Moral fitness of military personnel in a networked operational environment


Military operational personnel are increasingly confronted with unprecedented complexities in their expeditionary missions. Collaboration between diverse partners is an essential requirement in these operations. Military organisations increasingly make use of network technology to foster information sharing and interactions between the parties in the network. We use the phrase Network Enabled Operations (NEO) to describe the added value of a well-networked operational environment. Mission success is increasingly determined by the soldier?s capabilities to evaluate high-stake situations, to make balanced decisions, and to collaborate in ad hoc alliances. Ethics and morality play a crucial role in dealing with diversity of perspectives and balancing multiple interests of collaborating parties and own interests. This research program will investigate the critical competencies of military personnel needed for moral decision making in network enabled operations. This central question is subdivided into three subquestions: What characterizes moral fitness in a networked operational environment; which are the psychological and social conditions that enable morally responsible decision making in a networked operational environment; and, in what ways does a networked operational environment affect military behaviour? The analyses address three issues in NEO: information sharing, collaboration, and delegation of authority. The aim of this research program is to theoretically analyse and empirically assess the drivers of moral fitness for adequate decision making and collaboration. This should contribute to the strengthening and insurance of morally responsible actions and decisions of military personnel in a networked operational environment, resulting in changes in education, training and mission preparation for military personnel.


Boek of monografie

  • B.J.A. van Bezooijen(2011): Coordination in virtual teams , Meppel


  • C.G. van Burken(2014): Moral Decision Making in Network Enabled Operations , Eindhoven  6 oktober 2014

Hoofdstuk in boek

  • M. Forough, A.R. Topolski(2010): At war for peace pp. 45 - 56 , Oxford
  • S Strijbos, C.G. van Burken, J. van der Stoep(2011): From technology transfer to intercultural development pp. 93 - 104 , Amsterdam
  • R. Goede, C.G. van Burken, L. Grobler, D. Haftor(2011): Interdisciplinary Research for Practices of Social Change pp. 66 - 84 , Maarsen
  • A.R. Topolski(2011): Hannah Arendt-Emmanuel Lévinas: Entre Evasion et Arrachement à l'Histoire pp. ? - ? , Paris
  • C.G. van Burken, H. Amersfoort, L.M.M. Royakkers, R. Moelker, J. Soeters, D.M. Verweij(2013): Moral Responsibility and Military Effectiveness pp. 217 - 241 , Den Haag
  • A. Topolski(2013): Genocide, Risk and Resilience pp. 85 - 97 , Basingstoke
  • L.M.M. Royakkers, A. Topolski(2014): Responsible Innovation 1 pp. 351 - 367 , Dordrecht
  • C.G. van Burken, B. van Bezooijen(2015): Responsible innovation 2 pp. 265 - 282 , Heidelberg

Wetenschappelijk artikel

  • R. Van Est, L.M.M. Royakkers(2010): The cubicle warrior: the marionette of digitalized warfare Ethics and Information Technology pp. 289 - 296
  • A.R. Topolski(2011): The Ethics and Politics of Teshuvah: Lessons from Emmanuel Levinas and Hannah Arendt. The University of Toronto Journal of Jewish Thought pp. 1 - 10
  • C.G. Van Burken(2011): Valkuilen van genetwerkt optreden: een techniek-filosofische analyse Militaire Spectator pp. 77 - 86
  • C.G. van Burken, M.J. de Vries(2012): Extending the theory of normative practices Philosophia Reformata pp. 135 - 154
  • C.G. van Burken(2013): The Non-neutrality of Technology: Pitfalls of Network-enabled Operations Military Review pp. 39 - 47
  • K. Vaesen, M. Peterson, B.J.A. van Bezooijen(2013): The reliability of armchair intuitions Metaphilosophy pp. 559 - 578
  • a. Topolski(2014): Relationality Journal of Military Ethics pp. 158 - 173
  • C.G. Boshuijzen - van Burken(2016): Beyond technological mediation Techné pp. 177 - 197


  • C.G. van Burken(2010): Organizing InternationalAnual Conference CPTS (Centre for Philosophy, Technology and Social Systems)





Mr. dr. L.M.M. Royakkers

Verbonden aan

Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Algemene Wetenschappen (AW)


Dr. B. van Bezooijen, Dr. C.G. van Burken, Dr. A.R. Diedrich Topolski, Dr. P.J.M.D. Essens


15/06/2009 tot 01/04/2015