DOI: 10.1177/02663821231195728 ISSN:

Acceptance and utilisation of lean principles as a business improvement initiative at an academic library in South Africa

Rafiekah Abrahams, Patrick Ngulube
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Business and International Management

This study used a case study approach to explore how librarians understood lean principles and the extent to which they used these principles to improve their practices. Lean principles have the potential of improving the process in the operation of organisations. The application of lean principles in many organisations, including academic libraries, seems to be limited. Although there is much scholarly communication on the successful implementation of lean principles, no research could be found on the implementation of lean principles in the processes and workflows of creating access to e-resources in academic libraries. An exploratory qualitative case study design within an interpretive paradigm informed this study. A purposive sample of 12 participants was interviewed and the data were analysed, using the reflexive thematic analysis supported by ATLAS.ti 22. The participants were not familiar with lean principles. However, they could articulate their responsibilities of the processes and workflows in creating and managing access to e-resources in their workspaces. The empirical data from the lean waste exercises affirmed that should lean principles be implemented in the processes, and workflows to streamline access to e-resources at the academic library it will enhance the delivery of an excellent customer service. The findings of this study can inform policymakers and librarians on how the implementation of lean principles to the processes and workflows can enhance and streamline access to e-resources.

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