The Talk Shop and Shop Talk: Employment and Work in a Call Centre
Call centres represent a blend of old and new employment features that are only partially grasped by existing theoretical alternatives.Labour process theory suggests that call centres are best depicted as new electronic assembly lines of fragmented, low skill service labour. Second-wave post-industrial theory represents call centres as a signi?cant foray into the information/knowledge economy. On the basis of a case study that combines both survey results and on-site observation, the author argues that the sophisticated information technologies that have captured the awe of other investigators have delivered less than total managerial control.Less frequently studied are the novel cultures of employment management that have accompanied the development of call centres and have incorporated information technology into their functioning. These cultures and employee responses to them represent an important, if under-analysed, aspect of call centre operation.
Journal of Industrial Relations
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