Workplace Violence, Targeted Violence, and Active Shooters

Author: Marc H. Siegel

CRC Press: 182 pages; $79.95 (List)

Four Stars ««««

Living up to its title, Preventing and Managing Violence in Organizations, is a detailed examination of, “programs, polices, and procedures that can be implemented by managers” and others seeking “to reduce and mitigate violence inside their organization.” Siegel deftly emphasizes, “the importance of building a security and risk [assessment and management] culture that focuses on human behaviors and awareness”, and does so concisely and tightly.

The book wastes none of the reader’s time by covering the minutia of past incidents and tragedies so often covered by other authors. Instead, Dr. Siegel, Ph.D. starts where most books on the topic rarely venture, how careful planning can support risk assessment and reduce uncertainty. Using existing management tools such as the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) model, he introduces the importance of process improvement as a means to improve risk assessments and determining threat levels so that organizational resources can be properly and efficiently allocated. Many security professionals might find this approach a bit theoretical, if not impractical. But Siegal isn’t shy. He wastes few words and uses ample diagrams and illustrations to make his case. He plainly states, “[T]he concepts are the same as those would be used to manage any type of operational risk”. And he’s right. Too many security professionals focus on their asset protection and loss prevention roles, instead of asset management, organizational resilience and business continuity, the stuff that keeps their CEO’s awake at night.

To assist the reader find his or her way and fulfill the needs of their internal customers, Siegel liberally borrows much from several ANSI/ASIS standards. Of them are those on the topic of risk assessment, auditing management systems and of course, the American National Standard ASIS/SHRM WVPI. 1-20111 on the topic of workplace violence prevention and intervention. In doing so, he saves his reader considerable time and shares only that which one most needs from these important works.

Preventing and Managing Violence in Organizations is an easy read. Though some readers might find the author’s friendly (and repeated) use of the first person, “you” as a little too conversational for such a serious text, most will likely be so engaged they’ll never notice.


Reviewer:  Eugene F. Ferraro, CPP, CFE, PCI, SPHR, SHRM-SCP. Mr. Ferraro is the founder and CEO of ForensicPathways, Inc. and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.