Testing the sustainability of the Croatian military forces: A system dynamics approach


  • Emil Tustanovski University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business
  • Mirjana Pejić Bach University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business
  • Ilko Vrankić University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business


In line with global trends, the Croatian military is currently going through a transformation, but is being stifled by a long recession and negative demographic trends. The purpose of this article is to outline the possibilities of applying system dynamics
models in testing the sustainability of the Croatian military forces (CMF) with respect to their size and composition. The article mainly focuses on the demographic trends and their implications on the CMF. After a brief exposition of the research done in this field to date, the article presents two developed models – a demographic model and a military recruitment model. The models were carefully tested using validation tests suitable for system dynamics modelling. Subsequent to validation, the models were merged into a single integral system dynamics model of the CMF. Three experiments were conducted based on different fertility values, and the impact of demographic trends, which emerge from the different fertility levels. The results of the simulation, based on demographic data from the 2011 Census, as well as estimated data, though not accessible at the time, suggest that the Croatian military will encounter difficulties in meeting its demands for recruits in the next 20-30 years. Further implications of current demographic trends on
the CMF’s sustainability are discussed towards the end of the paper. Since basic inputs for any organization are labor and capital, the problem is addressed from two complementary perspectives: a demographic and a financial perspective.

Author Biography

Mirjana Pejić Bach, University of Zagreb, Faculty of Economics & Business

Mirjana Pejić Bach is a professor of Data Mining, System Dynamics, Management Simulation Games and and Business Computing at the Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Zagreb. Her current research interests are in data mining and electronic business. She participates actively in research within the framework of the Ministry of Science and Technology's scientific projects, and is a leader of the project “Intelligent systems for controllership, finance and accounting” funded from the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports” (2007-). Mirjana Pejic-Bach finished education in system dynamics at Sloan School of Management, MIT.






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