Electronic HRM in Theory and Practice: Volume 8

Cover of Electronic HRM in Theory and Practice

Table of contents

(17 chapters)

The field of e-HRM and human resource information systems (HRISs) has developed very rapidly in recent years. More than two decades have passed since the publication of DeSanctis's (1986) seminal work on HRISs, and the topic continues to command the attention of scholars and practitioners around the world. If anything, interest in this topic has been increasing, as evidenced by citation counts, international academic workshops dedicated to this topic, and a number of special issues of international journals. In line with this trend, and responding to a perceived need to advance our understanding and theoretical grounds in this field, this volume forms a timely contribution.

There has been much research and many follow-up recommendations on how to introduce a new electronic human resource management (e-HRM) system to employees in order to avoid or minimize troubles during its implementation. However, implementation projects are known to be time consuming, indirect, and sometimes impulsive developments, leading to a mismatch between the initial ideas behind information technologies and the use in practice, the employees' perceptions and their experience. Paraphrasing Block, I put forward the following question: If I define successful e-HRM as one that is developed on-time and within budget, is reliable and easily maintained, and meets the specified requirements of HR professionals, line managers, and employees — how many organizations would acknowledge having successful e-HRM? (Block, R. (1983). The politics of project. New York: Yourdon Press). This chapter explores lessons from information technology (IT) studies that e-HRM researchers can learn and apply to better understand complex e-HRM implementation projects.

This chapter aims at setting an agenda for HRIS research from an integrative perspective. This perspective assumes that organization and information systems cannot be separated. By first elaborating on this integrated perspective in terms of a web of causes and consequences of the implementation of IT in organizations, a list of new organizational phenomena is presented. Subsequently, research on HRISs to date is summarized, resulting in the observation that HRIS research needs to be broadened and deepened. In the third section we combine the list of emerging phenomena with how HRISs are being implemented and used in mainly large global companies. We raise a number of critical questions for HRIS research per each emerging phenomena and suggest a number of appropriate research topics.

Numerous research questions in e-HRM research are directly related to the usage of diverse information systems by HR professionals, line managers, employees, and/or applicants. Since they are regularly based on Internet technologies, information systems in e-HRM automatically store detailed usage data in log files of web servers. Subsumed as “web mining,” such data are frequently used as inputs for innovative data analysis in e-commerce practice. Though also promising in empirical e-HRM research, web mining is neither discussed nor applied in this area at present. Our chapter therefore aims at a methodological evaluation of web mining as an e-HRM research approach. After introducing web mining as a possible approach in e-HRM research, we examine its applicability by discussing available data, feasible methods, coverable topics, and confirmable privacy. Subsequently, we classify the approach methodologically by examining major issues. Our evaluation reveals that “web mining” constitutes a promising additional research approach that enables research to answer numerous relevant questions related to the actual usage of information systems in e-HRM.

Building on our earlier model of the links between HR strategy, e-HR goals, architectures, and outcomes, we illustrate the relationship between some of these elements with data from three global organizations. In doing so, we aim to help academics and practitioners understand this increasingly important area of HR theory and practice.

While there is a growing body of research demonstrating that HR Shared Services can offer a value-creating structure for HRM within organizations, there remains considerable room for improving our understanding of it. The premise of this chapter is that the mixture of HR Shared Services outcomes leans on the diversity of the governance structures, which rest in turn on several contingency factors. This means that every HRM Shared Services Model (SSM) is unique in its structure, and thus the value proposition of every HRM SSM is unique. Therefore, instead of promoting a standard package of values expected from HR shared services, organizations should develop unique value propositions that are contingent on their unique governance structures.

E-HRM supposes to develop intranet tools in order to share HR information. The measure of the efficacy of this investment is quite difficult because this tool is used in various ways. The aim of this chapter is to identify and explain the diversity of those uses. The review of literature on this topic shows that the structurational perspective of technology developed by Orlikowski (2000) is considered as the most valuable conceptual framework to analyze them. We were asked by the HR management of a major aeronautical and space company called Aero to study the use of an HR intranet by middle management, one of the most important HR clients to satisfy. Using the conceptual framework of Orlikowski and from 53 interviews, we identified three different kinds of uses of this intranet — “reluctant use,” “utilitarian use,” and “innovative use.” Secondly, we linked them with specific interpretative schemes, norms, and facilities. In our discussion, we suggest to develop the concept of local universes to gather all dimensions that explain the diversity of use.

This chapter introduces the issue of language into the already complex nature of e-HRM system implementation in multinational corporations (MNCs). In the light of scant empirical research on language in international business in general and e-HRM in particular, this chapter reviews the research on language issues in the MNC context. The chapter then illustrates the challenges presented by language by reporting findings from a qualitative study into the effects of language standardization on e-HRM system acceptance and use in the foreign subsidiaries of a Finnish MNC.

The Internet has already impacted the recruitment process. The development of Web 2.0 offers new perspectives to recruiters. Are Web 2.0 practices revealing new e-recruitment strategies? We first connect the resource-based view (RBV) and the social network theory (SNT) respectively with Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Then we present the results from an exploratory study conducted among recruiters in software and computing services companies. It appears that the use of Web 1.0 is generalized but insufficient. Web 2.0 is used by firms to develop employer branding and reputation and to create new relationships with potential applicants. In conclusion, we adapt Ruël et al.'s e-HRM model to obtain a global view of e-recruitment issues.

This chapter examines the adoption of online recruitment — both corporate websites and commercial jobs boards — within the United Kingdom and the possible reasons behind its adoption. The chapter also reports on the development of a structured model explaining the factors that may affect an employer's decision of whether or not to adopt online recruitment methods, using Rogers (2003) diffusion of innovation (DOI) theory as a framework. The chapter draws conclusions as to why organizations adopt online recruitment, as well as discussing the use of DOI theory for the study of e-HRM in general.

Absorptive capacity (for e-HR adoption): The potential of the HR function to seek out and assimilate knowledge about e-HR technologies and incorporate this into their vision of a changed HR function (Reddington, Martin, and Bondarouk).

Cover of Electronic HRM in Theory and Practice
Publication date
Book series
Advanced Series in Management
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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