Call Centres, Quality of Work Life and HRM Practices: an inhouse/ outsourced comparison

Emerald Group Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Employee Relations, 2009, 31 (4), pp. 363 - 381
Issue Date:
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Purpose The paper seeks to determine whether and how the quality of working life (QWL) varies between call centres (CCs) in the in-house/outsourced, public and private sectors and the implications of these findings on human resource management (HRM). Design/methodology/approach This paper reports on findings derived through empirical qualitative case study research in two Australian CCs: Govtcall, an in-house, public-sector CC, and Salesplus, an outsourced, private-sector CC. Quality of work life outcomes are determined through in-depth interviews with CSOs, supervisors and managers, where a comparative approach is utilised. Findings The in-house, public-sector CC Govtcall emerges as being inferior in terms of job content, working hours and managerial/supervisory style and strategies. Conversely, Salesplus features a management model that is more akin to what would be expected in a CC operating under a professional service model.
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