The influence of destructive forces on corporate safety
Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №1 - 2010
Author: Iskanderova Fatima, Kazakh-American Free University, Kazakhstan
The emergence of new economic and social structures and the
appearance of a large number of non-governmental organizations of different
types and forms of property resulted in the development of a new form of
activity which is corporate safety assurance. Nevertheless, the research
devoted to studying this problem is quite limited.
What is safety? There have been considerable and lengthy debates
about the issue, which are likely to continue for some period of time.
Different sources devoted to this problem see it in different ways. Some of
them define safety as a system of quality which determines its
self-preservation ability. Other sources see it as a system of guarantees that
provide sustainable development and protection from internal and external
Judging from the definitions mentioned above safety is aimed at
safeguarding the system and providing for its regular functioning. And by
saying system here we may mean a state, any of its governing agencies, a
commercial structure or an individual.
One of the recent forms of activity that has appeared as a result of
market relations development is corporate safety assurance. In accordance with
current views corporate safety consists of the following basic components:
1) Safeguarding organization facilities and objects of material
2) Safeguarding personnel;
3) Safeguarding information flows;
4) Safeguarding external contacts and activities.
G. Grachev defines corporate safety as safeguarding the organization
(social group or social layer) from threats of psychological character,
conditioned by different factors that influence people’s psyche.
A. Draga defines corporate safety as protection of essential
interests of the company from unfair competition, illegal activity of criminal
organizations and individuals, ability to withstand internal and external
threats and maintain sustainability in functioning and development of the organization
in compliance with its charter.
According to A.Sukhov, the definition corporate safety is providing
safety through eliminating threats coming from outside of the organization.
Thus, corporate safety is safeguarding the company and its personnel
from external and internal threats during the whole period of its functioning.
Currently both governmental and commercial organization management
pay significant attention to corporate safety since both of them pursue the
same goal – safeguard the company from potential threats, mostly external.
Therefore the most acute problem they face today is providing for an optimal level
of corporate safety. Hence there arises the necessity of introduction of a
safety department into the organizational system, whose functions are connected
with searching for up-to-date methods and techniques of providing safety and
safety monitoring. These functions of safety department personnel are reflected
in the concept of corporate safety.
A corporate safety concept is viewed as the visioning of an integral
and systematic understanding that provides methods for eliminating external
threats that may effect the company from the outside since its activity is
connected with more general political, economic and social processes, and also
as determining ways of eliminating threats that come from within the company
caused by certain specific internal processes.
Safety concept development and implementation consist in providing a
set of special tools that help to develop deliverables like a document
describing a concept or action plan aimed at guaranteeing organization external
and internal safety taking into consideration technical, physical, financial,
legal, informational, psychological and special provisions.
Transition to new political and economic development levels
determined new types of organization activity such as industrial espionage and
unfair competition especially in commercial structures, where such kinds of
activity do not only diminish, but tend to grow. Under such conditions to
protect the interests of the company it should develop a special system of
The main purpose of safety system is protecting company commercial
interests from being damaged through financial or material theft, material
values and facilities destruction, information disclosure, leak,
misrepresentation or loss, derangements in company management system, in
facility operation, including information technology malfunctioning, and
Company safety system is an organized totality of special bodies,
means and activities, providing secure operation of the company in general,
which means it provides safeguarding of key company interests from internal and
external threats, i.e. from a combination of factors and conditions that
threaten company’s commercial interests.
Security system objectives:
1) opportune detection and elimination of threats to personnel and
resources, elimination of causes and conditions resulting in financial,
material or moral damage to commercial enterprise interests and malfunctioning
in its operation and breaches in its development;
2) Determination of the security level of certain documents
(professional secrecy documents, commercial classified information, and other
types of confidential information liable to protection from illegitimate use),
determination of threat level of other resources;
3) Development of a mechanism of timely response to different kinds
of threats and emergence of negative tendencies in a company operation;
4) Effective suppression of encroachment on the resources and
threats to personnel in accordance with legal, organizational and technical regulations
and using different means of security assurance;
5) Creation of conditions for maximum possible compensation and
localization of detriments made by illegal acts of individuals, legal entities
and criminal structures.
