Overlapping Values, Mutual Prejudices: Empirical Research into the Ethos of Police Officers and Private Security Guards

Administration & Society, DOI: 10.1177/0095399713509530

Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-09

25 Pages Posted: 13 Jan 2015

Date Written: November 19, 2013

Abstract

What determines professional motivations and values of security operatives: sector or profession? Our article aims to answer this question through a survey study among police officers (n = 405) and private security guards (n = 329) in the Netherlands. Our results show that both groups closely resemble each other in how they prioritize motivations and values, although police officers have a slightly more “missionary” and “crime fighting” work ethic than private security guards. Mutual perceptions, however, reveal contrasts: Police officers look down on private security guards, while private security guards look up to police officers. We conclude with theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Keywords: public administration, public values, professional values, police officers, private security guards, job motivations

Suggested Citation

van Steden, Ronald and Van Der Wal, Zeger and Lasthuizen, Karin, Overlapping Values, Mutual Prejudices: Empirical Research into the Ethos of Police Officers and Private Security Guards (November 19, 2013). Administration & Society, DOI: 10.1177/0095399713509530; Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 15-09. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2548908

Ronald Van Steden

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

Zeger Van Der Wal (Contact Author)

LKYSPP ( email )

Singapore
Singapore

Karin Lasthuizen

VU University Amsterdam ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
Amsterdam, ND North Holland 1081 HV
Netherlands

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