Insights into the Indian Call Centre Industry: Can Internal Marketing Help Tackle High Employee Turnover?

Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 351-362.

12 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012

See all articles by Pawan Budhwar

Pawan Budhwar

Aston University

Arup Varma

Loyola University of Chicago

Neeru Malhotra

Aston University - Aston Business School

Avinandan Mukherjee

Clayton State University - University System of Georgia; Montclair State University - School of Business; Rutgers Business School

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

Purpose – Increasing turnover of frontline staff in call centres is detrimental to the delivery of quality service to customers. This paper aims to present the context for the rapid growth of the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector in India, and to address a critical issue faced by call centre organisations in this sector – the high employee turnover.

Design/methodology/approach – Following a triangulation approach, two separate empirical investigations are conducted to examine various aspects of high labour turnover rates in the call centre sector in India. Study one examines the research issue via 51 in-depth interviews in as many units. Study two reports results from a questionnaire survey with 204 frontline agents across 11 call centres regarding employee turnover.

Findings – This research reveals a range of reasons – from monotonous work, stressful work environment, adverse working conditions, lack of career development opportunities; to better job opportunities elsewhere, which emerge as the key causes of increasing attrition rates in the Indian call centre industry.

Research limitations/implications – The research suggests that there are several issues that need to be handled carefully by management of call centres in India to overcome the problem of increasing employee turnover, and that this also demands support from the Indian government.

Originality/value – The contributions of this study untangle the issues underlying a key problem in the call centre industry, i.e. employee turnover in the Indian call centre industry context. Adopting an internal marketing approach, it provides useful information for both academics and practitioners and suggests internal marketing interventions, and avenues for future research to combat the problem of employee turnover.

Keywords: call centres, employees, employee turnover, internal marketing, India, human resource management

Suggested Citation

Budhwar, Pawan and Varma, Arup and Malhotra, Neeru and Mukherjee, Avinandan, Insights into the Indian Call Centre Industry: Can Internal Marketing Help Tackle High Employee Turnover? (2009). Journal of Services Marketing, Vol. 23, No. 5, pp. 351-362. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2168505

Pawan Budhwar

Aston University ( email )

Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B4 7ET
United Kingdom

Arup Varma

Loyola University of Chicago

25 East Pearson Street
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Neeru Malhotra

Aston University - Aston Business School ( email )

Aston Triangle
Birmingham, B47ET
United Kingdom

Avinandan Mukherjee (Contact Author)

Clayton State University - University System of Georgia ( email )

College of Business
2000 Clayton State Boulevard
Morrow, GA Metro Atlanta Area 30260
United States
(678) 466-4516 (Phone)
(678) 466-4599 (Fax)

Montclair State University - School of Business ( email )

Partridge Hall
School of Business
Montclair, NJ New Jersey 07043
United States

Rutgers Business School ( email )

Janice H. Levin Bldg., Room 121
94 Rockafeller Road
Piscataway, NJ 08854-8054
United States

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