The Viability of Alternative Call Center Production Models
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Batt, Rosemary; Moynihan, Lisa
[Excerpt] The central question of this paper is whether a mass customization strategy coupled with high involvement work practices is an economically viable model for service and sales call centers. If so, under what conditions and why? To answer these questions, in the next section, we describe alternative models of call center management. In section III, we present a conceptual framework for understanding the relationship between management practices, workers reactions to those practices, and performance outcomes. We then review empirical evidence on these relationships, focusing primarily on studies of call centers or related service workplaces. In section IV, we draw on evidence from two recent quantitative studies of call centers to examine the performance outcomes of high involvement practices in this context. We close with a discussion and critique of existing evidence and suggestions for future research.
human resources; telecommunications; management; call centers; performance
Required Publisher Statement: Reprinted with permission of Wiley-Blackwell Publishing. Final version published as Batt, R. & Moynihan, L. (2002). The viability of alternative call centre production models. Human Resource Management Journal, 12(4), 14-34.