'Teaming Up': Teams and Team Sharing in Call Centres

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Title 'Teaming Up': Teams and Team Sharing in Call Centres
Author Broek, Diane van den; Barnes, Alison; Townsend, Keith John
Journal Name Journal of Industrial Relations
Editor Russell Lansbury, Bradon Ellem
Year Published 2008
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Abstract Call centre work is highly individualistic and technologically regulated. Processes, scripts and company procedures are usually standardized. As such there is a fundamental irony in the fact that most call centre operations organize their workforce around team structures. In recent years, much of the research has identified how teams might lead to the workers shifting toward a shared firm identity and sociability, either voluntarily or through an involuntary internalization of managerial objectives. However other factors have not been fully investigated in the team literature. In this article we analyse how workers might `team up' to ameliorate the relentless conditions of work through collaboratively manoeuvring around call centre technologies as well as `teaming up' around customer relations. We provide a counter argument to both the `teams are good for business' position, and the `teams provide self imposed cages for workers to compete with each other' argument. Control and resistance remain an important factor in analysing teams in call centres, while shallow and short-lived team arrangements might provide important social mechanisms for worker support.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI http://jir.sagepub.com/
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022185607087901
Volume 50
Issue Number 2
Page from 257
Page to 269
ISSN 0022-1856
Date Accessioned 2008-09-05
Date Available 2009-09-22T05:51:14Z
Language en_AU
Research Centre Centre for Work, Organisation and Wellbeing
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject PRE2009-Industrial Relations
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/20326
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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