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Title: The ups & downs of working in telesales : an analysis of the development of prosodic style in a Scottish call centre
Author: Orr, Susan Elizabeth
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2007
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This study examines the prosodic style of workers in a Scottish outbound call centre during telesales call openings. I describe the conversational structure and accompanying intonational patterns of a corpus of scripted call centre telephone openings, and investigate if this provides evidence to suggest the emergence of patterns of prosodic style or 'tone of voice' used by workers in the call centre during telephone sales encounters. I investigate how and why workers come to adopt ways of speaking via data collected during long-term ethnographic fieldwork in the call centre, paying particular attention to the training and prescriptive processes to which new employees are exposed. Examination of the classroom training period and other methods put in place by the call centre, such as scripting and managerial surveillance, reveals that prosodic style is not overtly prescribed in the same way as other aspects of the agents' linguistic performance. It emerges that the on-the-job period of training known as 'nesting' is where most managerial prescription of style takes place, at a point when workers are making the transition from apprentice to expert via increasing participation in local practices. It is during this transitional phase of apprenticeship that individual speakers begin construction of a new, activity-based persona, of which their prosodic style is a defining part.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PE English