Is there a relationship between information technology adoption and human resource management?

Wendy R. Carroll (University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Canada)
Terry H. Wagar (Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Canada)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 18 May 2010



The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the adoption of information technology is associated with human resource management and organizational restructuring.


SMEs in Nova Scotia were visited and complete data from 130 firms were obtained.


The rate of IT adoption varies noticeably among SMEs in Nova Scotia, with less than 10 per cent being high adopters. IT adoption was strongly associated with employer size, organizational restructuring and investment in human resource management.

Research limitations/implications

The data are cross‐sectional and the generalizability of the results may be limited. While it was found that HRM and IT were strongly related, it was whether they are associated with higher employer performance was not examined.

Practical implications

The results suggest that IT may play a role in enhancing the human resource function.


There has been little research exploring the link between HRM and IT adoption, particularly among small firms. This paper fills some of the gaps.



Carroll, W. and Wagar, T. (2010), "Is there a relationship between information technology adoption and human resource management?", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 218-229.

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Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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