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

Direct link
Call centre, a concept full of nuance: on definition of call centres
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Computer and Information Science, EISLAB - Economic Information Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2002 (English)In: Proceedings of the 7th International Workshop and Business Conference on Telework: New Work 2002, 2002Conference 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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
e-work, Call Centre, Contact Centre, Definition, Classification, Dimensions of Discrimination, Outsourcing, In bound, Outbound
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-61981OAI: diva2:370955
7th International Workshop and Business Conference on Telework: New Work 2002. Badajoz, Spain, September 3-5.

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
In thesis
1. Calling for call centres: a study of call centre locations in a Swedish rural region
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Calling for call centres: a study of call centre locations in a Swedish rural region
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.
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
Call centres
National Category
Computer Science
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-22925 (URN)2285 (Local ID)91-7373-930-8 (ISBN)2285 (Archive number)2285 (OAI)
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

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Stoltz, CharlotteMoberg, Anna
By organisation
EISLAB - Economic Information SystemsThe Institute of Technology
Engineering and Technology

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 65 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link