Organisational Behaviour and Culture: Insights from and for Public Safety Management



Large-scale migration, forced displacement, organized crime, terrorism, natural disasters, but also the proliferation of child pornography, hacking, identity theft and other types of cybercrime, provide very concrete challenges to public safety and can trigger profound feelings of insecurity in the population. Threats to public safety are typically multi-level problems, with roots and impact on the individual, community, organizational, national and multi-lateral level. Properly addressing such grand societal challenges is crucial for immediate damage control, but also to sustain trust in the effectiveness of private and public governance. For sustainable solutions to public safety challenges, approaches are needed that involve not only established national and international crime and crisis response organizations but also central and local government organizations, local members of affected communities and private institutions.

Cultural norms about safety and security differ across communities and stakeholders; no one single approach to public safety can prove successful for everyone all of the time. This pinpoints at the high relevance of multi-contextual approaches to safety and security and the role of cultural norms. Collaborations within and across security organizations and diverse stakeholders such as in private-public partnerships can be hampered by frictions about priorities or ways of working. The consideration of social and cultural aspects is fundamental to overcoming such obstacles. Understanding diversity, embracing complexity and building new alliances is key for the development of inclusive security solutions with multiple stakeholder groups and within diverse cultural contexts.