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'You don't know what you've got till it's gone': re-contextualising the origins, development and impact of the call centre

Ellis, V. and Taylor, P. (2006) 'You don't know what you've got till it's gone': re-contextualising the origins, development and impact of the call centre. New Technology, Work and Employment, 21 (2). pp. 107-122. ISSN 0268-1072

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Abstract

This paper locates the emergence of call centres within the broader political economy. We demonstrate how British Gas responded to privatisation, restrictive regulation and the need to deliver shareholder value by radically changing work organisation. Using documentary evidence and oral testimonies, we show how the call centre was pivotal to tightening control over the labour process, to intensifying work and transforming the experience of work.