Cornell University

Global Call Center Project

169 Ives Faculty Building, 607-254-4437


National Country Report

Christer Strandberg and Åke Sandberg.  2007. Call Centers in Sweden. A Description of Orientation, Human Resource Practices and Performance in Internal and External Call Centers. Arbetslivsinstitutet/National Institute for Working Life, Mid-Sweden University and KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Strandberg, C, Sandberg, Å, and Norman, K.  2006.  Callcenters i Sverige. En beskrivning av verksamhetsinriktning, human resource-metoder och prestationer Arbetslivsrapport 2006:20

Highlights of the National Report

The total number of call centers in Sweden was estimated at 1,290 in 2002, encompassing a total of 60,000 full time jobs. Between 2002 and 2007, call centers grew at an estimated rate of 10% per year, and total employment reached 120,000 by 2007, or 2.5 % of the working population. Call center managers report that future call centers will need to take on a broader range of customer service responsibilities. Among other things, core employees will have increased responsibilities for selling on inbound calls, and will require greater competencies in product knowledge, selling, and customer relations.

In-house Centers versus Subcontractors

Eighty percent of call centers in Sweden are in-house operations, while the remainder is operated by subcontractors.  Survey results indicate that there are considerable differences between these two types of centers.  In-house centers invest more in workforce training and design work with greater opportunities for employee discretion and problem-solving.  Subcontractors take a more ‘production-line’ approach and focus more on performance monitoring and management.

Swedish Research Team

Åke Sandberg (Ake), Professor
Sociology Department
Stockholm University
SE - 106 91 Stockholm
Office +46 (0)8 16 31 86
Mobile +46 (0)706 70 88 33

Christer Strandberg, Ph D
Department of Social Sciences
Mid Sweden University

Co-Sponsors of the Report: Scandinavian Center for Call and Contact Services; Swedish Savings Banks Foundation; ISA Invest in Sweden Agency; 4BR consultants; Bright verksamhetsutveckling; The Swedish Call Center Association; Mid-Sweden University; National Institute for Working Life; KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm

For more information, contact Åke Sandberg at or Christer Strandberg at