Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Dr. Carrie B. Sanders

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor

Second Advisor

Dr. Debra Langan

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member

Third Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Dowler

Advisor Role

Thesis Committee Member


Police services are responding to the current realities of diversity. Specifically, police services attempt to adopt diversity policies, initiatives, and practices as a way to reflect community representation. The present study examines how minority police officers’ perceive and experience organizational diversity. While diversity is a broad term encompassing such variables as race, sex and sexual orientation, the present study focuses primarily on racial diversity. Through in-depth interviews with 12 Canadian police officers and 1 diversity trainer, as well as descriptive statistical data pertaining to the last 15 years of recruitment trends, the perceptions held by participants suggest that police services attempt to provide an image of embracing diversity philosophies. Although the image of diversity is portrayed by the organization, intrinsic challenges, barriers, and tensions within the organization are concealed in a window dressing effect (Cashmore, 2002). This study uncovers how minority officers' perceptions of organizational diversity identify a rationalized institutional myth (Meyer & Rowan, 1977). That is, minority officers' perceive a discrepancy between the adoption of diversity philosophies and the realities with respect to their implementation within the organization. While external legitimacy and appearance is maintained, the myth remains untouched in the organization.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season