Date of Award


Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Science (Interdisciplinary Studies)


School of Science

First Supervisor

Associate Professor Dave Brooks

Second Supervisor

Dr Michael Coole


To meet the challenges of modern society organisations are becoming more complex, and so too are the occupations that support them, including the Corporate Security occupation. Within this complexity progression is a changing security environment that impacts business opportunity and societal expectations due to a shift away from risk acceptance (Beck, 1992). Subsequently, the study investigated the Corporate Security stratum of work within large organisations in order to understand career opportunity, complexity, and influence within the context of the socio-organisational literature. By grounding the study in the underlying theory of Jaques’ (1996) work into General Managerial Hierarchies, the study took a broad view on the Corporate Security stratum.

The study consisted of two phases, with the first consisting of online surveys distributed to four Australian organisations (N=53), and the second consisting of semi-structured interviews and focus groups with individuals from three Australian organisations from various hierarchical seatings (N=15). Key findings included an identified Corporate Security stratum that stretches from Stratum One through Stratum Four (out of Seven strata), with a postulated occupational progression ceiling at Stratum Four. Further, this progression ceiling is the likely outcome of the role of Corporate Security within organisations; namely as a technostructure function that supports business decision making but does not directly influence profit-making activities. Corporate Security appears to be bounded in specialised problem solving. Further, the study supports the literatures articulation of Corporate Security roles, however, it contests the articulation of the Corporate Security strata within organisations—finding limited support for executive security roles.