SOC227H5 Study Guide - Walter Block, Gross Domestic Product, Scientific Management

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10 Apr 2013
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Introduction
The tertiary sector, which provides services to households and businesses, plays an
important role in contributing to the growth and development of a country’s economy by
boosting its Gross Domestic Product. It comprises many industries such as banking,
communications, professional services, educational services, government services, health
care, entertainment, retail and several others that relate to direct consumption by
households and businesses. Most of these industries engage in one-on-one, telephonic or
virtual interaction with its customers. Customer service is vital in not only providing
service to its customers but also in constantly improvising the company’s products
through customer feedback. Call centres act as a bridge linking its customers to the
product. Most large corporations outsource their call centres to various developing
countries such India and Brazil because call centres are relatively inexpensive to set up in
such areas and labour is cheap. The labour process theory, or LPT formed the foundation
of the operation of call centres that was characterized by low pay, higher exploitation of
workers, unpleasant working conditions and thus resulted in the dehumanization and
deskilling of the workforce. This paper is going to analyse these labour processes and
scrutinize concepts such Taylorism (F. W. Taylor), Deskilling (Braverman) and
Alienation (Karl Marx) in order to explain employer-employee relationships better. It will
examine the operations of few call centres and their management in light of new
managerial paradigms that are in the process of changing the face of call centres in terms
of better managerial strategies utilized to harness the emotional labour of the workforce
The new management techniques cater to problems such as identity crisis, the monotony
and dissatisfaction call centre agents face in their work. Lastly, it will highlight how these
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