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Customer relationship management in call centers: The uneasy process of re(form)ing the subject through the 'people-by-numbers' approach

Alferoff, Catrina; Knights, David

Authors

Catrina Alferoff

David Knights



Abstract

Real-time technology has the capability of symbolising both customers and call center representatives (and the moment of interaction), purely by/as numbers, or forms. The pinnacle of this data processing is customer relationship management (CRM), where the digitised data is assembled so as to reproduce a mimetic model of the customer. This could be seen as a metamyth (Adams & Ingersoll, 1990) that, in its concealed appearance within corporate databases, seems to cuts loose from any critical inquiry. In this paper, we offer an embryonic form of such a critique through the analysis of a number of original call center case studies. It seeks to analyze the nature of abstraction at the heart of IT-based CRM practices, and the contradictions that such abstraction can foster. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Citation

Alferoff, C., & Knights, D. (2008). Customer relationship management in call centers: The uneasy process of re(form)ing the subject through the 'people-by-numbers' approach. Information and Organization, 18(1), 29-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infoandorg.2007.10.002

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2008
Journal Information and Organization
Print ISSN 1471-7727
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 1
Pages 29-50
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.infoandorg.2007.10.002
Keywords customer relationship management, IT, subjectivity
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/1016555
Publisher URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.infoandorg.2007.10.002

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