A comparison of competing structural models in call centres: prospects for value creation
by Ayham Jaaron, Chris Backhouse
International Journal of Services and Operations Management (IJSOM), Vol. 10, No. 3, 2011

Abstract: This paper presents a comparative study of two service system designs, i.e., mechanistic and organic, in a public sector call centre environment. It explores the impact of each of these service designs on employees' affective commitment and on service performance. Thirty-nine interviews were conducted in mechanistic call centre and 16 in organic call centre. A nine-item organisational commitment questionnaire was also administered among employees in both places to measure affective commitment levels. The comparison revealed significant improvement in employees' affective commitment level using systems thinking design to create an organic structure when contrasted with employees working under mechanistic structure design. Further, systems thinking has been found of particular benefit to the service performance in terms of departmental communication enhancement and service waste minimisation. The value of this paper is the identification of alternative service design models applied to call centre operations that will leverage employees' affective commitment to improve service performance and enhance customer loyalty.

Online publication date: Wed, 11-Mar-2015

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