quarta-feira, março 17, 2004

The Social Life of Information by John Seely Brown and Paul Duguid

Continuando o raciocínio da aula de comportamento da informação aqui está um livro interessante, podem ver aqui alguns capítulos.

When trying to improve the performance of a call center, a company first performed a study to figure out what currently worked about it.
"They studied one service center and the quality of diagnosis its staff provided. There they found two operators who gave especially reliable answers. One, unsurprisingly, was an eight-year veteran of the service center with some college experience and a survivor from the days when reps served as mentors. The other, however, was someone with only a high-school diploma. She had been on the job barely four months.
The researchers noticed, however, that the newcomer had a desk opposite the veteran. There she could hear the veteran taking calls, asking questions, and giving advice. And she began to do the same. She had also noticed that he had acquired a variety of pamphlets and manuals, so she began to build up her own stock. Moreover, when she didn't understand the answers the veteran gave, she asked him to show her what he meant, using the service center's own copier." (p. 132)

This novice had leapfrogged many other operators who had all the manuals in the company to draw upon, but didn't have the necessary teacher to emphasize what was important. Information has a tendency to blend together. Knowledge is understanding what information is truly important.

Another interesting story examined the habits of copy machine repair technicians. These guys had a manual from which they were supposed to go "by-the-book". However, if they really did that, they would never successfully fix the copier. Where did they learn all the little tricks to do their jobs? They each worked independently, so it wasn't as if they did it on the job.
Researchers found that most of the technicians got together for breakfast on their own time. "At these meetings, while eating, playing cribbage, and engaging in what might seem like idle gossip, the reps talked work, and talked it continuously. They posed questions, raised problems, offered solutions, constructed answers, and discussed changes in their work, the machines, or customer relations. In this way, both directly and indirectly, they kept one another up to date with what they knew, what they learned, and what they did." (p. 102)