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Teleservices, call centres and urban and regional development

Lookup NU author(s): Ranald Richardson, Professor Neill Marshall


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This article examines the character of call centres, which are attracting considerable interest among economic development agencies seeking to attract inward investment. The paper examines the type of employment provided in call centres, their locational requirements and their wider impact on local economies. It is argued that information and communications technologies (ICTs) are allowing these teleservice firms to develop in new locations, but that call centres remain constrained in their locational choices especially because of the uneven distribution of labour. It is concluded that call centres providing teleservices contribute to local economic development, but the employment created on the whole tends to be of low quality. Few managerial, professional or technical jobs are created in most call centres, and there are few local spin-offs. Inward investment by these sorts of services in less-favoured areas displays many of the drawbacks associated with traditional manufacturing inward investment.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Richardson RGW, Marshall JN

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Service Industries Journal

Year: 1999

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Pages: 96-116

Print publication date: 01/01/1999

ISSN (print): 0264-2069

ISSN (electronic): 1743-9507


DOI: 10.1080/02642069900000006


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