4 the data my data were collected for a larger

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Unformatted text preview: wholly determine, the behaviour of those language-users to whom it is prescribed.4 THE DATA My data were collected for a larger project (Cameron 2000) which looked at some range of service workplaces, but for the purposes of this article I concentrate on a single type of workplace, namely the `call centre', an institution in which people are employed to make or take telephone calls. (The `make or take' distinction is captured in the industry terms `outbound' and `inbound' to refer to call centres where employees either initiate or receive calls. The centres I looked at were exclusively `inbound', i.e. calls were initiated by customers. Outbound call centres typically have sales rather than service as their prime function, whereas I was most interested in the provision of customer services.) I chose to study call centres, in particular, for two reasons. First, they provide a prototypical example of a `new' service workplace: the vast majority have existed for less than ten years, and their insti...
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