Socially Responsible Security Providers?

Analysing Norm Internalisation among Private Security Providers

Authored by: Aileen Acheson

The Routledge Research Companion to Security Outsourcing in the Twenty-first Century

Print publication date:  June  2016
Online publication date:  June  2016

Print ISBN: 9781472426833
eBook ISBN: 9781315613376
Adobe ISBN: 9781317042228


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This chapter contributes to a larger theoretical debate about the development and socialisation of norms with a particular focus on private security companies (PSCs). Specifically this chapter outlines a new analytical framework and empirical evidence to assess the development and internalisation of the norm of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in British PSCs. As a concept CSR has been debated for more than 50 years. Bowen (1953) was one of the first to define it when he wrote that social responsibility was a means by which to align the policies and practices of a business with the values of society. Definitions proliferated over the next two decades leading Votaw to declare ‘Corporate Social Responsibility means something, but not always the same thing to everybody’ (1973:25). It has continued to evolve, ‘generally becoming more precise as to the types of activities and practices that might be subsumed under the concept’ and a more comprehensive definition is that ‘it encompasses the economic, legal, ethical and discretionary or philanthropic expectations that society has of organisations at a given point in time’ (Visser et al. 2007:123).

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