The systematic improvement of advice given by public sector call centres

Schefe, Neville Lindsay (2006) The systematic improvement of advice given by public sector call centres. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The persistent demand for increased accountability and value for money in the public sector from both the public and governments raises the issue of quality of service in advice-giving by governmental agencies. The goal of this study is to develop a model to validate frameworks able to contribute to improved advice-giving through the application of knowledge management principles.

Zack's (2001) Four Knowledge Problem Model, Brogowicz, Delene, and Lyth's (1990) Synthesised Service Quality Model, and Markus's (2001) Theory of Knowledge Reuse are used to examine knowledge strategies in advice-giving through the application of a case study methodology. Two Queensland public-sector call centres are investigated.

This study confirms that although the studied call centres operate under differing business drivers, agents have developed strategies generally consistent with those suggested by Zack (2001) to deal with uncertain, complex, and ambiguous problem types. No equivocal problems were encountered in the study. The solution of the former problem pair of uncertainty and complexity relies on knowledge that is codified and stored in databases, while the latter equivocality and ambiguity, seeks out experts who apply both technical and functional knowledge to the problem resolution. Roles performed by call-centre agents predominantly align with those described by Markus (2001), with the opportunity to enhance performance through contribution by shared-work producers to knowledge repositories. The problem-solving strategies employed by agents and the technical capabilities of the call centres combine to deliver a level of service quality which, although meeting client expectations, has been able to be improved through the application of knowledge strategies targeting efficient problem resolution through knowledge reuse.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

554 since deposited on 03 Dec 2008
37 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 16279
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Timbrell, Gregory & Underwood, Barney
Keywords: knowledge management; call centre, information systems, problem types, quality of service
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Department: Faculty of Information Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright Neville Lindsay Schefe
Deposited On: 03 Dec 2008 04:00
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:45

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page