HRM 4.0 For Human-Centered Organizations: Volume 23
Table of contents(14 chapters)
Despite the fact that labels such as “smart industry” and “industry 4.0” (terms used to denote the fourth industrial revolution) have become popular topics within academia and in practice, their meaning remains an issue of concern. It’s a concern that has drawn the attention of various authors. It is a struggle we engaged in as well – specifically regarding the Dutch “smart industry” label – to aid our aim of assessing whether our call to combine forces can be extended beyond industry 4.0 and industrie 4.0. We provide here initial indications of whether there is more unity in meaning and, thus, reasons to take steps toward combining labels. By means of 20 interviews with Dutch smart industry experts, a representation of smart industry was obtained as understood in the Netherlands. Based on this representation, we examined the extent of overlap between the Dutch “smart industry” label and the general term “fourth industrial revolution” as well as the “industry 4.0” label as defined by various scholars. Our findings showed that smart industry in the Netherlands does not match the denotation of an industrial revolution. Several signals were, however, detected indicating that the content observed under the Dutch smart industry label overlaps with what is being presented under the label industry 4.0. These results reveal that there is indeed more unity in meaning between the various labels that exist and, as such, strengthens our call to combine forces.
There is currently a proliferation of digital analytics and machine/artificial intelligence productivity tools for creating and sustaining competitive advantage through strategic flexibility. Transformational e-HRM enables organizations to achieve and sustain competitive advantage through exploitation of these new productivity tools and approaches. However, it has been observed that many organizations have not been able to realize this. Using findings from an empirical exploration of e-HRM’s contribution to sustaining business performance, derived through an interpretative phenomenological analysis of a single case study, we propose in this chapter that for organizations to leverage the productivity gains of implementing Transformational e-HRM, HR and frontline managers require access to readily available artificial intelligence productivity tools. For e-HRM to contribute to sustaining business performance, we add to strategic flexibility theory that this can be realized by using e-HRM to enable strategic flexibility and adaptive capability. As we propose that it will be about organizations using the strategic capability derived by using Transformational e-HRM to create flexible and adaptive organizations. Its implications for practice are stated.
Despite much rhetoric about the need to be strategic, HR professionals have often had difficulty in establishing themselves as credible contributors to organizational performances, facing a legitimacy issue in their relationship with line managers. Adopting a social cognitive theory framework, the present study explores the HR professionals’ perceptions and expectations of the changing roles that HR professionals and line managers could play in a near future scenario where a set of smart technologies will be applied to HRM.
The research design is based on a two-wave survey: it involves 53 HR professionals belonging to the HR department of the Italian branch of one of the biggest international consulting companies which is about to implement a wide digital transformation.
Preliminary findings prompt reflections into the role of digital practices in reshaping the relationship between the HR department and line managers, especially in consideration of the role of HR professionals’ technology readiness and tenure. They suggest that HR devolution is not a matter of “all or nothing,” but it requires different solutions, which also depend on the nature of the specific HR practice. From a managerial perspective, the chapter suggests the paramount importance of sustaining the digital mindset of the HR professionals and their professional image.
This chapter aims to provide a contribution to the debate about the actual relevance and sustainability of holacracy as an organizational structure able to overcome the limitations of hierarchy. Based on the literature review of this topic, we developed a research framework to explore the organizational variables that allow, or encourage, the development of organizations according to the holonic model. We applied this framework to a case study of a fast-growing Italian system integrator and consulting company.
The outcomes of the empirical investigation show that the applied framework enables the explanation of the development of a holonic organization and they highlight that, to deal with such development, a central role is played by electronic human resource management (e-HRM), defined in terms of HRM processes, software platforms, and organizational culture.
One potential shortcoming of the emerging gig economy is the reduced ability of gig workers to meet their social and relatedness needs through their work. Using self-determination theory (SDT) as a theoretical foundation, we examine how gig work platforms currently use their technology for managing relationships with gig workers. We develop a framework consisting of four main attributes: relationship content, relationship duration, relational eHRM function, and social eHRM type. We then analyze the eHRM resources offered on 20 gig work platforms, evaluating the extent to which they are aligned with the framework. All platforms analyzed included some relational eHRM resources. Relationship content tends to be focused on tasks or career development, and relationship duration tends to be short. All three of the relational eHRM types (communication, training and development, and performance management) are currently found on gig platforms. Many of the eHRM resources are available to an open audience, but some of the resources with the potentially highest value are kept internal and are available only to people in particular roles. We discuss practical implications and directions for future research on this topic, suggesting that eHRM systems more focused on relational functions could be used to help gig workers meet their relatedness needs.
Despite the vast talk about digitalization and its ability to transform how organizations manage their workforce and their talent, our understanding of how the implementation and use of Talent Management Information Technology (TM IT) changes various organizational processes is limited. In this chapter, we use a qualitative case study of a multi-business unit professional services firm to highlight the complexity of the human – technology interface. Contributing to our understanding of the role of human resource management in talent management, we show how perceptions and attitudes toward information technology, in combination with existing social systems influence the role HR managers play in high potential talent identification. The chapter provides a more nuanced and context-based account of how eHRM, HRM and talent management materialize in organizations as HR professionals struggle to remain relevant in an increasingly digital world.
Blockchains 2019 in e-HRM: Hit or Hype?
