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Title: Empowerment,satisfaction and employee well-being : the dilemma for call centres
Author: Holdsworth , Lynn
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2007
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Although empowerment is acknowledged as a beneficial form of work design for both employees and organisations, there is limited research into the concept within call centres. Two studies were conducted to explore four dimensions of psychological empowerment, job satisfaction and employee well-being for employees in call centre environments. Study 1 compared the perceptions of empowerment, job satisfaction and well-being of customer service agents, administration staff and supervisors within six call centres. Overall working as a customer service agent offered less autonomy, but was no less satisfying, than working in administration at the same level. However, all non-supervisory call centre workers reported poorer well-being than the general working population. The results for the customer service agent role revealed that more empowerment led to higher job satisfaction, improvement in employee wellbeing and a reduction in intention to leave. However, an inverted U-shape relationship between empowerment and job satisfaction suggested that too much empowerment decreased job satisfaction and impaired employee wellbeing. Comparisons between diverse service management models suggested customer service agents felt "high commitment" models to be the most empowering, satisfying and best for well-being. However, the introduction of limited empowerment practices into "mass service models" could reduce unwanted turnover. The second study used a longitudinal design in one call centre. Study 2 evaluated the effect of an organisational development programme on empowerment, job satisfaction, employee well-being, and performance for customer service agents. Study 2 . substantiated the inverted U-shape relationship between empowerment and job satisfaction. The organisational "development programme improved business performance and employee wellbeing, but reduced satisfaction and perceptions of empowerment, and could result in an increase in unwanted turnover. The findings suggest a cautious approach when introducing empowerment practices. From the employee perspective some empowerment is beneficial. However, from the organisational perspective, unless empowerment is introduced unequivocally, and in a controlled and supportive way, the result may not produce a commensurate improvement in performance and outcomes desired. Limitations of the studies are discussed and recommendations for future research are proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available