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- Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa
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- Volume 19, Issue 2, 2007
Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa - Volume 19, Issue 2, 2007
Volume 19, Issue 2, 2007
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 1 –2 (2007)More Less
Call centres have been variously portrayed as an organisational cure-all - a one stop solution to an organisation's total customer service, communication and marketing needs - and, from an employee's perspective the workplace equivalent of Dante's inferno - a hellish work environment characterised by high levels of disempowerment with concomitant high levels of disaffection. The articles selected for this Special Call Centre Edition of Ergonomics SA present a far more complex view of call centres than these polar opposite portrayals allow. While the phenomenal growth in call centres both internationally and in South Africa is testament to the benefits call centres offer organisations, the article by Greenblatt in this edition, depicting call centre design from a practitioner's perspective, points to the complexity inherent in choosing a call centre as a business solution for an organisation.
Author Sam GreenblattSource: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 3 –6 (2007)More Less
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 7 –21 (2007)More Less
The main purpose of this review article was to highlight some of the physical consequences of sitting for prolonged periods in a confined setting. More specifically, the review relates this research to call centre work and where applicable comments on the limited literature relating specifically to ergonomics research within call centre settings. In particular the article explores the biomechanical stresses placed on the musculoskeletal system during prolonged sitting at a workstation, and the physiological consequences thereof. The paper then provides possible solutions to reduce the physical strain placed on these workers by looking at workstation design and work organisation emphasizing worker education and the promotion of worker well being.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 22 –30 (2007)More Less
The focus of this case study is a random sample of call centre agents drawn from the population of agents in a corporate call centre of a major telecommunications organisation in South Africa. As is typical in South Africa, work for these call centre agents is organised on the mass service model consisting of highly paced interactions with clients, often underpinned by access to computer based data systems to assist in solving problems or guiding interactions. In this work design call centre operators commonly encounter a combination of constrained work postures, highly repetitive short cycle span interactions, restricted co-worker communication, and continuous electronic performance monitoring. These working conditions are always likely to result in physical and mental strain on the agent. This case study describes the relationship between the organisational climate developed under these working conditions and concomitant factors of job satisfaction and job-related tension. The case study then takes, as its target for analysis, the score profiles of call centre agents' experiences of work as captured on these key variables and reports on the main features that contribute to the positive and negative experiences of work. Findings indicate that more insight is gained about the work experiences of these call centre agents from the piecemeal analysis of these profiles than is gained solely through an inspection of summary statistics, such as means, standard deviations and correlation coefficients. Findings are discussed in the context of alternative work design and management of call centre enterprises.
Source: Ergonomics SA : Journal of the Ergonomics Society of South Africa 19, pp 31 –41 (2007)More Less
Much of the Organisational Psychology and Organisational Behaviour literature devoted to the burgeoning phenomenon of call centre work has focused on concerns about the impact that call centre work may have on employee well-being. One of the specific aspects of call centre work which raises such concerns is that of Performance Monitoring. While Performance Monitoring is not unique to call centres, the overt and pervasive nature of Performance Monitoring is considered a distinctly negative aspect of call centre work. This article reports the results of a study which assessed the relationship between different aspects of performance monitoring in call centres and burnout amongst call centre operators (N = 59). In a series of correlation and regression analyses different patterns of relationships were found and the implications of these are discussed.