Customer Cyberbullying: The Experiences of India’s International-Facing Call Centre Agents

  • Premilla D’CruzEmail author
  • Ernesto Noronha


As boundary-spanners performing emotional labour via virtual mode in India’s international-facing call centres, agents often face abuse from their overseas customers. Such misbehaviour goes beyond aversive racism to include economic, dispositional, situational and sexual dimensions. Not only do employer organizations and clients, in pursuit of competitive advantage, adopt service level agreements that constrain employee agency in responding to customer aggression but socioideological controls, performance measures and customer feedback also pose significant limits. Agents are defenceless against these three powerful stakeholders, particularly because of the North-South dynamics within which global production networks operate. Adopting emotion-focused coping strategies to deal with their experiences, agents make pragmatic choices that further their long-term interests while maintaining their value systems. In addition to extending the workplace bullying literature through a focus on extra-organizational/external bullying, employer-driven interventions promoting ethical workplaces are suggested as means to address the issue.


Team Leader Call Centre Professional Identity Abusive Behaviour Emotional Labour 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IIM AhmedabadAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.IIM AhmedabadAhmedabadIndia

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