18 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2010
Date Written: December 15, 2009
Relying on qualitative interviews and thematic analysis, this paper explores how transnational call centers in India evolve practices in an attempt to counter the occasional hostility by customers based in the United States. These range from techniques which prevent customers from recognizing that their call is being routed to India through the use of neutralized accents, ‘locational masking’ and familiarizing agents with American culture to Taylorist modes of ensuring ‘passivity’ in the agent in the face of a hostile customer. I argue that these practices form an inherent part of transnational call center work and subsequently lend to its uniqueness as a poster child of globalization in a brave new post industrial world.
Keywords: Call centers, India, hostility, globalization, Taylorism
JEL Classification: A00
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