existing dependence on superiors. The theory of the autocratic model is most clearly revealed in the film on the example of the behavior of Colonel Jessup. His position at the military base is built on the complete submission of employees. The relationship of the protagonist, Lieutenant Kaffee, with his comrades, is contrasting with the colonel. Thanks to their teamwork, the case got underway, and a risky call of a witness could be resolved.

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The concept of selective attention actively hindered disclosure of the case. In the subject of this film, Colonel Jessup became the target of such consideration because he was treated condescendingly. Some acquaintances of the protagonist advised him to abandon the case, guided by concerns about possible consequences. In the end, the colonel is one of the central figures of the leader in this story, since his behavior corresponds to the four foundations of organizational demeanor. Jessup describes and knows his subordinates, therefore, orders them to arrange “code red,” understanding that they will not be able to disobey him. He predicts their future behavior and almost completely controls the situation.

In general, Jessup’s organizational behavior can be called effective but extremely unethical. He is ready to use any methods to achieve his own goals, even if these actions are contrary to society’s norms. The colonel imposes his ethics on subordinates, based on his concepts of honor and dignity of the military. These actions create an exceptional organizational culture in which, however, not all can be socialized. That can be seen in the example of the deceased private Santiago, who was killed because he did not correspond to society’s cultural concepts. Thus, socialization in the community created by Jessup is possible only through complete submission to command.

Following this, punishments are prepared for everyone who does not fit the set standards. With the help of Santiago, one can understand that Jessup organized severe discrimination in the military unit. For those who, in his opinion, violated these concepts, strict punitive measures are applied, including “code red,” severe extrajudicial punishment, which in the case of the private led to death. The colonel arranges for lynching since his society is organized in this way. The occurrence of Santiago became known to the public only thanks to the actions of the protagonist.

Attempts by Lieutenant Kaffee to continue the business, despite all the dangers and risks present, are prime examples of organizational citizenship behavior. No one forced the lawyer to work on this case after several failures. He also could not call the colonel as a witness, trying to get the truth out of him. Most of the actions performed by the lieutenant are voluntary, and that is why they help to resolve the conflict revealed in the film. This is a confrontation between the autocratic model, which colonel Jessup actively advocates, and the cooperative work images exemplified by the lieutenant. The conflict is most pronounced and is the center of the work since the film’s essence is the opposition of the army system and the social one, which requires an answer for the crimes committed. Fortunately, the conflict’s result and the effect is the triumph of justice, which gives hope for future changes in this system. Lieutenant Kaffee, in that case, is a collegial model designed to protect the law and people. To realize this goal, he needs to avoid pressure from autocratic forces and promote his values.

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