India calling to the far away towns: the call centre labour process and globalization

P. Taylor, P.M. Bain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years prominent companies have migrated call centre services to India provoking much-publicized fears for the future of UK employment. This article challenges the widely-held assumption that offshoring voice services is a seamless undertaking, principally through an investigation of the Indian call centre labour process. This enquiry is informed initially by an analysis of the political-economic factors driving offshoring and shaping the forms of work organization to have emerged in India. A critical review of literature on call centre work organization provides a conceptual framework, through which Indian developments are analysed. Data comes from fieldwork conducted in India and a complete audit of the Scottish industry, through which UK trends can be evaluated. We conclude that the Indian industry reproduces in exaggerated and culturally-distinctive forms, a labour process that has proved problematical for employers and employees alike in the UK and elsewhere.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-282
Number of pages21
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • call centres
  • work
  • human resource management
  • management science
  • globalisation
  • india


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