The information behaviour of managers in the Msunduzi Municipality's business units.
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Information is a crucial resource for improving organisational performance and ensuring the survival of the organisation. Managers occupy a strategic position and play a pivotal role in processing information and directing the activities of employees. The South African Constitution, Act 108 of 1996, mandates local government to adopt a developmental orientation (promoting social and economic development) in order to improve the quality of life of all inhabitants of the municipality. Local government managers therefore play a significant role in fulfilling this mandate of co-ordinating these developmental activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the information behaviour of managers in the Msunduzi Municipality's business units, in order to adapt or design and deliver an information service that would be effective for the achievement of these managers' job objectives. Specifically, the study focused on the following research questions: 1) What are the information needs of managers? 2) How do managers meet these needs? 3) What are the managers' information source preferences? 4) What are the barriers experienced by managers during information seeking? The study adopted a quantitative approach, in which a structured self-administered questionnaire was distributed via the municipality's intranet, to 56 level four managers. The key findings of the study indicate that the main purposes for which level four managers in the Msunduzi Municipality require information is for keeping abreast of developments in their fields, broadening their knowledge and for decision-making. In terms of managers‟ information seeking patterns, managers spend a significant amount of time actively seeking information. They prefer seeking information themselves, as opposed to using intermediaries. The use of libraries for information seeking is minimal and managers accumulate information which gets deposited in their cognitive storehouses for when the need arises. The internet was by far the information source of preference. Reliability is the main factor that influenced source preference and a lack of time was the greatest barrier to information seeking. The study will have practical implications for the Msunduzi Municipal Library services, as well as for management practice. The researcher makes recommendations for adapting the existing library services according to the outcomes of the current study. Recommendations for further research, including qualitative studies which allow for further probing of the findings of this indicative study, are also made.