Aimée Fox-Godden

 

Doctoral researcher

Department of History

fox-godden

Contact details

About

PhD title: 'Putting knowledge in power' Perspectives on learning and knowledge sharing in the British army of the First World War
Supervisor: Dr Jonathan Boff
PhD Modern History

Qualifications

  • BA English and History, University of Birmingham, 2007
  • MA British First World War Studies, University of Birmingham, 2010 

Biography

Aimée Fox-Godden is a doctoral researcher in the Department of History under the supervision of Dr Jonathan Boff and Professor Nicholas Crowson. After reading for her BA in English and History, Aimée worked in Local Government for six years with a focus on economic development, youth unemployment, and apprenticeships. Her MA in British First World War Studies was undertaken during this period of employment.

She has held scholarships at the Royal British Legion, the Australian War Memorial, and The Douglas Haig Fellowship. Her research interests include military administration, organisational and learning cultures, and civil-military relations.

Teaching

Undergraduate:

  • Second Year Group Research: 'The British Infantry Officer in the First World War'
  • Second Year Option: 'The British Army, 1660-1960'

Research

My research seeks to examine whether the British army used knowledge as a force multiplier through the identification and examination of formal and informal processes for knowledge sharing between the various expeditionary forces in the First World War. Some of these methods include military publications, training schools, inter-theatre command appointments and homosocial networking. My research draws on the basic concepts and principles of organisational learning and knowledge transfer theory to facilitate this analysis.

Over the last twenty years, First World War scholarship has been driven by the broad concept of the ‘learning curve’ theory. Despite recent re-evaluations of other operational theatres and attempts to position them within the broader experience of the British army, the learning process still remains focused on the Western Front. Manpower and materiel constraints aside, there has been limited research into the relationships between theatres and even less around how knowledge and experience were exchanged between them. My research will address this gap by assessing how operational theatres shared best practice and, ultimately, whether they were successful in doing so. By considering these relationships, my research seeks to show how the British army developed a cross-theatre ‘learning network’ to increase its competitive advantage, thus enhancing its ability to cope with the changing nature of modern warfare.

Other activities

  • Associate Editor, British Journal for Military History
  • Trustee, The Douglas Haig Fellowship

Publications

  • ‘“Hopeless Inefficiency”? The Operational Performance and Transformation of Brigade Staff, 1916-1918’ in R. Mahoney, S. Mitchell and M. LoCicero (eds.) A Military Transformed? Adaptation and Innovation in the British Military, 1792-1945 (Solihull: Helion and Company, Forthcoming (2014))

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