Plant managers' perceptions of plant security systems

R. Carmichael, D. J. Edwards, G. D. Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - Plant theft represents a serious and growing problem for the construction sector, with the present value of UK losses estimated to be in excess of £1 million per week. Along with other stakeholders, plant managers play a key role in helping to counteract this problem, for example, by employing plant security systems (PSSs). PSSs use a variety of mechanisms to provide differing levels of protection and represent an equally diverse range of cost alternatives. In view of this diversity, this paper aims to survey a sample of plant managers to obtain their perceived importance of PSS appraisal criteria. Design/methodology/approach - A structured questionnaire elicited the perceptions of managers regarding the importance of seven generic PSS groupings by reference to six PSS assessment criteria. Data were analysed using (importance and rank) derived weighting indices to develop a PSS importance matrix. Findings - "Level of deterrent" (offered by a PSS) was consistently considered a key criterion as was "resistant attack time". Maybe surprisingly, cost was only found to be a superlative criterion for one of the six PSSs considered. The overriding indication is that plant managers afford more importance to "practical" PSS assessment criteria than they do to financial ones. Originality/value - It is proffered, that PSS manufacturers should be mindful of these observed perceptions concerning the relationship of system functionality versus cost, in striving to deliver into the plant market (and encourage use of) "optimal" security systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-78
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction equipment
  • Construction industry
  • Managers
  • Perception
  • Theft
  • United Kingdom
  • Workplace security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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