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Article

Lynne Bennington, James Cummane and Paul Conn

Call centers are growing at unprecedented rates, yet relatively little is known about customer satisfaction with this method of service delivery. Therefore, a review of…

Abstract

Call centers are growing at unprecedented rates, yet relatively little is known about customer satisfaction with this method of service delivery. Therefore, a review of the advantages and disadvantages of call centers is provided before reporting on a study carried out with users of a very large human services call center network. The results indicate that customers have slightly higher satisfaction levels with in‐person services than with call center services. Although it was predicted that older customers might be more dissatisfied with call centers than younger customers, this was not borne out by the data. Attributes of a best‐in‐the‐world call center operation are provided to guide those who design and manage call center services.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

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Article

Lynne Bennington and James Cummane

Provides an overview of the literature on public sector reform, total quality management (TQM) and strategic planning. Traces the change efforts and road to privatization…

Abstract

Provides an overview of the literature on public sector reform, total quality management (TQM) and strategic planning. Traces the change efforts and road to privatization of Asset Services, which is a maintenance contractor with about 2,000 staff and a business unit of a large Australian government department. Describes how, during the period 1989‐1996, Asset Services undertook a process which illustrates the integration of customer focus, quality principles and strategic business planning. Introduces the concept of the business improvement leader, and discusses some of the many TQM and business planning activities undertaken to the point of being fully commercialized. Identifies a number of factors influencing the success of this business unit.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article

Lynne Bennington and Ruth Wein

Anti‐discrimination legislation continues to be used as a social and labour market mechanism yet the results of Australian telephone surveys of randomly selected employers…

Abstract

Anti‐discrimination legislation continues to be used as a social and labour market mechanism yet the results of Australian telephone surveys of randomly selected employers and job applicants indicate that discrimination in the recruitment and selection process is flourishing despite such legislation. Only limited support for the neo‐classical economists’ concern that anti‐discrimination legislation creates additional costs and inefficiencies was found. The role of the legislation in creating more effective selections was not strongly supported either, but about half of both employers and job applicants thought that the legislation was fair. A more proactive approach is needed if illegal discrimination in the recruitment and selection process is to be minimised; anti‐discrimination legislation, without exposure of research findings and active monitoring of human resource practices, is insufficient.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Article

Allan Behm, Lynne Bennington and James Cummane

Policy services have generally escaped performance evaluation techniques. Traditionally, the evaluation of the quality of policy services has been internally driven, and…

Abstract

Policy services have generally escaped performance evaluation techniques. Traditionally, the evaluation of the quality of policy services has been internally driven, and has tended to rely on definitions and process practices determined by the service provider rather than customer definitions of value. In this study, customers of policy services (ministers, ex‐ministers, department secretaries and key advisers) were asked what the ideal characteristics of policy services were and what would create value. On the basis of customer values, an integrated four level model of policy service provision was developed. This model potentially provides guidance for the development and evaluation of policy services and should lead to greater customer satisfaction.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article

Lilai Xu and Lynne Bennington

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the job creation policies being used to address the high unemployment rate and number of xiagang in Shanghai.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the job creation policies being used to address the high unemployment rate and number of xiagang in Shanghai.

Design/methodology/approach

Using primarily Chinese language sources, the context of employment issues are discussed. This is followed by a brief analysis of each issue.

Findings

Among the numerous setbacks caused by the ongoing reforms, xiagang and urban unemployment have become one of the most serious problems for the Chinese leadership. There are no panaceas on offer and just which combination of measures should be chosen is a matter for debate. Some combination of a less restrictive labour market, expansion of infrastructure investment and stimulation of re‐employment involving public and private partnership in areas where the market is unlikely to generate spontaneously appears as a suitable way forward. Recruitment subsidies are not favoured as a solution while a focus retraining on smaller, well‐targeted schemes for recognizable areas of skill shortages while simultaneously making counselling and job search advice more widely available is favoured. Finally, the Chinese government has recently shifted its development strategy from one of centring on economic growth to one aimed at the sustainable development of the society. Such a shift is appropriate and desirable for China as the move enables the nation to alleviate rather than aggravate the social problems arising from its high economic growth achieved during the past twenty years.

Practical implications

While China defines unemployment differently to other countries and has the unique phenomenon of xiagang, this paper provides a platform for considering future policy development in the employment area.

Originality/value

As much of the source material for this paper is only available in Chinese, the paper provides insights into one complex and challenging employment issue in the Chinese economy and presents opportunities for non‐Chinese speaking scholars to review the current debate.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 31 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

Keywords

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Book part

Ann Larabee

The attacks of 11 September 2001 created a crisis of legitimacy for the U.S. nation state. To overcome a catastrophic event that threatened national identity, the Bush…

Abstract

The attacks of 11 September 2001 created a crisis of legitimacy for the U.S. nation state. To overcome a catastrophic event that threatened national identity, the Bush administration evoked fear as the spiritual root of patriotism and the basis of a renewed security state. The modern rhetoric of crisis management was combined with a nostalgic rhetoric of national community. In the new civil defense, all citizens were enlisted to relentlessly examine their fears so that bodies, minds, neighborhoods, and ultimately the nation state could be free of terror. These conditions led to authoritarian efforts to reach deep into citizens’ private lives and purge the body politic of ill-defined invaders, damaging democratic community.

Details

Terrorism and Disaster: New Threats, New Ideas
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-227-6

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Article

Noor Azlan Ghazali

The Asian crisis, which exploded in Thailand in July 1997 initially, spilled to the other ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines) and later it spreads to…

Abstract

The Asian crisis, which exploded in Thailand in July 1997 initially, spilled to the other ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Philippines) and later it spreads to Korea and even crossing the continent to Russia and Brazil. The chronological pattern seems to indicate the contagious behaviour of the crisis. However, the sequential economic down‐turns that occurred in the Asia Pacific do look like a contagion effect. The idea that currency speculators contributed to the depth of the crisis is agreeable but to conclude that they are the roots of the problem would be misleading. This paper argued that the roots of the problems lie in current account deficit and loss of competitiveness, and moral hazard and over‐investment This paper also argued that the currency crisis is a symptom and not the cause of the Asian crisis.

Details

Humanomics, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

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Article

Asoka F. Balasooriya, Quamrul Alam and Ken Coghill

The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the extent to which socio‐political obstacles have influenced the successful establishment and performance of an…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the extent to which socio‐political obstacles have influenced the successful establishment and performance of an institutional framework to implement the privatization programme in Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

Secondary data have been extensively used in this paper to interpret, analyse and strengthen the arguments. Further, the recent data collected through semi‐structured interviews with stakeholders in the telecommunications sector in Sri Lanka have been used. The analysis has been confined to the Sri Lankan context.

Findings

This paper finds that the institutional framework, one of the preconditions necessary for successful implementation of reforms, has not been successful in the implementation due to the unsound socio‐political milieu prevailing in the country.

Research limitations/implications

This paper addresses only one aspect, i.e. the importance of a proper institutional framework. It emphasizes the need for further case studies to investigate the importance of other preconditions in developing countries.

Practical implications

The paper shows that the current analysis could be of immense value to the policy makers of both Sri Lanka and countries in South Asia.

Originality/value

The findings in this paper suggest that careful consideration of the country‐specific socio‐political conditions in developing countries should be taken, and reform measures devised accordingly.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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