An important role in solving problems connected with corporate
safety assurance is played by a human factor. This is explained by the fact
that human factor is characteristic of any sphere of activity, whether it is
providing economic, information or other type security in any type of social
groups or organizations. The system of corporate safety is aimed at providing
security not only to company facilities and its financial and legal documents
and information, but also to its immediate participant – an individual and his
labor activity. Thus it is quite natural for a person to choose this or that
organization based on the level of security the organization can provide.
There is no doubt that security is the fundamental human need, which
is thoroughly studied in multiple psychological theories. In particular,
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs shows that higher human needs like self
realization, recognition and belongingness needs are realized only after basic
physiological and safety needs are satisfied.
Safety need is one of the most important needs for a person, and
satisfying this need is the necessary condition for normal existence and
development of the person, and it is satisfied through certain organization
forms, stable structures of social interaction, cooperative activities, which transform
into the system of interrelated personal and group interests and methods to
Like Maslow’s hierarchy, C. Alderfer’s existence – relatedness-
growth theory originates from the assumption that physiological needs, safety
need in particular, are fundamental in the process of developing and
maintaining of psychological safety of a man.
These types of needs as a rule become apparent and are satisfied
through paying sufficient salary which provides everything necessary for life
and providing secure labor conditions.
Currently much attention is paid to the problem of systemic
(complex) safety, though there is still some kind of bias towards technical
means of security providing, and there is such bias even in this systemic
approach. This article considers safety as a rather capacious system which
provides all aspects of vital activities and development of any structure. And
along with economic and informational security within a system of corporate
safety we distinguish psychological security of the personnel.
contains detailed classification of threats to corporate safety
Classification of threats to safety.
from a favorable situations, including secure situations
from a desire to get income from selling stolen goods
of threats to security
- Robbery, assault;
- Property destruction;
- Acts of terror;
- Emergency situations.
- Information interception;
- Information misrepresentation;
- Information loss;
- False information introduction.
- Responsibility evasion;
- Fraudulent operations;
- Human intelligence;
- Psychological influence.
Threat to security may also come from social acts. Threat to the
company operations may come from such techniques as lie, deception, half-truth,
information leak, gossip, incomplete are partially twisted information, false
report, biased culturological context of information (including true and
neutral in their context), misinformation, speculation, provocative and
manipulative information, attempts of “reflexive manipulation” (V. Lefevour’s
term) of randomly (or purposefully) chosen groups of people, inadequately
chosen information source, phoney authorities and so on.
Today it is very popular to get necessary information through using
manipulative techniques. The number of techniques influencing the sub
consciousness and especially the unconscious is constantly growing.
Thus, speaking about a corporate safety we should remember that
corporate safety currently doesn’t have a monosemantic meaning and is
understood as the following:
а) Generally corporate safety stands for providing safety to
individuals and legal entities in the sphere of commercial activity, which
doesn’t reflect the specific of the notion to the full and can be brought to
correlation with the safety of the corporation. In this meaning the notion of
corporate safety is used as a synonym of the safety of the corporation,
understood as a common name for different types of unions characterized by
internal organization, which consolidates its members into all-in-one-piece,
and which is the entity of rights and obligations, a legal entity.
б) At the same time the notion of corporate safety as opposed to the
safety of the corporation is to a greater degree associated with the phenomenon
of corporate unity as a social and psychological phenomenon. Taking this in
account, protecting company safety from threats of psychological character,
conditioned by influence of different factors on people’s psyche.
According to the contemporary views corporate safety is formed from
the following components:
- Economic safety;
- Information safety;
- Social safety;
- Protection of material values, objects and individuals.
Let us consider the components of corporate safety in detail.
1. Economic intelligence – organization of acquisition of
information for the company management to make more rational decisions in
issues of financial and operational activity, corresponding to emerging
circumstances, strategic goals and tactical objectives, which allow avoiding
failures in operation.
Collection, analysis and processing of information is one of the
most important links of not only security system, but is also a core of
marketing, because based on the information the company develops its policy.
