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Flexibility and customer orientation: where does the slack come from?

[conference paper]

Holtgrewe, Ursula; Kerst, Christian

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Abstract "In this paper, we argue that the empirical evidence that the tayloristic option of call centre organisation is limited, has its reasons in structural organisational dilemmata that cannot be solved but only worked upon by call centre organisation. Organisations that use call centre technology may increase their efficiency. But at the same time they must import and produce organisational slack in order to deliver the expected and promised flexibility. Our point is that they face this problem in a strategic and self-reflexive way especially by recruiting certain types of employees. The status and biographical situation of these employees provides the organisation with useful skills, subjective potential and commitment. Organisational patterns of and employee contributions to slack production vary with different services and customer expectations." (excerpt)
Keywords call center; Taylorism; labor market; service; tertiary sector; flexibility; customer orientation; efficiency; recruitment; labor relations; qualification; banking
Classification Sociology of Work, Industrial Sociology, Industrial Relations; Organizational Sociology; Marketing
Method empirical
Document language English
Publication Year 2001
City Nottingham
Page/Pages 20 p.
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne