Skip to the content

The back office goes global: exploring connections and contradictions in shared service centres

Howcroft, D and Richardson, H 2012, 'The back office goes global: exploring connections and contradictions in shared service centres' , Work, Employment and Society, 26 (1) . (In Press)

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (345kB) | Request a copy


This article explores a neglected aspect of IT-enabled service work: the back office. The fieldwork study reveals how back-office service work has been identified as suitable for ongoing reorganization and reconfiguration as firms respond to the pressures of contemporary capitalism. The article focuses on standardization as a means of facilitating organizational restructuring into shared service centres as highly skilled back-office work is reframed as routine service work. Standardization is the vehicle that drives the commodification of the labour process as tasks are fragmented, quantified and traded in the global sourcing of services, allowing work to be lifted out of traditional organizational structures and placed elsewhere, or outsourced to other service providers. The study shows how this ongoing process is fraught with contradictions, problematically rendering people and place ancillary.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Strategy, People Management & Salford Law
Journal or Publication Title: Work, Employment and Society
Publisher: Sage
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0950-0170
Depositing User: Users 29196 not found.
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2011 15:57
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2015 18:01

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)


Downloads per month over past year