Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores characteristics of sense-making in actual combat. We begin by examining the “booting up” and “rebooting” metaphors. These concepts denote a process through which commanders understand that their notion of the fighting requires adaptation. In hectic and often desperate situations, involving intense emotions and confusion, they must realize that their original frame may no longer be valid. We then explore creativity in combat, as signified by constant and free thinking. Successful commanders were focused on both the immediate task and the overall context of a fight. Finally, we look at the detrimental consequences of failing to make sense, namely, lack of participation in combat, freezing, or the repetition of futile and harmful actions.

Keywords: Sense-making, combat behavior, performance under stress, emotions, counterinsurgency

Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of titles within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view restricted versions of this content, plus any full text content that is freely available.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .