Purpose – This study aims to detect and mitigate opportunistic behavior in call centers through proper performance management and to provide companies considering outsourcing and/or offshoring their call center services with the important performance factors. Design/methodology/approach – The study introduces performance management as an important mediating process affecting BPO performance, and presents insights to the performance management of call centers, particularly related to detecting opportunistic behavior. Building from contractual and agency theory, KPI data from two different companies using two different pricing schemes was analyzed. The data represented 107 weeks under each contract type covering specific Service Level Agreement measures. Findings – The study indicates the importance of having in place a performance management system to manage BPO, and presents the notion of proxies to detect difficult to measure service level performance targets. The study confirms the existence of opportunistic behavior from the vendor side, and offers a structured method to detect and control for opportunistic behavior. Research limitations/implications – The research is limited to the call center outsourcing in the telecom industry. Price per call (PPC) and price per time (PPT) were the only pricing models studied. Practical implications – The study supports telecom companies that are interested in outsourcing their call center services with the important factors they need to consider during the outsourcing process, particularly in light of the vendor opportunistic behavior. Originality/value – The study contributes to the limited literature on performance management in BPO, and offers a structured method to test for the existence of opportunistic behavior.
Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 15, 2013
Keywords: Performance management; Agency theory; Business process outsourcing; Offshoring; Call centers; Contractual theory; Opportunism; KPIs; Service level agreements
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