The phenomenon of learning curves has been widely accepted as a fundamental pattern in organizational behavior. However, few studies focused on understanding the learning curves in professional services. This paper attempted to examine the learning experiences of help desks. The quantitative data of twenty-five educational institutions over five-year period evidenced the learning curve presence in information technology (IT) services context, but failed to demonstrate the variation in learning rates across institutions as anticipated. Qualitative data from our subsequent case studies suggested that institutions adopted similar tools and procedures in their help desk operation, facilitating their learning from past experience. However, help desks differ in their learning from indirect experience. This study applied organizational learning theory to IT services, and contributed to literature by differentiating the effects of cumulative experience and learning from indirect experience. In addition, it provided industry practitioners insights into more effective management of help desk services.
Deng, Xuefei (Nancy), "Differentiating the Effect of Cumulative Experience and Learning: A Field Study of Help Desk Support" (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. 341.