The role of general and specific stressors in the health and well-being of call centre operators

D MELLOR, Kathleen Moore, Z SIONG

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background: The call centre industry has developed a reputation for generating a highly stressful work environment with high absenteeism and turnover rates. Research has identified role ambiguity, role conflict, role overload, and work-family conflict as common stressors in other settings. Call centre research has additionally identified performance monitoring, job design and job opportunities as call centre specific stressors. 

    Objective and methods: This study investigated the impact of the identified stressors on burnout, somatic symptomology, and turnover intent among 126 call centre representatives (CCRs) from 11 call centres in metropolitan Melbourne, Australia. RESULTS: Hierarchical multiple regression analyses found that the common organizational stressors significantly explained between 10% and 53% of the variance in somatic symptomology, burnout (all 3 dimensions) and turnover intent. An additional amount of variance, between 6% and 22% in each of these dependent measures was significantly accounted for by the grouped call centre specific stressors.

    Conclusions: Overall, common organizational stressors and call centre specific stressors both significantly and independently contributed to burnout, somatic symptomology and turnover intent. These findings are discussed in relation to previous research, and suggestions for improved practice within call centres to safeguard the well-being of workers and for future research are provided. 
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)31-43
    Number of pages13
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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