Manchester Metropolitan University's Research Repository

Local expertise at an emergency call centre

Normark, Maria and Randall, David (2006) Local expertise at an emergency call centre. In: ECSCW 2005: Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, 18–22 September 2005, Paris, France. Spinger Netherlands. ISBN 978-1-4020-4023-8 (Online)

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Some important research has been undertaken in recent years on knowledge management within the CSCW community, drawing attention to the inherently social properties of knowledge and how it is shared. Much of this work has demonstrated the complex and sophisticated needs of so-called knowledge workers, and the requirement for better understandings of knowledge sharing processes. The example we present in this paper is that of knowledge work in emergency calls at SOS Alarm in Sweden, currently of interest because of a planned new system that will allow for centre-to-centre case coordination and not only within the centre. What makes such a case interesting is that workers in this context face an unlimited variety of incidents that require interpretation, decision and coordination, many of which require the deployment of local knowledge and, as importantly, have to be dealt with in a timely fashion. In this paper we focus on how a number of people work to combine their knowledge and expertise in a time effective way.

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