Norwegian version

Public defense: Patience Nelson Kawamala

Patience Nelson Kawamala will defend her thesis "The role of cultural consciousness and knowledge development in managing multicultural staff in Norwegian nursing homes" for the PhD in Health Sciences.

Patience Nelson Kawamala is a PhD student at the PhD programme in Health Sciences.

Zoom link

Zoom link trial lecture and public defense (

Meeting ID: 692 6222 0914

Password: 653087

The trial lecture starts at 10:00 in Zoom.

Title: What is it about culture that affects management of multicultural staff in nursing

Public defense

The candidate will defend her thesis at 12:15.

Title of the thesis: "The role of cultural consciousness and knowledge development in managing multicultural staff in Norwegian nursing homes"

Ordinary opponents

Leader of the public defense


Digital defense information

Due to limitations on physical participation as a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the public defense will be conducted as a webinar on the zoom digital platform.

The link to the trial lecture and digital defense in Zoom will be available via link on this page. OsloMet students and employees use OsloMet account ( Others can download Zoom ( or use a browser.

About the thesis

  • Abstract

    This thesis draws attention to leadership of multicultural staff in Norwegian nursing homes, since studies on the implication of multicultural staffing on leadership practices in nursing homes is scarce. It is set within the thematic areas of care work, migration, and the welfare state, and the overall aim is to explore the ways forms of leadership and staff work-practices in nursing homes are negotiated in relation to diversities in the workforce, focusing on cultural background and migrancy.

    The thesis involves a study of everyday work practices as they unfold at the intersection of immigrant inclusion in care work, leadership practices and the organizational context of nursing homes. The thesis focuses on two main questions: (1) What are the tensions that characterize organization and everyday work practices of multicultural care workers in nursing homes and how do these tensions influence leadership practices and immigrant inclusion in work? (2) How do leaders’ strategies and practices relate to managing a multicultural staff?

    Data collection was qualitative based on ethnographic methods: participant observation (during daily work at the nursing homes), semi-structured and focus group interviews, and informal discussions and conversations, from eight wards of three nursing homes for four months. Data analysis draws on theoretical perspectives of agency, intersectionality and implicit leadership, while employing specific concepts of habitus, social stock of knowledge, and identity, to enable an in-depth analysis of the relevance of context, culture and communication in work practices and processes within the broader spheres of immigration integration politics of the welfare state in Norway.

    The analysis brings out three key aspects: (1) Structural and contextual factors shaping agency and work practices in nursing homes; in which factors that mediate, enable or constrain immigrant inclusion in work and influencing work processes are presented and analysed. (2) Language competency, communication and the social stock of knowledge among nursing home staff; whereby situated communication and interaction processes are explored to establish factors that facilitate or inhibit inclusionary practices in work beyond competency in Norwegian language; and (3) Norwegianness and the organization of a multicultural workforce in nursing homes; whereby aspects of Norwegian culture and the taken for grantedness in organizing and providing care are examined to establish identity formation and negotiation processes among the immigrant staff, as well as the way these identities intersect to influence and contribute to their unfavorable experiences at work.