What's Trust Got to Do with it? Perceptions of trust in call centres

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of 25th Conference of the Association of Industrial Relations Academics of Australia and New Zealand (AIRAANZ), Dialogue Down-under., 2011
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In the organisational context, high-trust relations can be seen as both conducive to and an indicator of a positive and productive workplace climate. Since their emergence, call centres have been criticised in the literature for poor people management. The evidence raised in the extensive body of literature suggests these organisations contain low-trust conditions. This study aimed to gauge trust from the perspective of those on the front-line, and adopted an exploratory approach to examine (a) the extent to which Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) trust their supervisors and managers and (b) the conditions under which 'trust' is established and maintained. Surveys and focus groups were conducted with CSRs in ten call centres. Findings suggest 'trust' exists despite the existence of low-discretion practices, while higher trust relations can be associated with conditions more likely to exist in a small call centres.
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