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Knowledge and Productivity in Technical Support Work


  • Amit Das

    () (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 639798)


In this paper, we examine the process of technical support work and the role of knowledge in enhancing the productivity of such work. We develop the concepts of problem-solving tasks and moves to describe technical support work, while using call resolution time and problem escalation as measures of productivity. Using hierarchical log-linear modeling, we establish the link between problem-solving moves and productivity. We find that the mix of moves exercised in technical support strongly depends on the formulation of tasks by those requesting support. Because the formulation of tasks is performed by users, knowledge management initiatives must target users as well as support providers to have the desired impact on productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Amit Das, 2003. "Knowledge and Productivity in Technical Support Work," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 416-431, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:49:y:2003:i:4:p:416-431

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rust, Roland T. & Metters, Richard, 1996. "Mathematical models of service," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 427-439, June.
    2. Frances X. Frei & Ravi Kalakota & Andrew J. Leone & Leslie M. Marx, 1999. "Process Variation as a Determinant of Bank Performance: Evidence from the Retail Banking Study," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 45(9), pages 1210-1220, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Peter H. Gray & Darren B. Meister, 2004. "Knowledge Sourcing Effectiveness," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(6), pages 821-834, June.
    2. Linda Argote & Bill McEvily & Ray Reagans, 2003. "Managing Knowledge in Organizations: An Integrative Framework and Review of Emerging Themes," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(4), pages 571-582, April.
    3. Stefano Brusoni & Lorenzo Cassi, 2007. "Re-Inventing the Wheel: Knowledge Integration in Fast-changing Environments," KITeS Working Papers 209, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2007.


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