The national government in The Hague is one of the largest employers in the Netherlands. As any other organization, it faces the challenge of how to deal with cultural diversity in its workforce. I have just been awarded a grant by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations (Ministerie van BZK) to study how the perceptions towards cultural diversity in the public service have changed over the past 10 years. The results of the study will be used to formulate new diversity policy and interventions for public organizations.
In 2008, as past of my PhD research, I surveyed a group of nearly 2000 government employees, and asked them which positive and negative effects of diversity they experienced in their daily work. Since then, the world has experienced an economic recession, increased international terrorism, a refugee crisis, and a shift towards more nationalist and protectionist governments. To understand whether these global developments have influenced how government employees view diversity, I will repeat his study from 2008, and examine which changes that have occurred. This will provide a unique opportunity for a long-term comparison within the same organization and will ultimately enable the public service to modernize their diversity management policies.