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Impacts of Agglomeration on Call Centre Operations: Evidence from North West England

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  • Frank Peck
  • Ignazio Cabras

Abstract

Peck F. and Cabras I. Impacts of agglomeration on call centre operations: evidence from North West England, Regional Studies. Call centres have until fairly recently provided a significant source of employment growth in the peripheral regions of the UK. Despite the potential for locational dispersal throughout the urban hierarchy, however, call centres tend to be highly concentrated in larger urban centres and variations in wage costs between local labour markets appear to have little influence over location patterns. This paper explores the consequences of high levels of agglomeration for recruitment and retention of labour within call centres in the North West Region of England. Using survey data, various measures of labour market stress are shown to be positively correlated with urban size. The results tend to confirm that businesses are prepared to absorb the costs of concentration in order to avoid the perceived risks of labour shortages in smaller dispersed urban centres. [image omitted] Peck F. et Cabras I. L'impact de l'agglomeration sur les activites des centres d'appel dans le nord-ouest de l'Angleterre, Regional Studies. Jusqu'ici, les centres d'appel ont constitue un bassin d'emploi non-negligeable a la peripherie du Royaume-Uni. Cependant, malgre le potentiel de redistribution geographique a tous les niveaux de la hierachie urbaine, les centres d'appel ont tendance a s'agglomerer dans les plus grandes zones urbaines, et il semble que la variation de la masse salariale des marches du travail locaux influe tres peu sur la distribution des emplacements. Cet article cherche a etudier les consequences des taux d'agglomeration eleves quant a l'embauche et au maintien de l'emploi dans les centres d'appel situes dans la region Nord-Ouest, en Angleterre. A partir des donnees provenant des enquetes, on montre que les mesures differentes de l'effort subi par le marche du travail sont en correlation etroite avec la taille urbaine. Les resultats ont tendance a confirmer que les entreprises sont pretes a absorber les frais d'agglomeration pour eviter les risques percues par penurie d'emploi dans les plus petits centres urbains disperses. Centres de contact Agglomeration Facteurs de localisation Marche du travail local Industries des services Nord-ouest de l'Angleterre Peck F. und Cabras I. Auswirkungen der Agglomeration auf den Betrieb von Call Centern: Belege aus Nordwestengland, Regional Studies. In den peripheren Regionen Grossbritanniens trugen Call Center bis vor relativ kurzer Zeit signifikant zum wachsenden Beschaftigungsniveau bei. Trotz des Potenzials fur eine Standortstreuung innerhalb der gesamten urbanen Hierarchie neigen die Call Center jedoch dazu, sich in grosseren urbanen Zentren hochgradig zu konzentrieren; die unterschiedlichen Gehaltskosten der verschiedenen lokalen Arbeitsmarkte scheinen die Standortmuster nur geringfugig zu beeinflussen. In diesem Beitrag werden die Konsequenzen einer hochgradigen Agglomeration fur die Anwerbung und Beibehaltung von Arbeitskraften in Call Centern im Nordwesten Englands untersucht. Anhand von Umfragedaten wird gezeigt, dass verschiedene Faktoren der Arbeitsmarktbelastung positiv mit der Stadtgrosse korrelieren. Die Ergebnisse scheinen zu bestatigen, dass Unternehmen bereit sind, die Kosten einer Konzentration zu absorbieren, um die vermeintlichen Risiken eines Arbeitskraftemangels in kleineren, verstreuten Stadtzentren zu vermeiden. Call Center Agglomeration Standortfaktoren Lokaler Arbeitsmarkt Dienstleistungsbranchen Nordwestengland Peck F. y Cabras I. Efectos de la aglomeracion en las operaciones de los centros de llamadas: ejemplo del noroeste de Inglaterra, Regional Studies. Los centros de llamadas han aportado hasta hace poco una fuente importante de crecimiento de empleo en las regiones perifericas del Reino Unido. Pese a la posible dispersion de ubicacion en toda la jerarquia urbana, los centros de llamadas tienden a concentrarse en gran medida en grandes centros urbanos; asimismo las variaciones en los costes de salarios entre los mercados laborales locales parecen tener poca influencia en los modelos de ubicacion. En este articulo analizamos las consecuencias de los altos niveles de aglomeracion para la captacion y retencion de mano de obra en los centros de llamadas en la region noroeste de Inglaterra. Con ayuda de datos recabados en estudios, mostramos de que modo los diferentes factores de la presion para el mercado laboral estan positivamente relacionados con el tamano urbano. Los resultados tienden a confirmar que los negocios estan dispuestos a absorber los costes de concentracion a fin de evitar los riesgos percibidos de la falta de personal en los centros urbanos mas pequenos y dispersos. Centros de contacto Aglomeracion Factores de ubicacion Mercado laboral local Industrias de servicios Noroeste de Inglaterra

Suggested Citation

  • Frank Peck & Ignazio Cabras, 2009. "Impacts of Agglomeration on Call Centre Operations: Evidence from North West England," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(7), pages 923-934.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:regstd:v:43:y:2009:i:7:p:923-934
    DOI: 10.1080/00343400801968387
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