Private Security Companies and Institutional Legitimacy

Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (3):403-432 (2009)
The private provision of security services has attracted a great deal of recent attention, both professional and popular. Much of that attention suggests the questioned moral legitimacy of the private vs. public provision of security. Linking the literature on moral legitimacy and responsibility from new institutional and stakeholder theories, we examine the relationship between moral legitimacy and responsible behavior by both private security companies (PSCs) and their stakeholders. We ask what the moral-legitimacy-enhancing responsibilities of both might be, and contribute to both literatures and their managerial implications by detailing the content of those responsibilities, emphasizing the reciprocal nature of moral obligations. We suggest that the moral legitimacy of the industry depends upon responsible behavior by both PSCs and their stakeholders
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DOI 10.5840/beq200919323
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