Diversity in education and organization: From political aims to practice in the Norwegian Police Service
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Police agencies implement a variety of strategies for recruiting, promoting and retaining police officers with diverse backgrounds. Changes have however been difficult to attain. We expand research on representative bureaucracy by investigating diversity perspectives in a case study of the Norwegian Police Service (NPS). Using mixed-methods we investigate the diversity perspectives of ethnic minority and majority students and employees in the NPS, focusing on the interplay between educational and work experiences, recruitment practices and diversity policies. We found that ethnic minorities were still underrepresented, and their cultural competence was not fully recognized by other students, teachers, colleagues and leaders. Interview and field-work findings were corroborated by surveys among NPS employees documenting that competence development was perceived as the least emphasized justification for diversity management. Despite focusing on a single case, the NPS, we argue that the processes we describe may be operating also in other multicultural societies.