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Acting like Chameleons': On the McDonaldization of Private Security

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 26 Issue: 3 Dated: July 2013 Pages: 294-309
Ronald van Steden; Jaap de Waard
Date Published
July 2013
16 pages
This article examines the increased globalization of private security companies, and their use by both corporations and governments.
Private security is a fragmented industry with tens of thousands of small- and medium-sized suppliers worldwide. However, with the arrival in the market of multinational brands such as Group 4 Securicor and Securitas, we are witnessing a McDonaldization of security commodities. This development signals the global introduction of recognizable logos and uniforms along with standardized services and products. After providing the latest statistics on the growth of private security in Europe, the authors give examples of how the McDonaldization of this industry is evolving throughout the continent. The examples illustrate that, following the lead of traditional corporate customers, governments have also started to use contract guards and other private security services. This article also addresses the driving forces behind the rise of multinational security companies, and the opportunities and challenges they present to Western societies. (Published Abstract)