Offshoring is motivated by the relocation and standardization of organizational services to remote locations—typically the so-called developing nations—in order to achieve substantial cost efficiencies. Standardized business practices, aided by information technologies, are assumed to mobilize and recover the service practices in these new contexts. In this paper, we examine the boundary objects and boundary work involved in call center work. Data from several interviews with managers, industry consultants, and agents in the call center industry reveal that the recovery of call center practices in India involves substantial managerial and employee work, in order to manage and stitch together the diverse cultural and practical interests of the various groups. As a result, beneath the automated and simplified appearance of call center work is an underlying complexity of boundary work and boundary objects involved in linking the various participants—both human and nonhuman—into a temporarily stable industry. The result is a complication to both utopian and dystopian views of call center work.
- call centers
- boundary objects
- case study
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Devadoss, P.R., Chiasson, M.W. (2008). Complicating Utopian and Dystopian Views of Automation: An Investigation of the Work and Knowledge Involved in the Call Center Offshoring Industry in India. In: Barrett, M., Davidson, E., Middleton, C., DeGross, J.I. (eds) Information Technology in the Service Economy: Challenges and Possibilities for the 21st Century. IFIP — The International Federation for Information Processing, vol 267. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-09768-8_24
Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA
Print ISBN: 978-0-387-09767-1
Online ISBN: 978-0-387-09768-8