IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Call centre growth and location: corporate strategy ;and the spatial division of labour

  • Gillian Bristow
  • Max Munday
  • Peter Gripaios

The authors contribute to the developing literature on call centres by providing detailed empirical evidence on the spatial unevenness in the distribution of call centre activity. They argue that the driving forces of call centre growth, whether as the rationalisation of back-office functions or as entirely new entities, have been corporate strategy and the pursuit of low-cost competitive advantage. Thus, although technological developments at the heart of call centre operations render them relatively 'footloose' in locational terms, the search for specific characteristics makes certain regions (and parts of regions) more attractive than others. By using a sample database of call centres, the authors describe the characteristics of call centres in the United Kingdom in terms of size, sector, and spatial distribution. They then attempt to explain the determinants of call centre location at the county level through a multiple regression analysis. The results indicate that there is a propensity to site call centres close to existing concentrations of allied activity, with preferences for densely populated areas mediated by needs to maintain employee access and avoid staff turnover problems. This has important implications for the spatial division of labour, with call centre growth likely to reinforce existing spatial unevenness in employment in key service activities. The authors conclude by considering the implications of these findings for contemporary urban and regional development, as well as providing a number of suggestions for future research.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: abstract
Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

File URL:
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Pion Ltd, London in its journal Environment and Planning A.

Volume (Year): 32 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 519-538

in new window

Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:32:y:2000:i:3:p:519-538
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:32:y:2000:i:3:p:519-538. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.