Tensions and variations in call centre management strategies

Tensions and variations in call centre management strategies Management strategies in call centres face a series of tensions stemming from conflicts between achieving efficiency and providing a quality service to the customer. Recent research suggests high commitment management (HCM) techniques are being applied in call centres in a paradoxical strategy of ‘low discretion, high commitment’(LDHC). This article presents case findings on four British call centres that confirm the LDHC model but suggest that it operates in a variety of forms. By characterising the research sites according to the combined dimensions of HCM orientation and job design implementation, a typology of LDHC approaches is proposed. These are containment, alleviation, structured employee development and involvement. In essence, the LDHC model is an attempt to reconcile the costs of control with the levers of commitment. However, an examination of the realities of LDHC in action reveals a varied but persistent pull towards control. Fundamentally this exposes LDHC as a substitute for, rather than a reflection of, commitment. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Human Resource Management Journal Wiley

Tensions and variations in call centre management strategies

Human Resource Management Journal, Volume 12 (4) – Nov 1, 2002

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0954-5395
eISSN
1748-8583
DOI
10.1111/j.1748-8583.2002.tb00078.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Management strategies in call centres face a series of tensions stemming from conflicts between achieving efficiency and providing a quality service to the customer. Recent research suggests high commitment management (HCM) techniques are being applied in call centres in a paradoxical strategy of ‘low discretion, high commitment’(LDHC). This article presents case findings on four British call centres that confirm the LDHC model but suggest that it operates in a variety of forms. By characterising the research sites according to the combined dimensions of HCM orientation and job design implementation, a typology of LDHC approaches is proposed. These are containment, alleviation, structured employee development and involvement. In essence, the LDHC model is an attempt to reconcile the costs of control with the levers of commitment. However, an examination of the realities of LDHC in action reveals a varied but persistent pull towards control. Fundamentally this exposes LDHC as a substitute for, rather than a reflection of, commitment.

Journal

Human Resource Management JournalWiley

Published: Nov 1, 2002

References

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