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Social persuasion and electronic performance monitoring: A qualitative study of feedback and self-efficacy in call centers
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Electronic performance monitoring (EPM) has long been associated with an array of negative effects, one of which is decreased employee self-efficacy, an essential determinant of human agency and workplace success. The negative discourse of control and discipline dominating the research field fails to account for the role of performance feedback, an integral component of EPM and part of an alternative discourse focusing on employee development. While feedback has been shown to ameliorate the negative impact of EPM, its effect on self-efficacy remains unclear. Therefore, this study investigates how employees subjected to EPM perceive and experience social persuasion – feedback aimed at increasing self-efficacy – using semi-structured interviews (with 10 customer service agents from as many call centers) and theoretical thematic analysis.

The findings suggest that social persuasion can mitigate the efficacy-depleting effects of EPM, and that a mixture of positive and negative feedback is particularly conducive to successful persuasion. Moreover, the conflict between management's predilection for quantitative performance criteria and employees' qualitatively oriented conceptions of service quality is found to be a key issue. Based on these findings, it is argued that the heavy emphasis on positive feedback found in extant literature on EPM and self-efficacy is potentially misleading, as is the dominance of the control and discipline discourse. Finally, it is argued that social persuasion may ameliorate the quantitative-qualitative conflict, and that the potential of social persuasion is particularly high in call centers, where low self-efficacy levels are likely to be the norm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 49
Keywords [en]
Electronic performance monitoring, feedback, social persuasion, self-efficacy
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-158439OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-158439DiVA, id: diva2:1236378
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Available from: 2018-08-02 Created: 2018-08-02 Last updated: 2018-08-02Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf