How police leaders learn to lead
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This article examines how Norwegian police leaders learn to lead and what constitutes police practices. Twenty-seven police leaders were shadowed during and interviewed about their daily practices of policing. We found that police leaders learn foremost through their experiences by practising leadership within the context of police culture. We therefore argue for a shift from teaching to acknowledging learning through practice instead of learning through practice constituting missed opportunities for learning and being ‘due to chance’. The Norwegian police culture and the Norwegian Police Service not being a learning organization will strongly influence what Norwegian police leaders learn. Consequently, Norwegian police leaders learn management more than they learn leadership. We argue for combining management and leadership in future police leadership practices We also argue for the importance of enabling police leaders to construct their manoeuvring space, acknowledging the importance of a manoeuvring space in police leaders’ learning to ensure their learning results in changes in established practises.