chapter  4
29 Pages


WHAT IS TROUBLESHOOTING? Troubleshooting is among the most common types of problem solving. In fact, when people think about problem solving, they associate it strongly with troubleshooting and diagnosis. Whether troubleshooting a faulty modem, a multiplexed refrigeration system in a modern supermarket, a patient with an unknown malady, a car that will not start, or communication problems on a committee, troubleshooting attempts to isolate fault states in a system and repair or replace the faulty components in order to reinstate the system to normal functioning. Troubleshooting is normally associated with the repair of physical, mechanical, or electronic systems. However, organizational ombudsmen, such as employee-relations managers, customer-relation specialists, consumer advocates, public-relations specialists, and human-resource directors are also troubleshooters (Ziegenfuss, 1988). These people are responsible for handling complaints that represent fault states in the attitudes of customers that must be repaired in customer-relations systems. Individuals in their everyday lives engage in personal troubleshooting associated with self-change, especially when related to addictive behaviors (Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992). Psychotherapists are also troubleshooters, attempting to isolate the cause of mental problems.