Title: Organisational learning through knowledge management systems: a case study on improvement of customer support processes

Authors: Nihan Yıldırım

Addresses: Faculty of Management, Management Engineering Department, Istanbul Technical University, ITU Macka Campus, Macka Sisli 34367 Istanbul, Turkey

Abstract: Customer support processes and customer relationship management act as enablers of organisational learning by providing valuable inputs to quality improvement and innovative processes in the existence of appropriate knowledge management systems and problem-solving mechanisms. This single case study explores the impact of effective utilisation of knowledge management systems and six sigma-based problem-solving practices in customer support processes on organisational learning by using the findings from practices of a telecommunication company which is a subsidiary of a MNC in Turkey. Based on the interviews, observations and data provided from the company, customer support processes and organisational structure of customer support teams of the company are analysed, and performance metrics/indicators of the processes are identified. The impacts of three new systems, knowledge management system, a problem-solving system, that is based on six sigma methodology, and a 'skill-based resource allocation system' on performance of customer support processes, are explored by analysing the changes in the predefined performance metrics. Findings reveal that a knowledge management system that is integrated with six sigma methodology improved the effectiveness of customer support processes by providing shorter problem resolution time, reuse of the previous solutions and reduced engineer efforts. Appropriate organisational structuring, effective integration between the systems and acceptance of the systems by the users played major roles in the success of the new systems.

Keywords: case study/studies; customer support processes; knowledge management practice; organisational learning; six sigma methodology.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2017.087079

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2017 Vol.8 No.3/4, pp.375 - 402

Received: 03 Dec 2016
Accepted: 24 Apr 2017

Published online: 05 Oct 2017 *

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