Analysing information behaviour in structured service encounters: A case of call centre operations

Yung Hsiu Lin*, Rong Rong Chen, Her Kun Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review


Introduction. Information behaviour is a crucial aspect of service agents' daily service encounters. Service encounter is a dynamic business process; agents need to develop various strategies to seek and use information in order to solve customer problems. Service organizations are paying more attention to managerial practices of agent information behaviour. However, the description of agent information behaviour in the context of service encounters and the design of supporting mechanisms to facilitate agent information behaviour in real world situations remains poorly understood. Method. The study took a triangulation approach and used a call centre as an example to analyse agent information behaviour in the context of service encounters. Field observations and interviews were conducted to describe and model agent information behaviour. A behaviour intervention was designed to test managerial efforts in facilitating agent information behaviour. It was evaluated using two performance indicators. Results. The thematic analysis from field observations and interviews indicated the procedures of call processing service encounters and how the agents handle domain, problem, and problem-solving information when conducting service encounters. The results from the behaviour intervention revealed significant differences following the intervention in relation to the selected performance indicators. Conclusion. This study developed an integrated information behaviour research approach that can be used as a framework to advance the understanding of complex and dynamic information behaviour in the context of practical service encounters.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInformation Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 06 2012


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