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I am interested in modelling the relationship between practice and performance both in laboratory tasks and field settings. I was interested in what existing research has examined how the performance of telephone call centre operators changes over time. I imagine call centre management systems would provide a very rich set of performance data on individual employees.

Thus, what do empirical studies have to say about the following:

  • What is the relationship between practice and call centre performance?
  • To what extent have studies been effective in controlling for task factors (e.g., whether it is a quiet or a busy shift; variation in task difficulty assigned to particular workers, etc) when modelling individual employee performance?
  • To what extent does performance change reflect constant improvement as a result of learning versus fluctuations due to changing motivation, effort, etc.?
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Learning curve literature does include operations research, but it is a substantive topic in I/O psychology and perhaps even more prominently in cognitive psychology. – Jeromy Anglim Jul 3 at 2:15
I agree with Jeromy on this one. However, I do think the question may be a bit too specific. I am curious whether any "general" research has been done on it. It requires domain specific knowledge and probably, if such a research has been conducted, it will be an internal research of a company and not easily accessible. – Robin Kramer Jul 6 at 8:23
@JeromyAnglim perhaps you could explain a little more about the skills required for a call center operator? Maybe people can generalize them to existing models/researches. – Robin Kramer Jul 6 at 8:32
@RobinKramer - I totally understand that close voting questions of the rock star of this site raises eye brows. Honestly, I often don't look at who the OP is when voting, and admittedly, and quite frankly, I wouldn't have dared close-voting when I would have :-) Given Jeromy's freakin' amount of work on this site and given Jeromy is a respected and much appreciated long-time mod, I'll retract this vote, simply out of respect :) You know what, I'll upvote this question :D My sincere apologies here. – Christiaan Jul 6 at 22:08
@Christiaan I certainly don't mind the close vote. It's all good active discussion about site focus from my perspective. Of course I think the question is on topic, and perhaps that's related to the fact that my substantive area is around industrial/organisational psychology where we're often interested in topics that touch on human factors, management, org behaviour and so on. – Jeromy Anglim Jul 6 at 23:59

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