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MGT 216 Week 5 Learning Team Assignment Ethical Organization Profile




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We are a global company and we seek the best talent in every region. India has been a
wonderful source of that. We will move into more cities in the future."
- Kevin Rollins, President and CEO of Dell Inc, in 2005.
"The customer contact centers in India have transitioned into a premier operation for
- Romi Malhotra, Managing Director, Dell India, in 2004.
Outsourcing is just another example, like allowing illegal immigrants to receive driver's
licenses, of putting economic and political interests ahead of doing the right thing. We need
to examine issues like these from an ethical perspective. You know: Is it right or wrong?
- Steven M. Mintz, reporter, The San-Diego Union-Tribune, Aug. 4
In the early 2000s, the gigantic USA – based computer company, Dell, decided to
outsource its call centers to India. After a start-up period to explore the benefits and risks of
outsourcing overseas, Dell jumped in full force, creating at lest 4 call centers in India, and
employing as of 2006 a total of at least 15,000 jobs in India. Dell’s strategic outsourcing of
its call center to India highlights what has become a growing trend in the 2000s, of
outsourcing a variety of technology-related ‘help desk’ functions to countries overseas.
Investigative news reporter Steven Mintz, writing for the San Diego Union – Tribune in
2004, stated, “Outsourcing by the technology sector is a growing trend, with an estimated
$10 billion in net contracts subject to outsourcing in 2004. By 2008, an estimated $23
billion will be subject to outsourcing by this sector. According to Cynthia Kroll, senior

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regional economist at UC Berkeley, at least 14 million service-sector jobs are at risk of
being outsourced over the next decade.” (Mintz, 2004) We are now in 2010, with a
collapsed economy, a desperate need for jobs, and computer corporations are as avid as ever
in their efforts to expand overseas call center outsourcing. Let us take a look at Dell
Computers as a case study to examine why outsourcing call centers overseas holds such
appeal, and the ethical issues involved, including both the issues arising within the
international ‘host’ country, as well as the ethics outsourcing as these are played out over
and over in terms of consequences to both employees and customers within the United
Already a global business in terms of sales of its computers worldwide, Dell
Computers had kept its problem-solving branch for customer service within the United
States in the earlier years of its operations. However, it became clear in the late 1990s that
improvements in technology and telephony would expansion of call to and from countries
overseas to be quite inexpensive, as compared to international calling costs in the 1980s and
early 1990s. Improvements in sound quality and speed of transmission opened up the
possibility of outsourcing call centers to cheaper labor pools in countries around the world.
After significant research and discussion of the pros and cons, Dell Computers
established its first customer contact call center in 2001, in Bangalore, India. The call center
continued the tasks and activities that were essential to customer support, and that had been
the priority of the customer call center when it was in the U.S.A. The primary priority was
to provide technical support, as well as making sales calls and reaching out to potential
customers. Accounting tasks were also part of the call center outsourcing workload. From

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2001 to 2003, Dell established additional call centers in Hyderabad and Mohali. (Dell’s
Customer, 2006).
Problems of the international outsourcing became apparent quickly. Over the first
two years of operations, U.S. customers began to complain that the quality of technical
support they were receiving had deteriorated. In 2003, Dell reversed its expansion of call
centers and brought some of the tasks of the call centers back within the U.S. borders.
However, after further research and discussion, Dell shifted the focus of hiring for the call
centers, to concentrate on management of employees, and streamlined education of
employees to create a standard set of call back center processes. Even so, technology
industry feedback to the company indicated that there could be future problems if Dell
increased its call center activities in India. The issue was not the training of call center
operators, as this had been to a large extent resolved. The issue, instead, became one of
competition to recruit and train the best operators, for other companies were flooding the
call center market and establishing their own callback centers in India. (Dell’s Customer,
2006). Dell had become one of many companies globalizing the technology support
infrastructure of customer callback centers. Outsourcing was not longer a pioneering
company activity, or even a risky customer satisfaction scenario. Companies like American
Express, GE Capital, and many others had jumped on the bandwagon starting in the late
1990s, and the momentum just kept going. The initial glitches had been resolved, opening
the doors to other types of problems of a larger nature, involving the overall ethics of
outsourcing such a high number of jobs and this particular type of job, overseas.

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Really helpful material, saved me a great deal of time.