The view from the other side: The impact of business process outsourcing on the well-being and identity of Filipino call centre workers

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Just as technology has revolutionized the social fabric and quality of our lives, so has it created radical changes in the structures, systems, and culture of work. Tavistock’s Socio-technical Systems theory suggests that an organization’s technology and social systems are intertwined. The challenge for organizations and its leaders is to make sure that man and machine are complimentary and there is a balance in desired outcomes. On the one hand, technologies are typically harnessed to achieve greater productivity. At the same time, however, the technologies an organization uses should enhance, and not diminish, the wellbeing of individuals (Cooper and Foster 1971). This challenge has become all the more important given the increasing role of technology in organizations. Organizations vary in their application of ICT. At the most basic level, ICTs are used merely as supplement work processes and transactions such as when a computer is used to generate a report. At the other end of the spectrum, technology shapes work processes and structures. This is best exemplified in business process outsourcing (BPO).