Research description

Social Safe Environment of the Dutch Armed Forces
Multicultural attitudes of civilian and military employees and changes since 2006

On request of the Dutch Ministry of Defence a large quantitative study was conducted by the Netherlands Defence Academy in both 2006 and 2008, to provide a better understanding of the multicultural attitude and attitudes toward ethnic cultural colleagues of service members and civilian employees of the Dutch Armed Forces (n = 2,079, Bosman et al., 2007; n = 1,290, Van den Berg et al., 2008). Central topics of both studies were the attitude of employees of the Dutch Armed Forces toward multiculturalism in society and working environment, and the acculturation orientations employees prefer for ethnic cultural minorities in the private and public context. The results of the 2006 study showed a slightly negative, and the results of the 2008 study a slightly positive attitude of Dutch Defence employees. Besides, results of both studies showed a preference of assimilation of ethnic cultural minorities in the public context (more than 50 percent of the respondents). With respect of the private context 25 percent of the respondents preferred in 2006 and 50 percent in 2008 separation of ethnic cultural minorities.

In order to examine whether the multicultural attitudes and preferred acculturation strategies of employees of the Dutch Armed Forces have changed in the past five years, the Netherlands Defence Academy conducted in 2011 again a quantitative study with regard to the same topics they studied in 2006 and 2008. Additionally, the current study, derogated from the two previous studies, included topics with regard to personal, professional, and societal situation and experiences of the employees, to investigate the determinants of multicultural attitudes. For example, we studied the experienced societal threat related to multiculturalism, views with regard to policy of prevention of discrimination and attention to and stimulation of individual differences among employees, and personal value orientations of employees. The current study resulted in a Research Report (n = 1,251, Rietveld et al., 2012).