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Organizational legitimation of body-worn camera use in the Swedish private security industry

Organizational legitimation of body-worn camera use in the Swedish private security industry The authors set out to show how key private security industry actors in Sweden establish body-worn cameras (BWCs) as a tool to protect private security officers from the public the officers police and to improve the work environment of the officers.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key personnel involved in the implementation of BWCs. The authors' analysis focused on delineating recurrent moral stories and affirmative environments to show how BWC use was made legitimate as a work environment tool.FindingsThe authors show how BWC use by private security officers patrolling public spaces in Sweden is legitimized by four organizational narratives: (1) the vulnerable security officer and the caring employer, (2) defenders of protective regulation, (3) moral selves and morally dubious others and (4) function creep and moral guardians. The authors explain how such organizational narratives are key to establishing and legitimizing the use of BWCs as a tool to improve the work environment of private security guards, and how certain narrative environments promote such organizational narratives in Sweden to improve the work environment of private security guards.Originality/valueThe authors' findings in this article add to a small but growing literature on BWC use in policing outside of the USA and the UK as well as to the hitherto very limited research from the work environment and managerial perspectives. The authors illustrate the importance of organizational narratives and narrative environments for understanding organizational change involving legitimation of new technologies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal Emerald Publishing

Organizational legitimation of body-worn camera use in the Swedish private security industry

Organizational legitimation of body-worn camera use in the Swedish private security industry


Abstract

The authors set out to show how key private security industry actors in Sweden establish body-worn cameras (BWCs) as a tool to protect private security officers from the public the officers police and to improve the work environment of the officers.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key personnel involved in the implementation of BWCs. The authors' analysis focused on delineating recurrent moral stories and affirmative environments to show how BWC use was made legitimate as a work environment tool.FindingsThe authors show how BWC use by private security officers patrolling public spaces in Sweden is legitimized by four organizational narratives: (1) the vulnerable security officer and the caring employer, (2) defenders of protective regulation, (3) moral selves and morally dubious others and (4) function creep and moral guardians. The authors explain how such organizational narratives are key to establishing and legitimizing the use of BWCs as a tool to improve the work environment of private security guards, and how certain narrative environments promote such organizational narratives in Sweden to improve the work environment of private security guards.Originality/valueThe authors' findings in this article add to a small but growing literature on BWC use in policing outside of the USA and the UK as well as to the hitherto very limited research from the work environment and managerial perspectives. The authors illustrate the importance of organizational narratives and narrative environments for understanding organizational change involving legitimation of new technologies.

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Cecilia Hansen Löfstrand and Christel Backman
ISSN
1746-5648
DOI
10.1108/qrom-01-2022-2285
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The authors set out to show how key private security industry actors in Sweden establish body-worn cameras (BWCs) as a tool to protect private security officers from the public the officers police and to improve the work environment of the officers.Design/methodology/approachThe authors conducted qualitative semi-structured interviews with key personnel involved in the implementation of BWCs. The authors' analysis focused on delineating recurrent moral stories and affirmative environments to show how BWC use was made legitimate as a work environment tool.FindingsThe authors show how BWC use by private security officers patrolling public spaces in Sweden is legitimized by four organizational narratives: (1) the vulnerable security officer and the caring employer, (2) defenders of protective regulation, (3) moral selves and morally dubious others and (4) function creep and moral guardians. The authors explain how such organizational narratives are key to establishing and legitimizing the use of BWCs as a tool to improve the work environment of private security guards, and how certain narrative environments promote such organizational narratives in Sweden to improve the work environment of private security guards.Originality/valueThe authors' findings in this article add to a small but growing literature on BWC use in policing outside of the USA and the UK as well as to the hitherto very limited research from the work environment and managerial perspectives. The authors illustrate the importance of organizational narratives and narrative environments for understanding organizational change involving legitimation of new technologies.

Journal

Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 19, 2022

Keywords: Body-worn cameras; Legitimation management; Narrative environment; Organizational narratives; Private security industry; Sweden

References