Expatriate’s and Host Country National’s Professional Learning in Adverse Conditions: A Case Study of Danish Police Officers Stationed in Greenland

Laurence Romani, Julie Lorenzen, Lotte Holck, Sara Louise Muhr

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearch


Despite a context of challenging working conditions, ethnocentrism, post-colonial tensions and no valorization of local Greenlandic professional knowledge, the Danish Police Officers sent to Greenland report knowledge development. And not intercultural knowledge or interaction skills, but rather important professional learning, which leads them to become better officers once back in Denmark. This contribution, based on a qualitative case study, intends to elicit this unexpected finding and to contribute to further theory development in expatriate adjustment literature. In the present case, no cross-cultural learning (which is the most common reported learning) is reported, but rather professional expertise development. The specificity of the present case and the extraordinary conditions in which the collaboration takes place provides an opportunity to shed a new light on expatriate learning. It seems that from all previously identified variables, only self-efficacy and autonomy are potentially decisive factors for learning. In addition, when expatriates saw Greenland as a place of poor professionalism and obsolete practices, it is precisely this difference that contributed to expatriate development. This case provides an example of how an environment perceived as foreign and undesirable turns out to be beneficial for individual learning
Original languageEnglish
Publication date9 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2016
EventThe 32nd EGOS Colloquium 2016: Organizing in the Shadow of Power - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 7 Jul 20169 Jul 2016
Conference number: 32


ConferenceThe 32nd EGOS Colloquium 2016
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