Efficiency, Productivity and Targets

The Gap between Ideology and Reality in the Call Centre

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Abstract

This article draws upon data from an ethnographic study of a UK call centre to investigate the claims of efficiency and productivity that underpin service occupations. Neoliberal ideology valorises competition, profitability and the free market, imperatives which filter down to organisational level and manifest as the pursuit of efficiency. The evidence in this paper highlights how the call centre’s quest for efficiency is undermined by inefficiencies that are inherent in management implementation of work routines designed to maximise efficiency. While management practice and automated work routines may not be efficient, they do generate specific outcomes; the oppression, abuse and domination of employees both in relation to conditions of employment and working conditions.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Sociology
Early online date14 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Sep 2018

Fingerprint

call center
ideology
productivity
efficiency
employment conditions
working conditions
oppression
profitability
management
domination
occupation
abuse
employee
market
evidence

Bibliographical note

Author can archive post-print (ie final draft post-refereeing). For full details see http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0896-9205/ [Accessed: 27/07/2018]

Cite this

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Efficiency, Productivity and Targets : The Gap between Ideology and Reality in the Call Centre. / Lloyd, Anthony.

In: Critical Sociology, 14.09.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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