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  • 1.
    Holgersson, Stefan
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Information Systems. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    How aims of “looking good” may limit the possibilities of “being good”: The case of the Swedish Police2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The expression “being good or looking good” does not only highlight a tension between presented images of how an organization works and how it actually works, but also indicates that an aim to look good can have a negative impact on how an organization will work and evolve. In fact, when an organization has a strong aim to “look good” there is a risk that significant problems will be hidden or mitigated, and therefore remain unchanged. Various forms of inquiries, and even research, can contribute to create a good impression of an organization, and can be part of an organization’s image promoting strategies. We address a research gap in this paper by exploring how organizational image promoting may form, influence and can be prerequisite for how research and inquiries are done and presented, and how a pressure to build a good image of an organization affect the possibilities to develop the organization. By using several examples we aim to demonstrate various outcomes and dilemmas both for researchers doing research in an organization that puts a great effort in image promoting and for organizations with such an aim. The organization in focus for this paper is the Swedish police.

  • 2.
    Nordvall, Henrik
    et al.
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education and Adult Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    When Gender Training Backlashes: Participants’ Resistance and the Fragility of Commonsensical Feminism2019In: Adult Education Quarterly, ISSN 0741-7136, E-ISSN 1552-3047, Vol. 69, no 3, p. 207-224Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Feminist educators often encounter different forms of resistance from both maleand female participants. This article uses a neo-Gramscian theoretical perspective todiscuss the importance of considering this resistance when analyzing the relationshipbetween pedagogical design and outcomes. The study draws on survey data andparticipant observation from a case study of a workshop designed to raise awarenessof gender issues. The results from a before-and-after survey show that the workshophad the opposite effect to the one intended in terms of changes in the participants’perceptions of gender. Having a “failed case” as the center of attention, the articlesheds light on the fragility of mainstream discourse on gender equality and thedilemmas of engaging in a struggle over common sense.

  • 3.
    Sefton, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    ”Core Values Timeout”: A Counter Hegemonic Discursive Device in Police Jargon2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article centres on Swedish police students’ perceptions of the informal practice of “Core Values Timeout” (Sw. värdegrunds-timeout) in the police force. The analysis is based on empirical data from fieldwork conducted at the Swedish National Police Academy. The results show that the timeout works to oppose the official Police Core Values policy, but also an implicit core value based on non-discriminatory speech and behaviour. The timeout works as a counter-hegemonic discursive tool for maintaining a humorous jargon, and functions as a socio-pragmatic device for parallel practices of inclusion and exclusion. The timeout can be seen as a response to the Police Core Values, i.e. the core values generate the counter-productive effect of making visible the non-acceptable behaviour and politically incorrect values practised in the organisation.

  • 4.
    Sefton, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
    Diskursiva redskap i sociala miljöer: ”Värdegrunds-timeout” som mothegemoni till Polisens värdegrundspolicy2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Poliser och polisstudenter lär av varandra genom kunskap och erfarenheter både i och utanför Polishögskolans formella kontext. I denna presentation beskrivs polisstudenters förståelse av fenomenet “värdegrunds-timeout”. ”Värdegrunds-timeout” är en informell praktik i såväl ord som handling i form av en timeout med syfte att yttra sig, ofta politiskt inkorrekt, i konflikt med Polisens värdegrundspolicy. Timeouten uppstår som en humoristisk jargong i den praktiska yrkesvardagen.

    Utifrån neo-gramsciska begrepp som hegemoni och mothegemoni (Hall, 1996; Laclau & Mouffe, 1985) beskrivs ”värdegrunds-timeouten” som en motståndshandling och som ett mothegemoniskt diskursivt redskap mot Polisens värdegrundspolicy. Den humoristiska jargongen kan förstås som en kulturell norm för accepterat beteende inom ett utsatt yrke och tolkas som specifika spelregler, i form av ett socio-pragmatiskt verktyg, i den sociala interaktionen. I analysen illustreras hur ”värdegrunds-timeouten” kan ses som en mothegemoni till polisens fastställda värdegrund om ”engagemang, effektivitet och tillgänglighet”. Resultatet visar att Polisens värdegrund innehåller och skapar ett utrymme i form av en effekt som motverkar själva värdegrundens syfte. Resultatens innehållsliga värde synliggör hur upprättande av en strategi för goda värden frammanar motstånd och synliggör samtidigt vad värdegrund inte är och vad som inte är tillåtet inom organisationen. Analysen är baserad på empiri från etnografiskt fältarbete som genomfördes under 2010 på Polishögskolan i Solna.

  • 5.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Controversial diversity: Diversity discourses and dilemmas among Swedish police recruits2019In: Policing & society, ISSN 1043-9463, E-ISSN 1477-2728Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Diversity strategies to increase social inclusion in organisations have been a major concern in various institutions during recent decades. This article examines Swedish police recruits’ talk about diversity. The study is based on data from ethnographic fieldwork at the Swedish National Police Academy and focus group interviews of police recruits. Twenty-seven recruits were interviewed in their final year at the police academy, which included a period of probationary service at a police station. Using a discourse analysis, the article explores how the Swedish police's official policies for diversity and social equality are recognised, but also called into question, by Swedish police recruits. One dominating discourse of difference and two controversial discourses on diversity are outlined, showing that recruits frequently draw upon multiple discourses to legitimise their claims for and against diversity. A conceptual framework is developed for understanding the discourses and dilemmas of diversity within the police, with examples provided of how social order is reproduced among recruits.

  • 6.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Polismyndigheten, Östergötland.
    Den talande tystnaden: Utvärdering om anställdas uttrycksmöjligheter i polisområde Östergötland2016Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Föreliggande rapport är en utvärdering av interna samtalskulturer i polisområde (PO) Östergötland, och har bedrivits under 2016 på uppdrag av samma PO. Utvärderingen framhävs som ett led i ett medarbetardrivet utvecklingsarbete och med bakgrund av att ledningen fått signaler om att anställda upplever en oro i att uttrycka synpunkter, kritik eller missnöje internt. I rapporten identifieras möjligheter och svårigheter som medarbetare och gruppchefer inom den yttre verksamheten i PO Östergötland upplever med att uttrycka sig till såväl kollegor som till chefer. Materialet består av deltagande observation och informella samtal med anställda vid de tre verksamhetsorterna Norrköping, Linköping och Motala, samt 33 djupintervjuer med poliser.

    Rapporten fokuserar på att beskriva olika svårigheter som anställda upplever med att uttrycka sig internt, eftersom den övervägande delen av materialet består av detta. Ett ytterligare skäl är att identifiera områden som rymmer utvecklingsmöjligheter för att kunna rikta åtgärder som bidrar till en förbättring av verksamheten.

  • 7.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Diversity dilemmas within the (Swedish) Police2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Society dilemmas are police dilemmas. However, dilemmas concerning diversity bring matters to a head within the police whose mandate is to protect democratic values and human rights. This PhD-project presents how contradictory notions of diversity leads to struggles of the role of diversity within the constabulary and in relation to policing, based on accounts from police officers undergoing their final training. The study reveals tensions between contradictory demands, leading to dilemmas for the police: on the one hand requirements for increased diversity and on the other restrictions of diversity. How can we understand the police mission to work against prejudice, when parts of policing are based on prejudice? Why is a discriminatory humorous jargon reproduced in a profession whose duty is to promote justice and obstruct discrimination? What are the implications of an increasing demand of knowledge of different social groups, which at the same time places these groups in a discriminatory social order? These are some of the questions and dilemmas brought to the fore by notions of diversity within the police in a Swedish context.

  • 8.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Doing value policy: A local value contract as resource for group norm negotiation2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    There are many obstacles for employees to introduce discussions about ethical issues at workplaces. Some examples are the significance of maintaining smooth peer-relations and a strong group cohesion, as well as internal power relations. It is argued that in professions with strong ‘esprit de corps’ (such as rescue-services) the importance of friction free scenes supress the ability for various opinions and controversies in everyday discussions. This paper explores how local contracts about common principles on a group level can render opportunities for employees to address and negotiate existing values and norms, especially where there is a perceived suppressed communication climate on an institutional level. The paper focuses on a few cases from a field study in a police district, where some working groups highlighted the importance of continuously revising and discussing values on a group level. Departing from a theoretical perspective that focuses on the significance of social interaction, the paper analyses field observations, field notes and interviews with police employees on a subordinate level and first level managerial position. Artefacts, such as value contracts and an assessment of the contract, are also analysed. The preliminary findings shows how the use of a group contract and the assessment about the contract’s values and norms functions as a resource and creates a discursive space for group members to address and negotiate existing practices.

  • 9.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Learning the (hidden) silence policy within the police2018In: Studies in Continuing Education, ISSN 0158-037X, E-ISSN 1470-126XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many organisations declare that the ability for employees to speak out about organisational matters is important for organisational development. However, recent literature reports a widespread fear of retaliation among employees if they express themselves – especially within the police. The point of departure of the present article is the tension and discrepancy between official policy and officers’ accounts of the conversational climate within the police. Through empirical examples from data consisting of field studies and 33 interviews with police officers in subordinate ranks, this article describes how employees learn and reproduce informal norms that condition the conversational and working climate within the organisation. In contrast to official guidelines within the police, employees learn the informal cultural norms of keeping a low profile and remaining silent through everyday talk. Theories that stress how discourses, storytelling, and noisy silences accomplish social action are used to explain why these informal norms are given such power within an institutional setting.

  • 10.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Learning the hidden silencepolicy within the police2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Police’s official policy states that one central aspect of the organization is that employees can discuss organizational working tasks and working situations internally (National Police Board, 2011). However, recent research and report on a widespread fear of various retaliations among employees when expressing oneself within the police (Holgersson, forthcoming; Knutsson, 2015; Wieslander, 2016; forthcoming). This ongoing research describes how police employees are learned to silence in interaction with peers and supervisors and through developing knowledge of not just professional service as an officer but also about institutional working conditions. In contrast to formal and official norms and values within the police an informal culture with norms of assimilation, “staying low” and to “shut up” is learned through everyday talk and storytelling among the employees. Through empirical examples from data consisting of field studies and 33 interviews with police officers this paper presents how employees learn and reproduce informal values that condition the conversational and working climate within the organization. Applying Jacksons’ (1968) theory of ‘hidden curriculum’ and ‘curriculum silentium’ (Lien Holte, 2009) to policy in practice the analysis reveals tensions and a discrepancy between the official policy and the hidden policy of the conversational climate within the police. The results are also briefly discussed in relation to the police as a learning organization.

    The paper contributes to the field of adult education and learning by combining professional ethics, learning in professions and how formal and informal knowledge is reproduced within an institution. Moreover, it highlights the significance of hierarchical structures in relation to professional learning.

  • 11.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Marginalised voices in the inclusive recruitment discourse: a dilemma of inclusion/exclusion in the (Swedish) police2018In: European Journal for Research on the Education and Learning of Adults, ISSN 2000-7426, E-ISSN 2000-7426, Vol. 9, no 1, p. 61-77Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recruitment for diversity is part of a range of proactive strategies for overcoming occupational stereotyping in a number of professions, as well as addressing a history of discrimination against women and minority groups. One such campaign launched by the Swedish police involves 'inclusive recruitment'. By analysing the discourse of inclusive recruitment and its subject positions in police student talk, this article shows how borders between people who are assigned different social categories are constructed, challenged and reinforced. Positive intentions in agendas towards diversity are problematised when minorities are ascribed as admitted on quotation, which places them in a ubordinate and 'risky position' within an occupation and on less legitimate premises. A dilemma emerges between a call to represent minority groups and the risk of categorising them as 'others'. In particular, voices of resistance from ethnic minority police women show how practices of exclusion could jeopardise efforts to achieve inclusion.

  • 12.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Marginalised voices in police diversity discourse: A dilemma of inequality through 'widened recruitment' in the (Swedish) police2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Diversity recruitment and affirmative action strategies in the police are part of a range of proactive strategies to overcome a history of discrimination and exclusion of women and minority groups. One effort in the Swedish Police has been the rhetoric and campaigns of ‘widened recruitment’ (Sw: breddad rekrytering). This article identifies and outlines the discourse of widened recruitment within the Swedish police. More specifically, it shows how social categorizations and subject positions in relation to widened recruitment are constructed, challenged and reinforced.

    Design– The empirical data is from field studies at the Swedish National Police Academy and from eight focus group interviews with police officers in trainee. The data is analysed with reference to critical discursive psychology.

    Findings – This paper argues that positive intentions of the diversity agenda are challenged when police students with minority background are ascribed affirmative action and a quota system and thus placed in a subordinate position on less legitimized premises within the constabulary. As a parallel result, a constituted norm of white, Swedish, heterosexual men are made invisible in diversity rhetoric, hence rendered natural and more legitimized within the police. A dilemma emerges, between the call for representation of social (minority) groups and the risk of ascribing these groups as ‘others’. Voices of resistance from ethnic minority police women show how discourses of exclusion might jeopardize the police’s effort for inclusion.

    Research limitations/implications – The data concerns the Swedish police but major findings should be applicable to other public institutions as well that deals with diversity recruitment. The paper, which is empirically based, deals with and nuances the paradoxical effort to recognize social categorizations on the one hand, and on the other disregard them.

    Value – The paper contributes to the research field of adult education and the conference theme by addressing political efforts of inclusion in vocational and adult education, with research in the interface of education, policy and practice.

  • 13.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    Prejudice or fact? Learning about prejudices in school and at work2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    When police students are educated at school about prejudices working against prejudices are made central for becoming a professional officer serving in a multicultural society. This is stressed in relation to a tendency for officers to develop cynicism towards certain groups in society on the basis of work experience. Analyzing police trainee discourses on prejudice at school and after probationary service, this paper shows how the prejudice discourse of police work shifts depending on institutional and educational context. The analysis is based on field studies at the Swedish National Police Academy and on focus group interviews with police students in the school context (semester 4) and at the end of their probationary service (semester 5). When students have been on probationary service the hegemonic discourse of prejudice is to work on the basis of them. The school is made into an arena of political correctness where utopian ideals of society and modern police work are challenged by the perceived realities of policing. Prejudice as a concept is contested and what is prejudice to others is regarded as experiences and facts useful for policing, hence legitimizing, for example, ethnic profiling. This discourse is reinforced by a surrounding notion of reality based knowledge as a more legitimate source of knowledge, transferred by older and experienced colleagues and supervisors. 

    The paper contributes to the field of adult education and learning by combining professional ethics, learning in professions and how formal and informal knowledge is reproduced in professional education. Moreover, it highlights the significance of hierarchical structures in relation to professional learning.

  • 14.
    Wieslander, Malin
    Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.
    When whistling fades: (New) Theories for Understanding Organizational Silence2018Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Freedom of expression and the ability to speak out about organizational matters are not only work related rights for employees, but have also been declared as important for organizational development by researchers as well as the organisations themselves. However, various constrains of these ideals can be expected and have been reported upon. As an example, recent literature inform of a widespread fear of retaliation among employees when expressing work related criticism. This paper suggests a (new) theoretical approach to understand why and when internal criticism becomes supressed within an institution. A vast body of research within this field has been theorized from an organizational and managerial perspective, while few studies have focused on theories of learning in relation to whistleblowing or organizational silence. Therefore, this paper aligns this approach and seeks to understand organisational silence through a learning perspective, by combining an approach that considers the performative aspects of discourse together with the theory of institutional storytelling and the concept noisy silence.

    The paper sets out from a tension and discrepancy between the official policy and officers’ accounts of the conversational climate within a Swedish police district. Through empirical examples from data consisting of field studies and 33 interviews with police officers, this paper identifies and describes how employees draw upon and reproduce informal values that condition the conversational and working climate within the organization. In the long run, this restricts employees’ freedom of expression and action, such as reporting both internally and externally on various wrongdoings.

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