Work Relationships in Telephone Call Centres: Understanding Emotional Exhaustion and Employee Withdrawal

Work Relationships in Telephone Call Centres: Understanding Emotional Exhaustion and Employee... This paper examines the nature of employment and the conditions of work in five telephone call centres in the telecommunications industry in Australia. Call centre work typically requires high levels of sustained interpersonal interaction with customers which can lead to burnout and employee withdrawal. Customer service staff can also become targets of customer hostility and abuse. In addition, this form of work tends to involve extensive employee monitoring and surveillance with little job discretion or variety of tasks. The paper draws upon survey data from 480 telephone service operators to identify the factors that are associated with emotional exhaustion and the frequency of absence amongst the employees. A modelling of the data using LISREL VIII revealed that a number of job and work‐setting variables affected the level of emotional exhaustion of employees. These included interactions with the customer, a high workload and a lack of variety of work tasks. Moreover, higher rates of absence were associated with emotional exhaustion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Management Studies Wiley

Work Relationships in Telephone Call Centres: Understanding Emotional Exhaustion and Employee Withdrawal

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0022-2380
eISSN
1467-6486
DOI
10.1111/1467-6486.00300
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper examines the nature of employment and the conditions of work in five telephone call centres in the telecommunications industry in Australia. Call centre work typically requires high levels of sustained interpersonal interaction with customers which can lead to burnout and employee withdrawal. Customer service staff can also become targets of customer hostility and abuse. In addition, this form of work tends to involve extensive employee monitoring and surveillance with little job discretion or variety of tasks. The paper draws upon survey data from 480 telephone service operators to identify the factors that are associated with emotional exhaustion and the frequency of absence amongst the employees. A modelling of the data using LISREL VIII revealed that a number of job and work‐setting variables affected the level of emotional exhaustion of employees. These included interactions with the customer, a high workload and a lack of variety of work tasks. Moreover, higher rates of absence were associated with emotional exhaustion.

Journal

Journal of Management StudiesWiley

Published: Jun 1, 2002

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