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'South Africa On-call': Information Technology and Labour Market Restructuring in South African Call Centres


  • Chris Benner


Benner C. (2006) 'South Africa on-call': information technology and labour market restructuring in South African call centres, Regional Studies 40, 1-16. The dramatic global growth of call centres represents a potentially valuable employment opportunity for South Africa, as the country is gaining visibility as a viable site for off-shored business from the USA and Europe. South Africa's growth potential, however, is constrained by low educational levels of potential call centre workers, a lack of customer service management skills, and inattention to the temporal challenges of call centre work, including career trajectories for workers in the industry and evolutionary trends in the industry itself. To address this, the South African government must do more than market the country internationally. It must develop a more comprehensive approach that takes a longer-term perspective and embraces human capacity development as a central element of an economic upgrading strategy. Benner C. (2006) 'L'Afrique du Sud a l'appareil': la technologie de l'information et la restructuration du travail dans les centres d'appels telephoniques sud-africains, Regional Studies 40, 1-17. La croissance vertigineuse mondiale des centres d'appels telephoniques constitue une possibilite d'emploi precieuse pour l'Afrique du Sud, au fur et a mesure que le pays se fait de plus en plus sentir comme emplacement valable pour les entreprises offshore en provenance des E-U et de l'Europe. Cependant, le potentiel de croissance de l'Afrique du Sud se voit limiter par les bas niveaux d'education des employes eventuels dans les centres d'appels telephoniques, un manque d'habilites appropriees dans le service clientele et d'attention aux defis temporels du travail des centres d'appels telephoniques, y compris l'evolution professionnelle des employes et les tendances de l'industrie elle-meme. Afin d'aborder ces questions-la, le gouvernement sud-africain doit developper une approche plus detaillee a long terme et embrasser le developpement du capital humain comme element cle d'une strategie qui vise la modernisation economique. Centres d'appels telephoniques Afrique du Sud Restucturation du marche du travail Technologie de l'information Benner C. (2006) 'Bereitschaftsdienst Sudafrika': Umstrukturierung der Informationstechnologie und der Arbeiterschaft in den Telefonzentralen Sudafrikas, Regional Studies 40, 1-16. Die weltweit enorme Zunahme von Telefonzentralen stellt fur Sudafrika eine potentiell wertvolle Anstellungsmoglichkeit dar, insofern als das Land sich zunehmend als gunstige Stelle fur Geschafte der USA und Europas im Ausland erweist. Sudafrikas Wachstumspotential wird jedoch durch geringe Bildungshohe potentieller Arbeitskrafte in Telefonzentralen eingeschrankt, wie auch durch den Mangel an Fuhrungskapazitat im Kundendienst und an Aufmerksamkeit bezuglich zeitlicher Anforderungen der Tatigkeit in Telefonzentralen, einschliesslich der Laufbahnen der in dieser Branche Beschaftigten und der Entwicklungstendenzen in der Branche an sich. Um diese Probleme anzugehen, muss die sudafrikanische Regierung mehr tun als das Land international zu vermarkten. Sie muss einen umfassenderen Ansatz entwickeln, der sich eine langfristige Perspektive zu eigen macht und die Entwicklung der Fahigkeiten des Personals als ein Kernelement wirtschaftlicher Forderungsstrategie akzeptiert. Telefonzentralen Sudafrika Umstrukturierung des Arbeitsmarktes Informationstechnologie Benner C. (2006) 'Llamada para Sudafrica': Tecnologia de la informacion y reestructuracion del mercado laboral en los centros de llamada de Sudafrica, Regional Studies 40, 1-16. El espectacular crecimiento global de los centros de llamadas representa una valiosa oportunidad de empleo para Sudafrica puesto que el pais esta ganando visibilidad como un lugar viable para los negocios de ultramar desde los Estados Unidos y Europa. Sin embargo, el potencial de crecimiento en Sudafrica esta limitado porque los posibles empleados de los centros de llamadas tienen un nivel educativo muy bajo, carecen de capacidad para gestionar el servicio de atencion a los clientes y no prestan atencion a los desafios temporales del trabajo en los centros de llamadas, incluyendo las trayectorias profesionales para los empleados en la industria y las tendencias evolutivas en esta misma industria. Para solucionar este problema, el gobierno sudafricano debe hacer algo mas que hacer publicidad por su pais a escala internacional. Deberia desarrolla un mejor enfoque introduciendo una perspectiva a mas largo plazo y abarcando el desarrollo de los recursos humanos como elemento central de una estrategia para mejorar la economia. Centros de llamadas Sudafrica Reestructuracion del mercado laboral Tecnologia de la informacion

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Benner, 2006. "'South Africa On-call': Information Technology and Labour Market Restructuring in South African Call Centres," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(9), pages 1025-1040.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:40:y:2006:i:9:p:1025-1040
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400600928293

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gillian Bristow & Max Munday & Peter Gripaios, 2000. "Call centre growth and location: corporate strategy ;and the spatial division of labour," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 32(3), pages 519-538, March.
    2. Arthur, Michael B. & Rousseau, Denise M. (ed.), 1996. "The Boundaryless Career: A New Employment Principle for a New Organizational Era," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195100143.
    3. Bardhan, Ashok Deo & Kroll, Cynthia, 2003. "The New Wave of Outsourcing," Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, Research Reports qt02f8z392, Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, UC Berkeley.
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