Competitiveness of a clinical laboratory within the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Blessing T. Kadira, Dirk Rossouw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Orientation: A clinical laboratory supports research for drugs, vaccine and device development. These laboratories in developing countries seem not to fully use technology arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to enhance their competitiveness and, consequently, market share. Research purpose: The purpose was to explore how a clinical laboratory in a developing country may become more competitive by implementing strategies in support of 4IR advancements. Motivation for the study: This study attempted to reflect literature on the topics of 4IR and competitiveness and also to acquire an understanding of how a clinical laboratory in a developing country can use 4IR technology to improve its competitiveness. Research design, approach and method: This study followed an interpretive paradigm and a qualitative enquiry, supported by a case study strategy. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews with 20 purposively selected stakeholders from the clinical laboratory. Conventional content analysis was applied to create codes, groups and themes. Main findings: It was found that a clinical laboratory in a developing country can be competitive within the 4IR environment, and a link was established between strategy, 4IR and the improvement of competitiveness of the clinical laboratory. Practical/managerial implications: The clinical laboratory has to build a strategy around the latest technology to ensure competitiveness and growth in its operations. The 4IR will also require continuous upgrades of new technology, and staff should be made part of this process. Contribution/value-add: The developing world has to catch up with the advanced economies. To assist in this, this study concludes that strategies supporting 4IR technology advancements can improve the competitiveness and sustainable growth of a clinical laboratory.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbera1133
JournalActa Commercii
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • clinical laboratory
  • competitiveness
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • strategy
  • technological advancements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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