2. Economic counter-intelligence and internal security:
- resistance to internal corruption, attempts to damage the company
and its personnel, and here we speak not only of theft but also of
- investigation of facts of internal forgery, theft and other damage
- resistance to criminal threats;
- detecting sources providing information to organized crime and
industrial espionage among company employees;
- checkup of people being hired by the company and periodical
preventive checkup of company personnel loyalty;
- providing physical security to company management and personnel
(strongarm and operational);
- preventing negative processes among company personnel, which may
lead to emergency situations;
- safeguarding movable and immovable property of the company.
3. Information analytical efforts.
This dimension provides gathering, research based generalization and
analysis of information in different directions of company safety accompanied
by determination of both positive and negative trends in the process of
providing company security and, based on it, generating proposals either for
further development of those trends or their neutralization. In regions that
may be done by one or two people, who constantly communicate with the center,
gather information and evaluate the situation in the field.
4. Information security (protecting information which is considered
commercial classified information or of key importance in providing regular
operation of information collections):
- organizational security measures in working with confidential
information in all its form (hard and soft copies and other);
- counteraction to private technical intelligence;
- a complete range of measures to provide security to local
computers and internal computer worknets, providing safe Internet access;
- providing safe communication channels.
5. Interaction with local authorities and law enforcement agencies.
This interaction is based on the following principle: main security
departments – executive bodies and central apparat of the Ministry of Internal
Affairs; field security departments – territorial or regional departments.
6. Personnel training in adopted programs in accordance with
organizational structure and performed official duties, major directions in
providing company corporate safety.
7. Propagandistic provision of company policy (“active measures”).
Entities of company corporate safety process provision are the
- Company leaders;
- Security manager;
- Personnel of the firm, company or organization;
- Personnel service staff;
- Security department personnel.
Protected objects include:
- material resources;
- information flows;
- security department personnel.
Security of any company in the final run is the function of its
adaptive capabilities and peculiarities of the environment in which it
operates. In its turn both the environment and the company itself a priori
contain certain threats, i.e. certain elements which, if activated, can damage
irreparably company’s most important components.
Any company can be treated as a separate case of an open system. In
fact, to produce a product or a service an organization should interact with
environment and other players on the market. In external environment there are
two groups of factors: positive, which make contribution to company
development, and negative, which hinder its development. The latter are often
referred to as threat factors since they present certain danger to a company.
The specific thing about threat factors is that they, being
objective, do not give in to being managed by security services. Thus, business
structures need to develop an effective system of measures to counteract threat
factors in case of their activation.
The indicator of the corporate safety effectiveness is its ability
to resist two groups of destructive factors (processes) – internal and
This is the outline of how it looks:
1.2 Subsystems of corporate safety resisting threat factors
This subdivision of corporate safety into two subsystems is
determined by the fact that a certain object (human factor) is simultaneously
influenced by two types of destructive forces: external and internal.
The category of external forces in our opinion includes in the first
- criminal structures;
- government institutions corrupted element;
- natural and anthropogenic disasters.
These are the most active factors of threats according to the
results of the survey of over 35 companies. Most of businessmen place their
competitors above all other threat factors. It needs to be mentioned that
competition is a natural and even necessary process of market relations. But,
depending on the methods used, competitive activity can be divided white, grey
“White” competition is a fair competition; it is realized within the
current legal framework.
“Grey” competition is rivalry, the first stage of unfair
competition; it is realized through using techniques and methods, aimed at
discrediting the competitor, good and services produced and provided by the
“Black” competition is contention; it is aimed at eradication of the
competitor and is realized through techniques and methods which are in conflict
with the legal framework.
In its turn, unfair competition gives rise to two new threat
- Industrial espionage;
- Raid (unfriendly take-over activities).
These factors in themselves are passive and are activated at the
moment of receiving an order for such services. Industrial espionage is, as a
rule, a sphere of specialization of private detective agencies. Raid is the
sphere of activity of special business firms and companies.
Significant negative influence on the development of small and
medium sized businesses is made by corrupted staff of multiple auditing and
supervising bodies, which are ready to become blind when they come across
certain faults and violations for certain compensation. In cases of unhealthy
competition representatives of this threat factor can become accomplices of one
of the parties using administrative resources.
What concerns criminal structures, business people of different
levels consider this factor being of less significance and quite predictable.
Statistic figures of the recent years indicate that businessmen pay
insufficient attention to such threat factor as anthropogenic disasters.
It is accepted that issues of providing economic security is the
prerogative of security departments, but besides them there are other people
and services involved into this process:
- Тop management;
- Internal audit service;
- Information analysis service;
- Personnel service;
- Legal service.
Similar situation is observed in respect to information and social
security. This fact determines the necessity to revise approaches to developing
both security system itself and principles of its management.
Each of these factors also contains a human factor. Protection from
them requires development of specific influence methods including psychological
ones. However, the factual level and degree of threats is not always adequately
treated by the company leader and its security department due to certain
Besides external threat factors there are also internal threat
factors that make a destructive influence on the level of corporate safety.
They are of objective nature and exist in the environment of any company. When
activated they have a complex structure and require the same amount of
attention. Internal threat factors have a marked subject character. Behind each
of them there is a certain individual or a group of people, while one and the
same person can represent two or more threat factors.
We suggest treating the following as internal threat factors:
- Tension which develops among team members due to wrong
relationship within the vertical and horizontal structure, and due to
dissatisfaction of people with the results of their work and the way management
- Unfair competition among certain employees and departments;
- Role conflicts;
- Insufficient competence of managers of different levels;
- Low professional and personal trustworthiness of the personnel.
Thus, those who are to ensure corporate safety can become the source
of the threat.
Internal threat subjects require a complex evaluation. Depending on
a situation they can simultaneously function as a threat source and a
protection objects. The real threat to corporate safety of a business firm,
company or organization can be a result of unqualified activity of certain
subjects of the corporate safety provision process.
Among the subjects of external threats the highest degree of danger
comes from unfriendly activity of competitors and criminal structures.
Certain subsystems of corporate safety should provide effective
resistance to those components of an overall threat which they are aimed to
counteract to. Mutual activity of these subsystems should result in integral
corporate safety as a type of systemic feature. Integral effect is achieved
through assistance provided by separate subsystems in solving problems of each
other. In fact, it is impossible to provide economic security ignoring its information
and social components. A great significance in providing social security is
given to economy and information protection.
Let us attract your attention to two relevant facts.
Each subsystem has a backward linkage, which allows to adjust its
effectiveness due to use of internal resources in cases when a factual safety
level is lower that the targeted level.
In its turn each subsystem is a mini-system consisting of a large
number of elements.
What concerns partners and governmental structures they can be
referred to as factors of latent or indirect threat.
External threat factors are treated in most cases quite adequately
while internal threats are not always treated appropriately though they have no
less but, in some cases, a greater degree of destructive influence.
Separate subsystems, performing independent functions, coexist
interpenetrating each other.
Today providing complex security is not just the experience of
operational activity but also knowledge of economy, audit, contemporary
information technologies and a lot more. This is the reason why these
structures tend to hire young perspective civilians, especially those having a
degree in economics or in technical education.
Another important thing which is worth mentioning: the whole
functioning of corporate safety system from top to bottom is built on trust to
each other. If the company management does not rely on its security system,
then its information is worthless and all its multilateral activity has no
If a security system worker does not have trust of the immediate
superior he is not supposed to work in this system. Every member of a security
department should have an absolute confidence that he is trusted, should value
this trust and should never abuse it. However trust does not exclude but
involves control over all elements of security system, and in manpower policy
it involves development of criteria of assessing each employee. These criteria
are to stimulate employee performance, favored his performance assessment,
promotion and keep from abusing his authority.
Thus, developing a system of corporate safety is developing
company’s protection from negative influence of external and internal factors,
destabilizing factors, which provides sustainable realization of company’s
commercial interests and chartered goals.
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Table of contents: The Kazakh-American Free University Academic Journal №1 - 2010