This study examined the extent to which public academic libraries in South Africa coped with the changing information environment by using competitive intelligence (CI) to attain competitiveness.
The study adopted positivism as the main philosophical lens and also incorporated qualitative elements to augment the quantitative data through a survey research design. Questionnaires were e-mailed to 25 directors of public academic libraries in South Africa and 17 were returned, yielding a 68% response rate. Attempts were made to reach to the 25 directors through semi-structured telephonic interviews, and only eight responded some through their representatives, yielding a 32% response rate. Using two instruments permitted the triangulation of data. A noted limitation of the study is that some library directors neither responded to the questionnaire nor the interview.
Findings revealed that various competitive intelligence techniques were employed; however, their implementation was not formalised. Competitiveness was driven by various factors such as rivalries in the information value chain; relevance; financial and budgetary constraints; changing user expectations and evolving technology.
This study is novel because there is a dearth of literature on implementation and use of competitive intelligence in academic libraries in South Africa.
Moyane, S.P., Dube, L., Nkomo, N. and Ngulube, P. (2020), "Competitive intelligence as a coping strategy for academic libraries in South Africa", Library Management, Vol. 41 No. 6/7, pp. 593-606. https://doi.org/10.1108/LM-05-2020-0083Download as .RIS
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