The contradictions of CRM - A critical lens on call centres

Helen J. Richardson, Debra Howcroft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper aims to explore the contradictions of CRM systems and their use in call centres and in doing so contribute to the literature on critical information systems research. By invoking a critical perspective our analysis shows significant contradictions between system objectives and outcomes in practice. With reference to the work of Pierre Bourdieu, a sociologist and critical social theorist, we highlight the powerful theoretical lens that his work can provide for information systems researchers. Using an empirical study which draws upon Bourdieu's key concepts of field, habitus, logic of practice and symbolic violence, we illustrate how these processes of contradiction operate at the local level in the context of the field. © 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)143-168
Number of pages25
JournalInformation and Organization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Bourdieu
  • Call centres
  • Contradictions
  • CRM systems
  • Empirical critical research
  • Field
  • Habitus
  • Logic of practice
  • Symbolic violence


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