Collaborative knowledge management in the call center

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Collaboration is fundamental to the goals and success of knowledge management (KM) initiatives aimed at supporting decision making and problem solving. Yet many KM approaches and systems do not provide explicit mechanisms which allow knowledge to be collaboratively built up, validated and reconciled so that the more general goals of knowledge sharing and reuse can be achieved. In domains such as the call center, problems and solutions need to be created, retrieved, reworked and reused by multiple individuals and typically involves the use of multiple knowledge management tools, knowledge scattered across disparate sources and implicit “know-how”. Acquiring, accessing, maintaining, sharing, reconciling and reusing knowledge in its various forms are particular challenges in the call center domain where the knowledge needed is complex and constantly changing made worse by short-term knowledge workers. The approach suggested allows knowledge, in the form of rules, to be incrementally acquired as the problem arises, in the form of cases, as part of the daily routine. Using the approach, knowledge workers are able to collaboratively and incrementally capture and maintain the heuristics they use daily for trouble-shooting. Further the system is designed to integrate to a wide variety of information and knowledge sources including legacy systems, recognizing the investment and value of such sources and minimizing the need to duplicate existing resources. This paper reports experiences and issues with knowledge management systems in the call center environment. A case study conducted during 2003-2006 is presented which describes how users found the incumbent systems and a prototype knowledge management system embodying the above approach.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational advancements in end-user technologies
Subtitle of host publicationemerging models and frameworks
EditorsSteve Clarke
Place of PublicationHershey, PA
PublisherInformation Science Reference
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781605666877
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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