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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