Title: Emotional labour and employee engagement in call centres: a study in Indian context

Authors: Rakesh Kumar Agrawal, Jagriti Sadhana

Addresses: Institute of Management Technology, Hapur Road, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad 201001, UP, India. ' Zeus Consulting, SD-237, Tower Apartments, Pitam Pura, Delhi 110 088, India

Abstract: This paper explores the levels of emotional labour in Indian call centres along six dimensions and its effect on employee engagement in the workplace. The results indicate that employees are not fully engaged and that emotional labour need not necessarily have a negative effect on employee engagement. While surface acting is negatively related to job engagement, deep acting is positively related to organisation engagement. Job related factors are more important than organisation related factors for high attrition rates in the call centres. To curb attrition, managers should focus on increasing job engagement through career planning and redesign of work systems.

Keywords: emotional labour; job engagement; organisational engagement; Indian call centres; inbound; outbound; employee involvement; India; career planning; work redesign.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWOE.2010.035324

International Journal of Work Organisation and Emotion, 2010 Vol.3 No.4, pp.351 - 367

Published online: 21 Sep 2010 *

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