All roads lead to rome: Discretionary reasoning on medically objective injuries at the Norwegian labour and welfare offices


Publication date


Series/Report no

Professions and Professionalism;Vol 9, No 1


Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus

Document type


Discretion may challenge the formal principle of justice as it may involve unequal treatment of the same type of case. This article explores the discretionary reasoning exhibited by the frontline workers at different Norwegian Labour and Welfare offices (NAV) towards the same fictitious case. Frontline workers participate in a focus group where they are presented with a vignette concerning the case of a user with medically objective findings, that is, a severe head injury. The analysis focuses on the reasoning of the frontline workers before they come up with a suggestion as to how to proceed with the case. The findings demonstrate that while different avenues are pursued in the reasoning of the focus groups, the same conclusion is reached as to the treatment of the case. The article argues that the institutional logic which guides the frontline workers actions infers the reasoning process through a “norm of action” that states how it ought to be done.




Permanent URL (for citation purposes)