An Exploration of Contact Centre Service Management Within a Service Science Context

PARIKH, Vishal (2018). An Exploration of Contact Centre Service Management Within a Service Science Context. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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This research explores the strategic purpose and value of contact centres and service management practice within a service science context. Within this context, contact centre services were viewed as evolving service systems that are too complex to be understood using 'one-best' management paradigm. The literature of the last two decades revealed four irreconcilable strands of research on contact centres: cost focused, quality focused, hybrid, and systems' thinking oriented contact centres. However, the alignment of value propositions of contact centres with the nature of customer service work performed and service management practice adopted in these centres remains to be clarified. Within the emerging service science discipline, this issue deserved further attention given the evolving importance of contact centres to the organisations and customers. A qualitative approach was undertaken to address the aim and research questions set out for this study. Semi structured interviews were conducted with elites - independent consultants that design contact centre services for telecommunication services organisations and senior managers from one of the biggest telecommunications service providers in the UK. In addition, secondary data sources including industry reports and organisation specific documentation were used to triangulate the findings of this study. Thematic analysis of the data revealed that the service management practice in contact centres is driven by three objectives: reducing cost-to-serve, leveraging quality of service, and seeking opportunities to add value to both organisations and customers. The attributes of customer service work and management practice are informed by Taylor's scientific and Fayol's administrative management, and Seddon's systems' thinking approach. As such, service management practice requires Ambidexterity - a 'fit-for-purpose' adoption of scientific, administrative and systems' thinking by managers - to attain the objectives of service management. This study contributed to service science discipline by abstracting a deeper understanding of contact centre services and developing a theoretical framework of service management.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Johnston, Andrew [0000-0001-5352-9563]
Thesis advisor - Richardson, Helen
Additional Information: Directors of Study: Dr Andrew Johnston, Professor Helen Richardson. No PQ harvesting
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: Hilary Ridgway
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2018 10:39
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 02:07

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