Title page for ETD etd-09272009-154654

Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Sewdass, Nisha
Email nisha.sewdass@up.ac.za
URN etd-09272009-154654
Document Title The implementation of competitive intelligence tools and techniques in public service departments in South Africa to improve service delivery : a case study of the Department of Home Affairs
Degree DPhil
Department Information Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof C S Fleisher Co-Supervisor
Prof M E Snyman Supervisor
  • service sector organisations
  • non-profit organisations
  • competitive intelligence framework
  • service delivery
  • competitive intelligence tools and techniques
  • public service
  • competitive intelligence
  • service quality
  • public service delivery
  • services
Date 2009-09-02
Availability unrestricted
Competitive Intelligence (CI) has become increasingly important for organisations in the private sector, or profit-making organisations, because the level and intensity of competition has increased in recent years. This increase in the level and intensity of competition has also affected the public sector, or non-profit-making organisations, such as Public Service departments.

In South Africa, the Public Service departments have undergone significant changes, in order to rectify the injustices of the past. Despite much progress, it is noticed that government does not have sufficient capacity to deliver and sustain a quality service to its citizens. It is further noted that improved service delivery cannot be implemented by issuing of circulars only, and it is not just an administrative activity, instead it is a dynamic process and to do this, Public Service managers require new management tools. The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) was chosen as the case study Public Service department for this study.

The purpose of this study was to ascertain how competitive intelligence tools and techniques could be implemented in Public Service departments in South Africa to enhance the delivery of services. This aim was established during this study by addressing the following issues:

Identifying how CI tools and techniques could contribute to the functioning of the Public Service sector. The study outlined the benefits of CI for public service organisations and focussed on several tools and techniques that could be used. Most of these tools and techniques were not used in DHA.

Assessing the current state of Public Service delivery in South Africa. It became evident from the study that the Public Service sector and in particular DHA was experiencing several problems in terms of achieving its service delivery mandate. The Department lacked structured and formal frameworks, policies and strategies for conducting its operations. The organisation was viewed to have many unskilled and de-motivated staff. The current state of service delivery in South Africa also revealed disturbing findings of corruption, fraud, nepotism, and extreme despair in staff that had to work in these conditions.

Identifying gaps in the Public Service current strategies for service delivery. It was established that DHA does not use reliable techniques and methods when conducting its strategic planning. Furthermore, staff lacked the competencies, skills and experience to assist in strategic planning. The existing strategic plan for DHA does not address the future desires of the organisation and can be regarded as a plan to address the immediate issues of the organisation only.

Identifying the forms of competition that impact service delivery in Public Service departments in South Africa. Several forms of competition were encountered at DHA. These forms of competition can be divided into three different areas namely internal competition in DHA, external competition and left field competition. The information about these forms of competition was not readily available to managers and decision makers therefore appropriate actions could not be taken to counteract the impact of the competition on service delivery.

Identifying initiatives adopted by Public Service departments to improve service delivery. It was evident from the study that while the new initiatives being implemented by DHA to improve service delivery would be able to, and in some cases, have already had a positive impact on the operating and service delivery environment, several concerns were also identified.

Designing a new CI related framework for gathering and analysing information that can be used in all Public Service departments in South Africa to improve service delivery. From the empirical investigations it became evident that no single CI tool or technique would have been able to address the situation at DHA, therefore, a combination of tools was necessary. These tools were depicted in a CI framework that DHA could use to gather and analyse information for decision making and service delivery.

Suggesting proposed solutions and recommendations that can assist Public Service departments in South Africa in improving its service delivery.

It was evident that CI can contribute towards the enhancement of decision making and service delivery not only in DHA but also in all other Public Service departments in South Africa.

2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Sewdass, N 2009, The implementation of competitive intelligence tools and techniques in public service departments in South Africa to improve service delivery : a case study of the Department of Home Affairsi, DPhil thesis, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09272009-154654/ >


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