Employee Growth and Development in Call Centres: A Comparative Australian Study

Institute of Business Administration
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 2013, 19 (1), pp. 308 - 316
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While call centres have grown exponentially in Australia over the past two decades, there is a paucity of Australian research on the training and career development experiences of call centre employees. Even more underexplored, is the impact of these experiences on employees' perceptions of the quality of their work lives. This paper adopts a comparative case study methodology to explore the intersection between these phenomena in two large call centres: Govtcall and Marketplus. The case studies epitomize the diversity that exists between call centres, particularly in terms of people management strategies. Specifically, while Govtcall adopted a 'sink or swim' approach to training, and left employees feeling stagnant due to limited career opportunities, Marketplus utilized training and development as a 'nurturing' mechanism, and promoted a sense of career freedom amongst employees. Employees' accounts suggest growth and development initiatives play a key role in shaping the quality of their work lives. Even in a context where opportunities are traditionally limited, enhancing opportunities for learning and career growth can help alleviate some of the more undesirable aspects of call centre work.
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