Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Safety Science




Those tasked with protecting soft targets, including organizations, have tried to counteract threats against them by increasing security, yet the effectiveness of these measures remains largely unknown. Organizations, researchers, and practitioners can gain a more holistic understanding of how, when, why, and where security measures are effective (or ineffective) by examining organizational culture. The purpose of this paper more specifically is to build upon the current security culture models (i.e., Security Culture: Hofreiter et al., 2020: Nuclear Security Culture, IAEA, 2017) to propose a more comprehensive framework and nomological network of physical security culture that can be applied to organizations and soft targets. This article reviews the current understanding of physical security culture. Further, this article looks to the more developed information security culture and safety culture literatures to better understand how physical security culture may impact security outcomes in soft targets. This article also explores multiple avenues for future research that is needed to understand how physical security culture develops and how to best promote it for the health, safety, and security of employees.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Elsevier in Safety Science on March 23, 2024, available online:

Available for download on Tuesday, March 23, 2027