National Country Report
Piskurek, E., and Shire, K. 2005. Callcenter in Polen. The Global Call Center Industry Project - Ergebnisse der Telefonumfrage für Polen, (Polish call center industry report). Duisburg.
Call Centers in Poland
Compared to most other (west) European countries, the call center industry in Poland is fairly young. Most call centers were founded after 1999 and are predominantly located in the larger Polish cities (such as Warsaw, Poznan, Wroclaw, Gdansk, and Krakow). Since 2002, the growth rate of call centers has slowed; but in relation to the workforce size and business volume, the call center industry is still growing. The biggest industry segments served by Polish call centers are the telecommunication and financial services sectors. Since May, 2004, Poland is a member of the European Union (EU). One main question in this context is the significance of Poland as a potential near-shoring call center location for Germany and other European Countries.
Main Research Interests of the Polish Call Center Studies
The issues of the Polish Project are similar to the German Project: to identify successful practices and arrangements of the organization of work, technology use, human resource management, payment systems, and interest representation on an organizational level and in comparison to other countries (especially to Germany).
Research questions focus on:
- Flexible and non-standard forms of employment in call centers
- The role of trade unions
- The gender compositions in call centers
Research questions specific to Poland are:
- The role of Poland in the transnational structure of call centers in the EU
- The diffusion of the institutions of worker participation in a post-socialist transition economy and a new industry.
Research Methods and Empirical Approach
The analysis of the Polish call center project was based on a standardized telephone survey of call center managers in Poland, administered by the Social Research Institute (SUZ) of University Duisburg-Essen in October and November 2004. The sampling pool was generated from call center entries in the Polish National Company Register. In total, 112 call centers were interviewed, with a response rate of 67%. In September 2005 field research in Poland further explored the findings of the survey.
Highlights of National Report
Scope of the Market
Virtually all call centers in Poland serve the national market, with only 3% predominantly focused on the international market. Case studies however showed considerable trends toward fielding cross-border calls, especially to Germany and the United States.
Workforce Demographics and Characteristics
The majority of the Polish call center work force is very highly educated. Just over 50% of the workforce is female. Demands of flexibility are basically covered by temporary agency workers, free lancers and part-time workers.
The presence of unions or other forms of interest representation is very limited in Polish call centers (union presence: 6.7%, presence of works council 5.5%)
Polish Research Team
Karen Shire, Professor
Institute of Sociology & Institute of East Asian Studies
University of Duisburg
Dr. Ursula Holtgrewe
Forschungs- und Beratungsstelle Arbeitswelt (FORBA)
(Working Life Research Center)
A 1020 Wien
University of Duisburg-Essen
Co-Sponsors of the Report: Hans-Böckler-Stiftung