The topic of this study is based from the eighth of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for the year 2030, which is the Decent Work and Economic Growth. The researchers’ main interest/focus is to determine and understand how Business Process Outsourcing Employees, particularly Call Center Agents and how they maintain proper business communication and peaceful conflict management as they associate with various co-workers and clients. They will know what it means to be in the BPO Industry as they discover the hardships and efforts of call center agents in the Philippines, specifically Quezon City which is one of the largest cities in the country.
Various articles and testimonies have inspired the researchers to pursue their research topic which is all about knowing the business communication skills and the conflict management of BPO Employees in Quezon City. Recently, call center agents shared their experiences working in the BPO Industry; they had to face “full understanding of callers’ main issues” and fingers being pointed at by their team because of negative feedbacks, as well as the threat of being sacked because of poor performance (Aragon, 2018).
Moreover, reported cases of conflict in work teams among call center agents are reported. Despite call center agents working towards a common goal, diversities cannot be helped. These include structural disagreements, such as levels of participation and interdependence among employees due to various preferences (Executive Boutique, 2011). However, some BPO companies, such as Telus, provided ways for their employees to strengthen the bond and team building among call center agents in the Philippines.
According to Warren Tait, VP for brand, marketing and culture in Telus Philippines, the company’s area of advantage is their team member experience which is a valuable part of their business. This is proven by involving members in Customer Service Representative (CSR) programs, which in turn will help them gain leadership, personal growth and education (Go, 2016).
In relation to the Philippine setting, it is known that employees are divided into different folds of team, which makes them prone to encountering conflict of interests. Due to these differences, employees’ cooperation and communication skills are being tested as they associate with co-workers and even their clients. Moreover, the researchers want to place focus on how BPO Employees struggle to fit the standards and demands of the constantly developing Business Process Outsourcing Industry as they continue to face threats of modern technology, changes in economic status, and stability of workforce.
According to Stanley Deetz (2000), Critical Communication Theory is defined as the maintenance of organizational communication and organizational control in companies where diverse interests of people are given voice and political and economic interests are being acknowledged. The main highlight of the theory is applying critical communication in order to ensure that both human and corporate interests are given priority, so as to maintain stability in a company.
Moreover, the theory aims to go beyond the fixed notions of organizations. Critical Communication Theory is directed towards taking into account the democratic aspirations of the people as well as the power centers in a certain organization; in other words, every side has to be heard. Reforms in communication are to be made constantly to promote productivity and democracy within a company (Deetz, 2000).
The theory provides different circumstances that occur in organizational communication through presenting the information model and communication model. In information model, it defines communication as a mere conduit for transmission of information. It comprises the following: strategy, which is defined as manager’s set of routine practices and ideology that does not give workers and stockholders the capacity of control; and consent, which relates to how employees give loyalty to the company without getting much in return because they are expected to do prioritize the company’s welfare over their human interests. Meanwhile, communication model promotes language as a principal medium that creates and sustains social reality, where every person has the capability to share their insights. It is divided into two: involvement, which is defined as the free expression of ideas, but their voice is not taken into consideration and the management still has the final decision; and participation, which is the expected outcome in an organization where open negotiations must be taken into account to promote stakeholder democracy (Deetz, 2000).
In relation to the study, the researchers used Critical Communication Theory as their basis to highlight how the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Employees manage themselves and how they communicate or cooperate with their co-workers and to their clients to maintain productivity within their organization. Their daily lives wherein they have to converse with different types of people shaped them to who they are today. Moreover, there are a lot of strategies that BPO Employees have incorporated within themselves since the industry is directed on human interactions – and at the same time, making sure that conflict is reduced or suppressed to avoid further difficulties.
This study aims to research about business communication skills and conflict management of selected call center agents of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry who are currently working in Quezon City. Furthermore, the study aims to give objective and precise answers to the following questions that will help in attaining the study’s objective:
1.) What is the demographic profile of the respondents?
c. Years in the company as employee Shift
d. Type of Account
e. Highest education attainment
2.) How effective is the level of communication skills of the BPO employees?
3.) What are conflict management skills (category) of the BPO employees?
4.) What is the relationship between the level of communication skills and conflict management skills of the BPO employees?
This study generally aims to research about business communication skills and conflict management of selected call center agents of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry who are currently working in Quezon City.
Listed below are the following hypotheses that give the conclusion to the results of the study:
H_0: There is no significant relationship between the level of communication skills and conflict management skills of the BPO employees.
H_a: There is a significant relationship between the level of communication skills and conflict management skills of the BPO employees.
The making of the study will be benefited to the following individuals and agencies:
BPO Employees, especially Call Center Agents. They will be able to get more knowledge about their communication skills and conflict management; which will lead them to competency. They will be able to learn how to control their temper and develop their patience. In this way; the employees will also be able to avoid conflicts with their costumers which may leave a good impression to both employees and company.
BPO Applicants. They will know if they have in them the skills that are needed to be a BPO Employee. Moreover, the findings in this research can help them adjust to the demands of the Business Process Outsourcing Industry.
Employers. The study will help the employers to know if the applicant has the skill and qualifications to be a BPO employee. They will also know who among their employees has good communication skills and conflict management because these are the people that they need to have a more successful company or industry.
Students. The study will help them to realize that they need to have good communication skills and conflict management if they plan to work and talk around so many people to avoid conflicts with their future customers, as these are the key qualities to become full-fledged business professionals in the future.
Future Researchers. The study will help them to realize that they need to have good communication skills and conflict management if they plan to work and talk around so many people to avoid conflicts with their future customers, as these are the key qualities to become full-fledged business professionals in the future.
The study would like to know what skills that employees from the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry must display, as well as the personality that they must portray to meet the standards for conflict management. However, the researchers decided to exclude the other aspects of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Industry due to its broadness. They only decided to focus on the call center agents and not on the other fields such as medical transcription, game developing, and the like. Moreover, the researchers only placed their focus on the call center agents’ skills on how to maintain proper business communication and management of conflict in their industry, when it comes to co-workers and clients, and not directly on the specific struggles that they are facing or their own opinions. In this study, the researchers only focused BPO Industry on the Philippine setting, so the Business Process Outsourcing in other countries is excluded from the scope of the study.
This research will be conducted on the 1st Semester of academic year 2019-2020, in partial fulfillment of the requirements in Research in Daily Life 2. In the halfway of the data gathering period however, the researchers will be targeting to contact some call center agents working for various Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies in Quezon City to conduct a survey, in order to attain their objectives for pursuing this research.
The respondents of this study will be Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Employees specifically Call Center Agents located in Quezon City, as their job has to do with business communication skills and conflict management. In addition, they are also knowledgeable and have adequate experience to answer the problems posed in the present study. In this way, the researchers will be able to answer the main research questions by composing of thirty (30) members, both male and female, and the randomly sampled respondents will be asked by the researcher for consent and approval to answer the survey-questionnaire until the desired number of respondents, which is thirty (30), is reached. A Survey-questionnaire, Elemental Truths by Adkins, R. (2006) and Conflict Management Styles Assessment by Blake, O. (2018), will be used in gathering data which consists of items that will determine and asses the Employees’ Business Communication Skills and Conflict Management. At least thirty (30) chosen participants will be asked to answer a survey which let them choose their preferred response by checking the number option based on their Personal feelings and perception along the given area. The questions that are present in the survey are direct supporting questions that will help answer the main research questions as mentioned in the Statement problem of the study. In this way, the researchers will be able to gather in-depth data with the help of a survey-questionnaire.
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