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© The Author(s) 2014. Technical change is an on-going organizational challenge in call centres. While new technologies continually promise enhanced performance, not least by extending managerial control, the implementation of these technologies is an emergent process that requires effort by workers to establish new routines that embed innovations into everyday work. This article considers the role that trust may play in this process. Drawing on a theoretical framework which conceptualizes trust as an organizing principle of organizational activity, and placing this in a wider context where trust may be understood as an element of normative control in the workplace, the role of trust in technical innovation in three healthcare call centres is explored. The research reveals heterogeneous trusting relations between managers, staff and technical systems shaping the process of change and suggests that whilst managerialist efforts to generate trust maybe one element of this, the operation of trust at work is more complex.

Original publication




Journal article


Work, Employment and Society

Publication Date





808 - 824