The back office goes global: exploring connections and contradictions in shared service centres

HOWCROFT, D. and RICHARDSON, H. (2012). The back office goes global: exploring connections and contradictions in shared service centres. Work, employment and society, 26 (1), 111-127.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0950017011426309
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017011426309
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    Abstract

    This article explores a neglected aspect of IT-enabled service work: the back office. The fieldwork study reveals how back office service work has been identified as suitable for ongoing reorganization and reconfiguration as firms respond to the pressures of contemporary capitalism. The article focuses on standardization as a means of facilitating organizational restructuring into shared service centres as highly skilled back office work is reframed as routine service work. Standardization is the vehicle that drives the commodification of the labour process as tasks are fragmented, quantified and traded in the global sourcing of services, allowing work to be lifted out of traditional organizational structures and placed elsewhere, or outsourced to other service providers. The study shows how this ongoing process is fraught with contradictions, problematically rendering people and place ancillary.

    Item Type: Article
    Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > People, Work and Organisation
    Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/0950017011426309
    Page Range: 111-127
    Depositing User: Helen Richardson
    Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2012 09:21
    Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 08:38
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5685

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