Diversity in Education and Organization: From Political Aims to Practice in the Norwegian Police Service

A recent publication about association between recruitment of diversity into the Norwegian police bachelor education and diversity among and in the Norwegian Police Service.

Bild på norska forskare
Left to right: Brita Bjørkelo, Hege Høivik Bye, Marit Egge, Mariann Stærkebye Leirvik, Jai Ganapathy

Who are the researchers behind this publication?

Professor Brita Bjørkelo, the Norwegian Police University College (NPUC), Associate professor Hege Høivik Bye, University of Bergen, Researcher Mariann Stærkebye Leirvik, OsloMet/Norwegian Institute for Urban and Regional Research, Associate professor Marit Egge, NPUC, and Senior Lecturer Jai Ganapathy, NPUC.

What is your latest publication about?

Police agencies implement a variety of strategies for recruiting, promoting and retaining police officers with diverse backgrounds. Changes have however been difficult to attain. In this article we expand research on representative bureaucracy by investigating diversity perspectives in a case study of the Norwegian Police Service (NPS). With mixed-methods (interviews, field-work, and two surveys) 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 find that ethnic minorities are still underrepresented in the NPS, and their cultural competence not is fully recognized by other students, teachers, colleagues and leaders. Interview and field-work findings are supported by surveys among a total sample of 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.

Why did you write this paper?

We are all membr of the “Diversity in education and education” project. This project investigates the association between recruitment of diversity into the Norwegian police bachelor education and diversity among and in the Norwegian Police Service. The project consists of three parts of which part 1, focuses on study environment, part 2, focuses on experiences of police personnel at police workplaces, and part 3, investigates diversity, working environment and career development among all police personnel in Norway in two studies. Part 1 is run by Marit Egge and Jai Ganapathy, part 2 is run by Mariann Stærkebye Leirvik, and part 3 is run by Brita Bjørkelo and Hege Høivik Bye. This paper is the main reference article from the project that brings all the three parts together. In addition, a number of scientific articles and other types of research dissemination are in progress. All results are continuously presented here, Prosjekt #465586 - Diversity in education and organisation - Cristin.

Who do you think might have an interest in this publication? 

Research, practitioners and all interested in the competencies sought after for being recruited into police education, how police students perceive their study environment, and work practice, as well as who actually work in the police. In addition to this, how strategies for recruiting, promoting and retaining police employee with diverse backgrounds may play out in practice, and how police employees interpret the underlying rationale for such strategies.