Blockchains, also known as “distributed ledger technologies” (DLT) are perhaps the emerging innovation that, in the years leading up to and including 2019, is raising the highest expectations for HRM in the 4.0 business environment. In essence, a blockchain is a very specific type of database, with characteristics that made it the ideal application for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Within the context of digital- or e-HRM, there is potential to improve human resource management (HRM) processes using blockchains for employment screening, credential and educational verification, worker contracts and payments, among others, notwithstanding questions about its efficiency vis-à-vis conventional alternatives (Maurer, 2018; Zielinski, 2018). The research questions examined in this chapter include the following: What are the main characteristics of blockchains? Will they be adopted in a widespread form, specifically by HRM departments? Constructs from Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) theory (Rogers, 2003) are used to inform the Human Resources scholarly and practitioner communities; this robust theory may help companies allocate resources (e.g., budgets, personnel, managerial time, etc.) in an evidence-informed manner. As of this writing, very few blockchain applications, such as credential verification and incident reporting, seem to hold a strong potential for adoption.
An increased understanding of the capabilities needed for HR Analytics and how to build synergies from these capabilities is of practical and academic importance. Using the lens of Systems Theory, an explorative case study is performed in a multinational food distribution company that is building its HR Analytics Capabilities. In this study, the synergistic enablers and mechanisms have been examined in practice for the domain of HR Analytics and the BA Capabilities involved (clustered into Technology, Governance, Analytic Practices and Processes, People and Culture). Examples of (in)compatibilities, integration efforts, mechanisms and synergistic outcomes are given from the case organization. This study provides insights on how in practice the interaction between BA Capabilities can lead to synergistic relationships and synergistic outcomes and through what mechanisms and enablers this is being facilitated. The study contributes to HR Analytics and IS literature in terms of the use of synergistic enablers and mechanisms in practice.
The increasing use of digital technologies in organizational contexts, like collaborative social platforms, has not only changed the way people work but also provided organizations with new and wide ranges of data sources that could be analyzed to enhance organizational- and individual-level outcomes, especially when integrated with more traditional tools. In this study, we explore the relationship between data flows generated by employees on companies’ digital environments and employees’ attitudes measured through surveys. In a sample of 107 employees, we collected data on the number and types of actions performed on the company’s digital collaborative platform over a two-year period and the level of organizational embeddedness (fit, sacrifice, and links dimensions) through two rounds of surveys over the same period. The correlation of the quantity and quality of digital actions with the variation of organizational embeddedness over the same period shows that workers who engaged in more activities on the digital platform also experienced an increase in their level of organizational embeddedness mainly in the fit dimension. In addition, the higher the positive variation of fit, the more employees performed both active and passive digital actions. Finally, the higher the variation of organizational embeddedness, the more employees performed networking digital behaviors.
This chapter aims to build a systematization of the current theoretical and empirical academic contributions on smart working (SW) in the organization studies domain and to examine which are the main paths that researchers are concerning themselves with, with specific attention being paid to the new meaning that the work itself has acquired in the model proposed by SW. Particular consideration is devoted to an analysis of the characteristics of the present debate on this construct and the meaning of SW, identifying two different – and contrasting – approaches: one considers it as a totally new concept; the other is notable for its continuity with previous arrangements such as telework. Further, some relevant concepts, strictly related to that of SW in working environments are considered. In the last part of the chapter, some key points for further research are proposed to create stimuli for discussion in the community of organization studies and HRM scholars and among practitioners, given from the perspective of deepening the change in progress, the relevance for which there is general consensus.
Although the importance of social media in the HRM literature is well established, little is known about their potential role in bringing the “human component” at the center of the organization. The purpose of this chapter is to conceptually investigate if and how the use of social media in HRM can support (or counteract) a more humanistic approach within organizations. To this aim, we looked into how the e-HRM literature on social media could match the principles posed by the Humanistic Management literature. After having delineated Humanistic Management principles, we frame our analysis focusing on four main topics related to HRM: organizational culture, leadership, job design, and HR practices (i.e., recruitment and selection, learning and training, and performance appraisal and compensation). We develop research propositions connecting humanistic principles with these organizational and HR areas, and conclude with research and managerial implications.
This study aims to explore social media capabilities for recruitment in the context of SMEs from the recruiters’ perspective. The conceptual framework is based on a perspective of the RBV that aims to concentrate specifically on the development of IT capabilities in the use of social media for recruitment purposes. In doing so, this study focuses on the following research questions: How do SMEs use social media for recruitment and what are their particularities? What are the capabilities needed to take advantage of social media for recruitment in SMEs? Have these social media capabilities been developed in SMEs? To answer these questions and build an emergent theory about these specific challenges of the digital era, we conducted an interpretive multiple case study in three Canadian SMEs using social media in their HR practices for at least three years.
It was found that there are four main patterns that explain the use of social media for recruitment in SMEs. First, social media is not the first choice when it comes to choosing a recruitment tool. Second, the use of social media for recruitment is not a structured activity. Third, recruiters use social media the same way they do in their own life. Finally, marketing people are often involved in recruitment practices on social media. These patterns stem from the fact that SMEs have shortcomings in their social media capabilities in general and more specifically in recruitment where gaps exist in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. To our knowledge, this study is the first to explore the use of social media for recruitment and to propose an integrated framework to evaluate social media capabilities. Through the identification and the discussion of a series of practices concerning e-HRM, our results are also helpful in a digital context where SMEs are struggling to keep up with the pace of adoption and use of IT in general.
- Publication date
- Book series
- Advanced Series in Management
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN