liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Calling for call centres: a study of call centre locations in a Swedish rural region
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2004 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The business economy is undergoing structural changes as we are moving towards more information based businesses. Most studies of industrial location have however focused on manufacturing activities and there is a lack in knowledge of the exact determinants for the location of information based and geographically independent activities. Traditional locational theories have to be complemented with factors that consider these types of businesses. A focus on information based and geographically independent organisations, such as call centres, has a potential to fuel research into industrial location.

The general aim of this thesis is, from a business perspective, to explore and identify a number of factors that are of importance for call centre locations in a specific region. More specifically, the thesis deals with the fact that development and use of information and communication technology, organisational prerequisites in form of changed organisational structures and management of organisations and also more individually related aspects nowadays seem to play an important role for both how business are organised and for where they are located. The thesis is mainly based on a case study of a Swedish rural region that has been successful in its efforts to attract and develop call centre activities.

First, it is shown that the call centre concept is full of nuance and researchers as well as practitioners use the concept differently. In order to enhance and balance discussions about call centres and also facilitate the process of comparing research findings, ten characteristics that are regarded as useful for discriminating among call centre activities are presented. Second, the importance of distinguishing location choices for information based business from location choices for more traditional service business and manufacturing businesses is an important finding and examples that support this are given. A third finding is that even though call centres are often regarded as geographically independent, the proximity that can be offered with cluster formations seems to be of importance also for this type of businesses. It is however more about horizontal integration and not about vertical integration, which is often present for manufacturing businesses. Finally, call centres seem to offer opportunities for regions and localities that wish to create work opportunities and achieve a positive regional development and this applies especially to rural or peripheral areas. However, in order to be successful there are many interacting factors that have to be considered and dealt with and it is important to notice that it often takes time to build up a positive climate for call centre businesses in a region, i.e. different regional actors can and have to do much more than just call for call centres.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2004. , 68 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1084Dissertation from the Swedish Research School of Management and Information Technology (MIT). Licentiate theses, ISSN 1653-2554 ; 5
Keyword [en]
Call centres
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22925Local ID: 2285ISBN: 91-7373-930-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-22925DiVA: diva2:243238
Presentation
2004-04-22, John von Neumann, Hus B, Linköping Universitet, Linköping, 13:15 (Swedish)
Available from: 2009-10-07 Created: 2009-10-07 Last updated: 2013-11-04
List of papers
1. Call centre, a concept full of nuance: on definition of call centres
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Call centre, a concept full of nuance: on definition of call centres
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop and Business Conference on Telework: New Work 2002, 2002Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A number of new organisational forms and concepts, based on remote work, or e-work, have emerged during the last couple of decades. The organisational development has been rapid and there has not been time for consensus on concepts to evolve. Unclear definitions within a field cause confusion, among researchers as well as practitioners. In this paper we will discuss organisational forms generally labelled call centre and, as we will show, this is in itself an ambiguous concept. Within this field, with an increasing number of so-called call centres, we argue that clear definitions or transparent concepts are needed in order to be able to communicate with different actors and to be able to compare different studies.

The aim of the paper is to propose a number of characteristics that we fmd useful for discriminating among certain organisational solutions, which we in this article refer to as call centres. Our choice of characteristics is based onexperiences from our own previous research (cf. Lindstrom et al., 1997, Moberg et al., 2001a and Moberg et al., 2001b, Petri et al., 2001), several field visits to call centre organisations, dialogues with practitioners and researchers within the field, as well as on literature. We propose the following characteristics: type of business (inbound or outbound call handling); the principal's organisational belonging (i.e. an in-house or outsourced activity); customer type (business or consumer); geographical location of the unit; degree of centralisation or decentralisation; unit size; type of tasks performed; skill requirements; technical utilisation; and munber of communication channels used.

Keyword
e-work, Call Centre, Contact Centre, Definition, Classification, Dimensions of Discrimination, Outsourcing, In bound, Outbound
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-61981 (URN)
Conference
7th International Workshop and Business Conference on Telework: New Work 2002. Badajoz, Spain, September 3-5.
Note

The paper included in the licenciate thesis is a revised version which has been submitted to an academic journal.

Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-18 Last updated: 2013-11-04
2. Towards a model for call centre location
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a model for call centre location
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

A structural transformation is taking place in most industrialised countries as we move from traditional manufacturing businesses to more information andknowledge based businesses. Job creation plays a key role in today's society, and information and communication technology is often regarded as a facilitator, both in creating new jobs and in geographically relocating employment between regions. In tlus development, call centres seem to be of major importance. Call centre is an organisational solution made possible by developments in information and communication technology. Research on industrial location has a long history. It has tended to focus on location of manufacturing industries, and knowledge of determinants for the location of more service and information based organisations is less developed.

This study is based on empirical findings from a case study of a Swedish region that has achieved outstanding success as an area for call centre localisation. Several factors have contributed to the positive development of that region and the process has been going on for a long period of time. The aim of the paper is to identify which factors play a role in the location, or relocation, of call centre activities to a specific region. Our findings are presented as a model for call centre location based on five general factors: Market Existence and Access, Communications and Organisation Related Considerations, Business Environment and Community Related Factors, Resource Availability and Entrepreneurship. These factors are viewed as puzzle pieces that together comprise a model for call centre location. One principal finding is that it is important to distinguish between choice of location for information and knowledge based businesses and for more traditional service and manufacturing businesses.

Keyword
Call Centre, Contact Centre, Location, Regional Development
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-100370 (URN)
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-11-04 Last updated: 2013-11-04
3. The importance of proximity for geographically dispersed organisations: indications from a call centre cluster in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The importance of proximity for geographically dispersed organisations: indications from a call centre cluster in Sweden
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the 17th Nordic Conference on Buysiness Studies, 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Nowadays we can see an increased share of information based businesses, i.e. businesses where the delivered product or service do not constitute a tangible product. A growing organisational solution for information based businesses is call centres (Stoltz and Moberg, 2002; forthcoming). As information based products and services can be transported easily and at a low cost over geographical distances (cf. Litan and Rivlin, 2002), geographical proximity should not be of importance for call centre organisations. Technological advances lead organisations to consider alternative locations for their information processing, sales and service work (Larner, 2002). One general assumption is that spatial proximity internally within an organisation as well as proximity to customers and other business partners should not be of significant importance for call centre businesses. Following this reasoning, call centre business establishments can be located almost anywhere (cf. Wilson, 1995 and Gillespie et al., 2001).

In practise, a considerable number of regions in Sweden, especially in sparsely populated areas, are active and work to attract call centre businesses. This applies to new business establishments as well as organisations relocating business activities. In this development, certain regions seem to excel themselves as call centre regions. In other words, clusters are emerging for this type of business in form of geographical agglomerations of call centre organisations to specific delimited areas.

The aim of this paper is to reach an increased understanding for call centre establishments trough reaching an understanding of the importance of clusters and networks, i.e. proximity to other organisations and actors, for this type of business. With this aim in mind, we put questions like: What importance do clusters in terms of geographical concentrations have for businesses that are regarded as mobile and not delimited in space when it comes to choice of location? Is the local or regional dimension of importance when you are acting nationally or even globally? Can these businesses be located anywhere or are there more locally based conditions that are of importance for growth and sustainability of call centre organisations? What importance do clusters and networks have for entrepreneurship and new business establishments for call centres businesses? What similarities and differences can be distinguished comparing clusters of call centre organisations with clusters of more traditional manufacturing organisations?

Our findings show that the geographical concentration, which a cluster means, of similar business activities seems to be of importance for supporting and encouraging both existing call centres and new establishments. This applies to leaming, knowledge sharing and expansion of the local knowledge base. Cluster formations facilitate access to and development of resources in terms of available training programs, tailored infrastructure, educated personnel and pool of workers. We have also noted positive knowledge spill-over and spin-off effects, where certain organisations are acting as role models for entrepreneurs starting up new business establishments. Finally, we have found evidence for a so-called "call centre spirit" that fosters innovations and sprit of enterprise.

In the paper, we discuss different types and views of cluster to interpret our findings. Two examples are an evolutionary perspective with different stages, or types, of clusters; locational, market, labour division, innovative, full-fledged industrial district government and techopoles (Dijk, 1999) and Porter's (1998) analysis of clusters with horizontal respectively vertical relations as well as Porter's (1990a and 1990b) diamond of factors for national or regional competitive advantages.

National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-61987 (URN)
Conference
17th Nordic Conference on Business Studies, NFF 2003, Reykavik, August 14-16 2003.
Available from: 2010-11-18 Created: 2010-11-18 Last updated: 2013-11-04

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Authority records BETA

Stoltz, Charlotte

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Stoltz, Charlotte
By organisation
EISLAB - Economic Information SystemsThe Institute of Technology
Computer Science

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 419 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf