Rapid development of science and technology, especially the usage of Internet and computer technology, has brought outstanding changes to our economy, society, and culture. Over the last few years, with the advent of these technologies, a new wave of human resource (HR) technology recognised as electronic human resource management(E-hrm) has developed (Hooi, 2006). However, academic involvement in E-HRM started relatively late and, to an extent, is still improving to catch up with practice (Ruel et al., 2007).
The introduction of E-HRM is expected to facilitate a more efficient and strategic way of working for HR professionals (Gardner et al., 2003; Shrivastava & Shaw, 2003). Using E-HRM technology is a way to implement HR strategies, policies, and practices. The E-HRM technology helps the HR tasks to comply with the HR needs of the organisation via the web-technology-based channels (Ruel et al., 2004).
The E-HRM technology provides an entry which allows managers, employees, and HR professionals to view, extract, or change information which is needed for managing the HR of the organisation. In addition, with the use of E-HRM, fewer HR professionals are needed, because E-HRM eradicates the "HR middleman" (Lengnick-Hall & Moritz, 2003).
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In contemporary business, information technology (IT) tools are fundamental to realize processes in a faster and more efficient way. Global competition is demanding and organizations have to use innovative ideas to stay competitive. Every department in a company plays a fundamental role for success, but we believe that there is one of special significance: Human Resources Management (HRM).
This paper will evaluate one specific area of businesses, HRM, and even further focus on electronic Human Resources Management (e-HRM). Some researchers within the field claim that it has various effects on the HRM processes, either positive or negative.
The subject is interesting and therefore, an analysis will be conducted with a few companies to evaluate how e-HRM contributes to HRM effectiveness in these organisations.
1.1 Research Background
The Human Resources Management's function in any organization is crucial, because it deals with a very important and difficult to manage resource: human capital. People make the organization work. Firms need to recruit, find the best person-job fit and retain employees (Laumer, Eckhardt, & Weitzel, 2010). Besides, HRM departments are created to manage all issues connected with the organization's workforce. Such duties include employees' performance, human resources planning, staffing, training, payments, compensations, employees' benefits etc. (Stolt, 2010). Stolt (2010) describes HRM as a way of managing the organization's most important asset- the people who contribute to the company's success either individually or collectively- in a planned and strategic way. During the last decade, HRM has been adapting to various changes and improvements. One of them is technology which has greatly affected the way HRM departments in organizations work. The development of the Internet and other IT tools drive companies to utilize its possibilities in doing business and improving performance. Paauwe, Farndale and Williams (2005) said that the HRM function is subject to drastic and dramatic change because of the involvement of web-based organising.
As a result of this particular change, electronic Human Resources Management (e-HRM) has become more and more popular in the last years.
E-HRM strives to implement all the operational activities that the HRM is concerned with, with the help of technological tools in a fast and accurate way. It has been widely used to facilitate the recruitment and selection processes, from the simple task of uploading a CV to a webpage platform, filling an online job application to the moment of the actual hiring. Also, online training options and accessing performance information online is becoming more and more popular.
In this research, we will focus on the outcomes and consequences of e-HRM and examine if companies truly benefit from the use of e-HRM systems and also dedicate the following research to the analysis of e-HRM and evaluate if the HRM departments of the organisations that we will interview are affected by the use of e-HRM systems.
1.2 Research Question
The objective of this research is translated in the following research question:
What is the effectiveness of e-HRM within companies in Mauritius?
1.3 Research Aims and Objectives
The use of e-HRM technology, as it is a way to implement HR strategies, policies and practices, is expected to have an impact on how the HR function operates. Moreover, it is aimed to develop the HR system. The impact of e-HRM technology on the HR system however, is expected to be reliant on the way the technology is used. It is dependent on what and how the technology help to support the HR function but also on how the technology is implemented. This is on its turn affected by what the organisation is trying to attain with the technology or what the e-HRM goals of the organisation are. The e-HRM goals and the actual use of the e-HRM technology thus have an impact on the HR system. Therefore, these aspects will all be considered during this research.
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The objective of this research is therefore formulated as:
The development of research to know the effectiveness of e-HRM within orgainsations in Mauritius.
The goals for implementing e-HRM are aimed at the improvement of the HR system of the organisation.
To assess the effectiveness of e-HRM within an organisation.
To analyse the outcomes and consequences of using e-HRM in an organisation.
To assess how far e-HRM contributes to HRM effectiveness.
To investigate how e-HRM improve services to HR department clients (both staffs and management).
1.4 Outline of Study
The following chapters of this report are as follows. Chapter 2 is the theoretical framework for this research. In order to answer the research question we have first looked at the existing literature. Therefore this chapter will give an introduction to this e-HRM research. We will discuss the e-HRM goals, types of e-HRM, e-HRM outcomes, HRM effectiveness, the impact of E-HRM on the effectiveness of HR system, improving services to HR department clients using e-HRM and an up-to-date e-HRM research.
In Chapter 3 we will discuss the methodology. In this chapter we explain how we did the research.
Chapter 4 is the results chapter. In this chapter we will present the data of the research. In the results chapter we present the data in two levels of analysis: first a description per organisation, second an analysis for the organisations.
Finally, in chapter 5 we will present conclusions for this research