Country Profiles from the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia
Edited by B. Guy Peters, Patrick von Maravić and Eckhard Schröter
Chapter 9: Representative bureaucracy in the Netherlands
In the current Dutch political and societal climate, a discussion on representative bureaucracy and diversity in the public sector workforce focusing on ethnic minorities could be considered controversial, to say the least, by some in Dutch society. Since the early 2000s, discussions on the pros and cons of multiculturalism in society have become highly polarized mostly along left/center and right-wing dividing lines. We will return to this appreciation of representativeness and diversity management later on in this chapter. Nevertheless, during the last decade representativeness and its current manifestation diversity (management) have become integral parts of the HRM agenda of most Dutch public sector organizations. Given the scope of the topic, the aim of this chapter is to present an overview of, examine the changing discussions, and debate on representative bureaucracy and diversity relating to the dimension of ethnicity in the Netherlands. In addition, we will present relevant empirical data. We will examine the shift from representative bureaucracy to diversity (management) and try to assess to what extent formulated ambitions have produced tangible results.
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