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B207B Shaping Business Opportunities II






In January 2006, Dell, the world’s largest computer maker, announced plans to setup its fourth call center in India. The company already employs over 10,000 people in its Indian call centers, which provided a telephone help desk service to its many thousands of customers around the world. Like many other Western companies, Dell was attracted to India by the abundance of low-cost English-speaking workers, many of whom are well quailed and highly IT literate. Locating call centers in India sounds like a good deal all round. Customers get access24hoursaday, 7daysaweek wherever they are in the world, companies are able to reduce costs, and workers in a developing country get jobs.


However, not everyone is happy. Niels Kjellerup, Publisher and Editor of The Call Centre Managers Forum, an online chat room for call center managers, argues that the rush to outsource customer contact operations to cheaper locations has resulted in the worst of management practices in US and UK call centers being exported as ‘World Class Call Centre Practice’ in countries like India. He says that too often what is seen in India is bad customer service delivered cheaply. He claims that many Indian call centers are run as sweatshops with intelligent people being treated like cattle. Call center managers with little or no previous experience adopt ‘idiotic vendor measures’ such as ‘how many calls’ and ‘how short’, which simply result in the delivery of poor levels of customer service.


Agents are required to work nine and a half hours a day, but typically work anywhere from 12 to 16 hours. Processing 28 calls an hour is mandatory. Another target is to ensure that no customer calls back within seven days. The informant claimed that there are few, if any allowances for time off, even for doctor visits, sick days or handling family emergencies.


Answer the three following questions:


Question 1 (30 marks, maximum 300 words)


When a business expands its operation into other countries, the impact of globalization on human resource development and management is significant.


  1. What role does HRM play for Dell? Support your answer with examples. (15 marks)
  2. Discuss the obstacles that Dell faces for survival and success due to globalization. Support your answer with discussion and relevant example. (15 marks)


Question 2 (35 marks, maximum 300 words)


A traditional view of globalization is that it involves rolling out the same offering across the globe using the same ingredients, brand name and marketing communications. However, organizations have realized that they need to adapt their offerings and communications to local preferences and conditions.


By using B207B course material and other resources such as Dell website, discuss what is the difference between globalization and customization in marketing segmentation and marketing mix in relation to Dell Computers.


Question 3 (35 marks, maximum 300 words)


Globalization increases connections among people around the globe, both narrowing and widening the differences between them in various ways. On the one hand, increases in trade and communication bring closer awareness among consumers and workers of many brands and businesses’ activities, but on the other hand, it has negative effects on the global marketplace.


Required: Discuss the key negative effects of the global marketplace. Support your answers with examples in relation to Dell.



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