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Managing Customer Hostility in Transnational Call Centers in India

18 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2010  

Kunal Ganguly

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS); Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

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

Suggested Citation

Ganguly, Kunal, Managing Customer Hostility in Transnational Call Centers in India (December 15, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Kunal Ganguly (Contact Author)

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) ( email )

1st Floor, Block No 1, Tower A
Unitech Infospace Complex, Sector 21
Gurgaon, 122002
+919990113025 (Phone)

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) ( email )

2nd & 3rd Floor, Building No. 6,
W Block, DLF Phase III
Gurgaon, Haryana 122002
+919990113025 (Phone)

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