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Refashioning Organizational Boundaries: Outsourcing Customer Service Work*

Janet Walsh and Stephen Deery

Journal of Management Studies, 2006, vol. 43, issue 3, 557-582

Abstract: abstract In recent years there has been a discernible trend towards the outsourcing and subcontracting of work. However, there has been very little empirical research on employees' attitudes to work in outsourced firms. This study is conducted in the area of call centre services where there has been a substantial growth in the provision of external market suppliers. It examines employees' perceptions of their work and employment arrangements in both an in‐house producer and an external service provider and identifies and compares the factors that shape their organizational commitment and intentions to quit. The research found that the character of the internal labour market and the nature of the work regime were more important explanations of organizational commitment and intentions to quit in the external market supplier than in the in‐house producer. The paper discusses the implications of these findings for the quality of customer service provided under subcontracting arrangements.

Date: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:43:y:2006:i:3:p:557-582