Troubleshooting by computer advisors: A descriptive field study
Panero, Jan C.
Lane, David M.
Master of Arts
Telephone conversations between software technical support advisors and their clients were recorded and analyzed. The roles the advisors took in the conversations influenced how much control each conversant had and the kind of contributions they made. When the advisors took the role of solving a problem, they had more control and asked more questions than in other roles. The conversations where the advisors acted as problem solvers were analyzed qualitatively in light of the problem-solving theories such as information processing theory, Gestalt theory, and schema/frame theory. Most technical support problem solving was explainable using Gestalt and frame theory, but some behavior was displayed that was not predicted by these theories. A model describing the prototypical technical support problem-solving case is presented, along with descriptive findings about flexible behavior in non-prototypical cases.
Industrial psychology; Cognitive psychology