Systems Thinking

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A Comparison Of Competing Structural Models In Call Centres: Prospects For Value Creation

Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
International Journal of Services and Operations Management 2011 - Vol. 10, No.3 pp. 294 - 315
Year of Publication: 
2011
Authors: 
Ayham A.M. Jaaron
Department of Industrial Engineering, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine, Po. Box:07
Current Affiliation: 
Department of Industrial Engineering, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine, Po. Box:07
Chris Backhouse
Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
Preferred Abstract (Original): 
This paper presents a comparative study of two service system designs, i.e., mechanistic and organic, in a public sector call centre environment. It explores the impact of each of these service designs on employees' affective commitment and on service performance. Thirty-nine interviews were conducted in mechanistic call centre and 16 in organic call centre. A nine-item organisational commitment questionnaire was also administered among employees in both places to measure affective commitment levels. The comparison revealed significant improvement in employees' affective commitment level using systems thinking design to create an organic structure when contrasted with employees working under mechanistic structure design. Further, systems thinking has been found of particular benefit to the service performance in terms of departmental communication enhancement and service waste minimisation. The value of this paper is the identification of alternative service design models applied to call centre operations that will leverage employees' affective commitment to improve service performance and enhance customer loyalty.
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Systems Thinking For Call Centre Service Design: Affective Commitment Implications In Manufacturing Enterprises

Journal Title, Volume, Page: 
The Service Industries Journal Volume 31, Issue 4, pages 613-628, 2011
Year of Publication: 
2011
Authors: 
Ayham A.M. Jaarona
Loughborough University, The Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, United Kingdom
Current Affiliation: 
Industrial Engineering Department, An-Najah National University, Nablus, Palestine
Chris J. Backhouse
Wolfson School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughboough, LE11 3TU, UK
Preferred Abstract (Original): 
This paper explains the leveraging of affective commitment among call centre front-line employees through the improvement of service operations design in a manufacturing enterprise through systems thinking approach. A case study was carried out using face-to-face interviews, structured questionnaires, and observation methods to collect data at managerial and operative front-line levels. The case study finds a strong relationship between the level of affective commitment among front-line employees and the form of service operations system. The study has many implications for the manufacturing enterprises embracing a call centre to improve productivity and working experience. A higher level of affective commitment is likely to mitigate turnover and absenteeism in these service departments.
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