Becoming a learning organization

Cathrine Filstad (BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)
Petter Gottschalk (BI Norwegian Business School, Oslo, Norway)

The Learning Organization

ISSN: 0969-6474

Publication date: 20 September 2011



The aim of this paper is to investigate the extent to which espoused values among police managers in the Norwegian police force are compatible with those of a learning organization.


A questionnaire was developed and administered to police managers in two police districts in Norway. A set of values was developed to measure police culture and their significant correlation with those of a learning organization. All values were believed to represent cultural dimensions of potential importance to law enforcement performance.


It was found that police managers espoused values of informality and empowerment rather than authority and hierarchical order. These values are the only police values that are found to be significantly correlated with those of a learning organization. Moreover, these findings contradict the previous literature within policing, which describes a police culture of hierarchy, authority and closeness. Also, these values only represent two of the eight values that were found to be crucial for becoming a learning organization.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for police managers to both espouse and enact values in accordance of those of a learning organization, but this study only investigates espoused values. Hence, further research is needed to investigate the possibilities for the Norwegian police force to become a learning organization.


The paper provides empirical research to generate insights into espoused values of the Norwegian police force and identifies those values that are crucial for their possibilities of becoming a learning organization.



Filstad, C. and Gottschalk, P. (2011), "Becoming a learning organization", The Learning Organization, Vol. 18 No. 6, pp. 486-500.

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