Presentation Details

The Fourth International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organisations

Examining Culture at Work:: A Review of the Role of Culture in the Organisation and in the Workplace

Margaret Crouch.

Conceptually, if organisations were to be represented as culturally independent vertical silos, then incoming call centres, as a workplace community with those organisations, could then be represented as a horizontal, trans-organisational cultural silo. While, at the point of intersection, the values of the two are complementary, this paper examines the translation process of qualitative organisational values to quantitative work-related measurement.

Incoming call centres, as channels of customer service production and distribution, have been progressively embraced by Australian companies since the 1970s to play a key role in achieving cost efficiencies and in delivering organisational imperatives through the highly monitored management of people, process and performance. This management process, referred to as efficiency performance management, is the subject of the author’s current doctoral research.

The framework for the teaching and learning of efficiency performance management in incoming call centres in Australia is ethno-pedagogical, that is, it is shaped by the construct of call centres as a work-based cultural community incorporating the organisation’s culture. Call centre community members are acculturated through shared understandings of specific contextual social structures and relationships, of a semiotic language and of performance expectations. These understandings are unknowingly grounded in a rich historic-scientific and social-political background which defines the ethno-pedagogical frame of reference.


Margaret Crouch  (Australia)
Doctoral Student
Faculty of Education
University of Technology, Sydney

The author is currently a part-time tutor and doctoral student at University of Technology Sydney. Her 14 year professional call centre career includes her role as Manager Customer Services with Australia's national airline, centred on recruitment, training and development of more than 1000 call centre staff.

  • Cultural work-based communities
  • Informal learning
  • Performance management

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)