Mapping the organizational relations within physical security's body of knowledge: a management heuristic of sound theory and best practice

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


secau, Edith Cowan University


David Brooks and Craig Valli


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Computer and Security Science / Security Research Centre (secAU)




This article was originally published as: Coole, M. P., & Brooks, D. J. (2011). Mapping the organizational relations within physical security's body of knowledge: A management heuristic of sound theory and best practice. Paper presented at the Australian Security and Intelligence Conference. Perth, Western Australia. Original article available here


Security Science education at university levels is still in its infancy, with little agreement towards knowledge, curriculum and competency. Therefore, it is essential that educators draw on relevant literature highlighting means of efficient and effective knowledge transfer for tertiary students within the Security Science domain. Such knowledge transfer will reduce the gap between academic knowledge (explicit) and professional competency (tacit knowledge). This paper presents phase one of a multiphase study. A qualitative “systems based knowledge structure” of security domain categories has been conceptually mapped as a domain heuristic. The heuristic drew on research highlighting that experts have both richer depths of domain knowledge and superior cross referenced organizational structure. The conceptual map takes a topdown approach bounded by routine activity, rational choice, situational crime prevention, defence in depth, security decay and management theories within the elements of prevention, preparedness, response and recovery. Results indicate that within a systems approach, core security professional competencies relate to the ability to skilfully apply the theories and best practice principles represented within the preliminary heuristic that brings together academic theory with practising security strategies.



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