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Re-visiting the past: How documentary practices serve as means to shape team performance at an IT help desk.

Journal article
Authors Ann-Charlotte Bivall
Åsa Mäkitalo
Published in Learning, Culture and Social Interaction
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 184-194
ISSN 2210-6561
Publication year 2013
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Pages 184-194
Language en
Keywords Help desk Discursive meta-activity Documentary practices Semiotic remediation Sociocultural perspective
Subject categories Pedagogy, Learning, Work Sciences


This study investigates learning at an IT help desk in a multinational production company, a work practice that has not yet been given much research attention despite its importance in many areas of society. IT help desks heavily rely on different forms of documentation for sustaining their practice and for maintaining their communication and expertise as a team. In the study, we explore how the documentation in a case management software, which is a very salient tool by means of which IT help desks perform their work, is being reused to shape the quality of the performance of the team. Through video observations of locally arranged discussions about 46 cases we analyze, in detail, the material, discursive and interactional means by which daily documentation of work is re-visited for learning purposes.

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