Perceptions of Durban University of Technology librarians on whether knowledge-management will improve their effectiveness.
Academic libraries are confronted by a number of complex challenges as a result of relentless change which comes at an accelerated rate. Academic libraries play an important role in the Universities of Technology (UoTs). Challenges in the higher education sector have a direct impact on the way in which academic libraries operate. Factors affecting UoTs include transformation, technological advances, stakeholder demands, budget cuts, and changes in government policies. Responding effectively to such challenges has become critical for academic libraries. Academic libraries are part of the universities they serve, and they are under pressure to align their services to strategic goals of parent institutions. Besides that, academic libraries are under continuous scrutiny to prove their worth, especially when it comes to budget allocations. Knowledge-management has been identified as the best approach for organisations to continuously improve services and products for the purposes of achieving competitive advantage. The literature strongly emphasises that for organisations to remain competitive, continuous creation-sharing and effective utilization of organisational knowledge is critical. The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of Durban University of Technology (DUT) library employees on whether implementation of knowledge-management will improve their effectiveness. Knowledge-management is traditionally used in the corporate sector, however, this study looks at knowledge-management from an academic library perspective. It is important to mention that knowledge-management has not been implemented in the DUT library. Knowledge-management practices empower organisations with dynamic capabilities with which to exploit collective wisdom, as they pursue excellence and efficiency. The study captures the concept of knowledge-management in the context of academic libraries, particularly libraries within the UoTs. Data for this study was collected from library employees of the DUT library. A self-administered questionnaire was used as a data-collection instrument. Computer software known as SPSS version 20 was used for data-analysis purposes. The findings of this research project reveal that participants are of the view that knowledge-management will assist the DUT library to achieve its strategic objectives. The results also indicate that participants are more than willing to embrace and support the implementation of knowledge-management in the DUT library. The literature confirms that knowledge-management philosophy influences the motivation for pursuing excellence through effective use of organisational knowledge. The study highlights knowledge-management from the DUT library perspective, however, the findings of this study may well be relevant to other libraries within the UoTs and traditional universities. Organisational knowledge is regarded as a strategic resource for modern organisations to remain competitive. Knowledge management philosophy is receiving attention from public and private organisations as they have to deal with complex challenges. From the findings of this study, knowledge management philosophy will play a critical role to help DUT library achieve its strategic objectives.