Date of Award

8-10-2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

Sociology

Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Baxter, Vern

Second Advisor

Adeola, Francis

Third Advisor

Mann, Susan

Abstract

This study examines the emergence of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) in white collar occupations. Recent BPO practices are compared to the offshore outsourcing of production in the context of the shift from Fordist to flexible production. The study considers BPO in light of Harry Braverman's theory of work degradation and whether or not BPO extends the traditional division of labor between conception and execution to higher skilled white collar occupations. An exploratory qualitative approach comprised of informant interviews, a focus group, and literature review was used to analyze how BPO occurs, why it happens, and where it takes place. I discuss the role of politics and corporate culture in outsourcing white collar jobs and examine the practice of transitioning workers from client to BPO service providers. The study concludes with a skill-based typology of BPO services and suggestions for policy and future research.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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