Human Capital is Not Enough: How Offshore BPO Professionals Use Social Support to Deal with Strenuous Work Conditions
40 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2020
Date Written: January 30, 2020
The past decade has witnessed explosive growth in the segment of information technology (IT) professionals who work in the offshore business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. BPO positions are highly regimented and standardized with coercive and normative controls to deter employees from deviating from prescribed work procedures and exercising independent judgment. Coping with these challenges requires a different set of skills than human capital and technical competencies that are discussed in most prior information systems (IS) research. This paper develops theory on the role of social support in employee compensation, and tests the theory using a unique data set of 8,000+ Indian BPO professionals during the 2006–2011 time period. Co-worker social support has a larger impact at higher levels of time stress and supervisor stress, while supervisor social support plays a larger role for senior-level positions than for junior-level positions. We discuss implications of our theory and findings for research and practice.
Keywords: BPO, compensation, co-worker, employee, human capital, IT, offshore, outsourcing, professional, social, support, wages
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation