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Human resource management in the Spanish call centre sector: the bird cage model of call centre work

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This paper examines the nature of human resource management (HRM) in call centres in Spain. After reviewing the institutional perspective and other previous contributions to the characterisation of HRM practices in call centres, the authors present evidence of the use of high commitment working practices (HCWP) in this sector. The findings report only a moderate presence of HCWP in the sector generally, but the analysis points towards the existence of four significant and distinct clusters of HRM practices. The results also show categorical evidence that work discretion is almost non-existent across all of the clusters, even in those with more evolved high commitment practices. This lack of autonomy, as well as an intensive use of performance monitoring systems, leads us to model the results in a bird–cage analogy.
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Keywords: Spain; call centre; discretion; high commitment working practices; human resource management; institutional theory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Business Management,Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Reus, Spain 2: Department of Personnel & Employment Relations,University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland

Publication date: 01 January 2013

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