Original Research

A human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres

Chris Jacobs, Gert Roodt
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 37, No 1 | a940 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v37i1.940 | © 2011 Chris Jacobs, Gert Roodt | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 October 2010 | Published: 07 October 2011

About the author(s)

Chris Jacobs, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Gert Roodt, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Orientation: Currently no integrative model exists that can explain the phenomena contributing to agent performance in the South African contact centre industry.

Research purpose: The primary focus of this article was to develop a theoretically derived human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) based on a review of current empirical research literature.

Motivation for the study: The study was motivated by the need for a human capital predictive model that can predict agent and overall business performance.

Research design: A nonempirical (theoretical) research paradigm was adopted for this study and more specifically a theory or model-building approach was followed. A systematic review of published empirical research articles (for the period 2000–2009) in scholarly search portals was performed.

Main findings: Eight building blocks of the human capital predictive model for agent performance in contact centres were identified. Forty-two of the human capital contact centre related articles are detailed in this study. Key empirical findings suggest that person– environment fit, job demands-resources, human resources management practices, engagement, agent well-being, agent competence; turnover intention; and agent performance are related to contact centre performance.

Practical/managerial implications: The human capital predictive model serves as an operational management model that has performance implications for agents and ultimately influences the contact centre’s overall business performance.

Contribution/value-add: This research can contribute to the fields of human resource management (HRM), human capital and performance management within the contact centre and BPO environment.


call centres; contact centres; business process outsourcing (BPO); agent performance; call centre performance; theoretical study; model building approach


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