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Post crisis conditions of work and employment in Indian BPO

Taylor, Philip and Roy, Chandrima (2015) Post crisis conditions of work and employment in Indian BPO. In: Canadian Association of Work and Labor Studies, 2015-06-03 - 2015-06-05, University of Ottawa.

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Abstract

In the context of the globalization of business services from 2000, most attention focused on the high-profile offshoring of call centres from the developed economies of the global North (United State, United Kingdom, Canada) to the so-called developing economies of the global South, particularly India (e.g. Dossani and Kenney, 2007). Contrasting but complementary challenges confronted organised and organising labour at both nodes of capital’s transnational servicing chains (Taylor and Bain, 2008). However, these important debates rested exclusively on evidence derived from the period preceding the crisis of 2008. A re-evaluation is now required based on the re-configured political economy of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and changed conditions of work and experiences of labour in the offshored industry. Given the lacuna of published work on post-crisis Indian BPO, this paper cuts new ground. It examines the dynamics of work and employment across capital’s three contrasting servicing chain relationships (Indian third-party, global third-party provider, in-house), that span the spectrum of offshoring. Evidence from in-depth interviews with senior managers, middle managers and, crucially, agents engaged on ‘voice’ and back-office services indicate somewhat differing conditions and experiences that emerging labour organising strategies need to acknowledge.