Outsourcing and Service Work in the New Economy

Outsourcing and Service Work in the New Economy

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This book examines the impact of outsourcing on workers and their employment conditions in the new economy. To do so, the call centre industry in Mexico City is analysed through a large number of in-depth interviews with workers and managers, available statistics and visits to leading firms in the sector. The case of call centres is paradigmatic as it is often seen as a flag-ship industry of the new economy, rapidly growing and subject to high pressures for costs reduction. The Mexican experience is crucially relevant to understand employment conditions in a weak institutional setting where labour protection is low and business competition intense. Overall, outsourcing has gained popularity as a mechanism to deal with the uncertainty of increasingly challenging business environments. Nonetheless, the practice of outsourcing also raises important concerns. This book identifies those managerial practices which have a substantial impact on workers and their employment conditions such as: job designs; customer segmentation; non-standard contracts; intensified supervision; union avoidance; limited career opportunities; and strict social divisions in the workplace. These findings also suggest that a number of practices that were common in the a€˜olda€™ economy are still dominant in the organisation of work in the twenty-first century. The book is a useful reference for scholars and students concerned with employment and labour studies, economic development, and globalisation.Workers with the lowest-status jobs a€“ sales agents a€“ were more likely to have worse employment conditions and to suffer the ... Customer service agents often deal with contradictory demands from client firms and customers, and the finalanbsp;...

Title:Outsourcing and Service Work in the New Economy
Author: José-Luis Álvarez-Galván
Publisher:Cambridge Scholars Publishing - 2012-03-15

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