Leading through change: a qualitative study of culture and leadership’s impact on the implementation of “nærpolitireformen”
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- Master of Science 
Public organizations may change gradually through continuous small evolutionary changes or adjustments, through conscious changes made by political and administrative leaders, as a result of external shocks - or through a combination of all three. The attack at Utøya on the 22nd of July 2011 constituted such a shock and triggered a change process of the Norwegian Police Service. This led to the implementation of the Police Reform (“Nærpolitireformen”) and the implementation process has been characterized by different values, goals, expectations and results. The purpose of the present study is to explore how organizational culture and leadership has influenced the implementation of the Police Reform. The study investigates the existing culture in several police districts, and reveals how this culture has been affected by the changes. The organizational culture within the Norwegian Police Service is highly complex, and studies, analysis and reports has revealed some very positive sides of the culture, that is important to protect, but also some unfortunate sides, that need to be improved in order to become and effective and well-functioning organization. In particular, leaders in the Norwegian Police Service have a major responsibility when it comes to inform, delegate and commend the changes occurring within the organization. In a changing environment where the organizational culture, the work methods and the dynamics of the organization changes the leaders have a difficult job in fulfilling these demands. The study illuminates the aspects of the change process, and by reflections and thoughts from important leaders within the Norwegian Police Service, the reader will get a broad insight of the positive and negative sides of the implementation of the Police Reform. Surprisingly, most leaders that were interviewed seem to be positive towards the changes. Their reflections however, reveals that the major structural and qualitative changes that has occurred within the Norwegian Police Service the last years, have had an effect on the organizational culture, which in accordance with the different ways of leading the organization has led to a laborious and exhausting process.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2019