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The domestic turn: business processing outsourcing and the growing automation of Kenyan organisations

Mann, Laura and Graham, Mark (2016) The domestic turn: business processing outsourcing and the growing automation of Kenyan organisations. Journal of Development Studies, 52 (4). 530 - 548. ISSN 0022-0388

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00220388.2015.1126251


After observing the growth of the Indian and Filipino Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sectors, Kenyan policy-makers and managers made substantial investments in international internet infrastructure and BPO marketing campaigns. While observers continue to discuss the sector in terms of its international work opportunities, in recent years the sector has increasingly focused on contracts sourced from Kenyan and other East African clients. The government has also refocused efforts on attracting international BPO companies. This domestic turn signals both the difficulties of gaining access to overseas work due to the power of incumbents and the increasing use of the internet and ICT-enabled automation within Kenyan organisations. In effect, better connectivity has enabled a two-way globalisation of services: Kenyan BPO companies can access international work opportunities but connectivity has also contributed to the inflow of international business practices into Kenya. The conclusion examines what these shifts might entail for the sector and its workers in future.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > International Development
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2017 14:01
Last Modified: 22 Jul 2021 14:33

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