Lions…Tigers…and Bears: the World of E-Hrm

9 September 2016

The World of e-HRM Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Science in Management College of Business & Management Cardinal Stritch University November 29, 2011 Abstract Rapid development and expansion of the internet has boosted the realization and application of e-HRM. Technological optimist assume, that from a technical perspective, the IT possibilities for e-HRM are endless: in principal all HR processes can be supported by IT.

This paper aims at giving a clear definition of what HRM and e-HRM actually is, as well as the current uses and technologies utilizing the e-HRM concept. This paper will also discuss some of the pros and cons associated with e-HRM from 4 different perspectives: individual, operational, relational, and transformational. Keywords: e-HRM, HRM, technology, management With the rapid development and expansion of the internet the realization and application of e-HRM has intensified.

Lions…Tigers…and Bears: the World of E-Hrm Essay Example

Technological optimist assume, that from a technical perspective, the IT possibilities for e-HRM are endless: in principal all HR processes can be supported by IT. Surveys of HR consultants suggest that both the number of organizations adopting e-HRM and the depth of applications within the organizations are continually increasing. (CedarCrestone, 2005) In addition, there is anecdotal evidence that e-HRM is becoming increasingly common and may lead to remarkable changes.

This paper aims at giving a clear definition of what HRM and e-HRM is, as well as the current uses and technologies utilizing the e-HRM concept. This paper will also discuss various pros and cons associated with e-HRM from four distinct perspectives: individual, operational, relational, and transformational. This paper will conclude with a summary of conclusions about the appropriate and best uses of e-HRM. Human Resource Management (HRM) The human resources of an organization consist of all people who perform its activities.

HRM is concerned with the personnel policies, managerial practices and systems that influence employees’ behavior, attitudes, and performance. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) In broader terms, all decisions that affect the workforce of an organization concern the HRM function. The HR department of an organization is solely responsible for outplacement, labor law compliance, record keeping, testing, unemployment compensation, and some aspects of benefits administration.

In addition to the administrative services and transactions, the HR department also acts as an organizations business and strategic partner. With the administrative services and transactions, the HR department focuses on compensation, hiring and staffing; emphasizing resource efficiency and service quality. As a business partner, the HR department focuses on developing effective HR systems and helping implement business plans and talent management; emphasizing knowing the business, exercising influence with regard to problem solving, and designing effective systems to ensure needed competencies.

The HR department in the ever-evolving role of strategic partner focuses on contributing to business strategy based on considerations of human capital, business capabilities, readiness, and developing HR practices as strategic differentiators; emphasizing knowledge of HR and of the business, competition, the market, and business strategies. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Electronic Human Resource Management (e-HRM) Before starting to define e-HRM, it is important to identify terms that possibly carry similar meaning.

In addition to e-HRM, there are several concepts that refer to the same trend. Widely accepted terms include virtual HR(M) (Lepak & Snell, 1998), web-based HR(M) (Ruel, Bondarouk, & Looise, 2004), or business-to-employee (B2E) (Huang, Jin, & Yang, 2004). “Virtual HRM refers to technological mediated networks of different internal and external actors providing the firm with the HR services needed without the further existence of a conventional HR department which therefore becomes virtual.

In summary, these additional terms undoubtedly direct attention to main characteristics of the same phenomenon but are of narrower intensions; therefore, in order to comprehensively embrace relevant aspects the e-HRM term is used. E-HRM is not a specific stage in the development of HRM, but a choice for an approach to HRM. It is the application of information technology for both networking and supporting employees and the HR department in their shared performing of HR activities, specifically the processing and transmission of digitized information used in HRM.

(Srivastava, 2010; Strohmeier, 2007; Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Types of e-HRM Wright and Dyer (2000) distinguish three areas of HRM where organizations can choose to offer HR services face-to-face or through an electronic means: transactional HRM, traditional HRM, and transformational HRM. Operational HRM consists of the basic HR activities in the administrative area; for example payroll and personnel data. Relational HRM entails more advanced HRM activities; such as tools that support basic business processes such as recruiting and selection of new personnel.

Transformational HRM concerns HRM activities with a strategic character, such as activities regarding organizational change processes and strategic competence management. (Ruel, Bondarouk, & Looise, 2004) What is e-HRM being used for? E-HRM is currently being used for three broad HRM functions: transactional processing, reporting and tracking, decision support systems, and expert systems. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Transactional processing refers to computations and calculations used to review and document HRM decisions and practices and would fall under the area of operational HRM.

Decision support systems, which fall under the umbrella of relational HRM, are designed to help managers solve what-if questions, that is allows managers to see how outcomes change when assumptions or data change. Falling under the area of transformational HRM, expert systems are computer systems incorporating the decision rules of people recognized as experts in a certain area. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Current Technologies The most current technologies being applied to HRM include interactive voice technology, client-server architecture, relational databases, imaging, and development of specialized software.

These technologies improve effectiveness through increasing access to information, improving communications, improving the speed with which HRM transaction and information can be gathered, and reducing the costs and facilitating the administration of HRM functions such as recruiting, training, and performance management. ” (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010, p. 737) Interactive Voice Technology Especially useful with benefits administration, interactive voice technology uses a conventional personal computer to create an automated phone-response system.

(Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Networks and Client Server Architecture Traditionally different computer systems with different databases are used for payroll, recruiting, and other HRM functions. A network is a combination of computers, mainframes or minicomputers that share access to databases and a method to transmit information throughout the system. “A common form of network involves client-server architecture. Client server architecture provides the means of consolidating data and applications into a single system (the client).

Both the data and software can be accessed and borrowed by multiple users. Relational Databases A relational database is a structure that stores information in separate files that look like tables and that can be linked by common elements, such as name, identification number or location. Users can file and retrieve information according to any field or multiple fields. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Imaging Imaging is a process for scanning documents, storing them electronically, and retrieving them.

This is particularly useful because paper files take up a large volume of space and are difficult to access. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Expert Systems Expert systems are technologies that mimic a human expert, that have three elements: a knowledge base that contains facts, figures and rules about a specific subject; a decision-making capability that draws conclusions from those facts and figures to solve problem and answer questions; and a user interface that gathers and gives information to the person using the system.

Groupware Groupware is an electronic meeting software application that enables multiple users to track, share, and organize information and to work on the same document simultaneously. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Software Applications for HRM HRM Software applications are also being utilized in the areas of recruitment and selection, compensation and rewards, as well as training and development.

To ensure that ensure that hiring practices and decisions align with the law, traditional recruitment and selection processes have typically required considerable face-to-face communications, labor-intensive assessment devices, and significant monitoring of managerial decisions. Technology also enables organizations to provide online testing services as well as to monitor hiring processes to minimize the potential for discriminatory hiring practices. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010)

The most pervasive form of bureaucracy, rigid, time-consuming and ineffective processes are reflected in HRM compensation systems. This is in spite of the critical role they play in attracting, motivating and retaining employees. Leveraging technology may allow firms to better achieve their compensation goals with considerably less effort. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) In regards to training and development, although it is not new for organizations to look to different avenues such as computer or video, many organizations have begun delivering much more training via the internet.

Although some training can be done effectively via the internet and intranet, some can not. Online training can considerably shorten the amount of time and money an organization spends on training. (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2010) Pros and Cons of e-HRM Individual Level Looking at the pros and cons on a micro-level, some case studies reveal increased employee acceptance and satisfaction due to added value like time-savings or increased accuracy of results. (Ruta, 2005; Hawking, Stein, & Foster, 2004) however, concerns of privacy and perceptions of fairness by employees was of concern.

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