Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Knowledge and the Discourse of Labour Process Transformation: Nurses and the case of NHS Direct for England

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Frank Mueller


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


This article draws on fieldwork conducted with nurses in two sites of NHS Direct, the English tele-nursing service. Theoretically it has two objectives. Firstly to examine a group of professional workers in order to show how the discourse of work transformation associated with the call centre paradigm interacts in a non-mass, non-commercial public sector setting where workers remain attached to their occupational identity and institutional community which mediate call centre values and rationalities. In relation to this objective, the article shows how call centre values inform NHS Direct but do not produce the same outcomes as in commercial settings. Secondly, the article establishes that nurses, as knowledgeable actors, can control, manipulate and create knowledge, without having their autonomy subordinated to the clinical software they are required to use. The article contributes to the labour process approach of call centre working and debates on knowledge management in the workplace.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Smith C, Valsecchi R, Mueller F, Gabe J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Work, Employment and Society

Year: 2008

Volume: 22

Issue: 4

Pages: 581-599

ISSN (print): 0950-0170

ISSN (electronic): 1469-8722

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0950017008096737


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric