Technological Impacts On Human Resources Activities Commerce Essay


In today's dynamic business environment, the world around us is changing at a rapid pace. Some companies succeed whilst others fail because they are unable to keep up with these global technological & communication changes. There is now a greater need for employees at all levels to be fully competent to the new technological developments. Global competition, changing technology and increasing customer expectations are demanding more and more of an organization and its people to be consistence with these challenges. By doing this, people not only become more valuable, but also marketable.

In this assignment I would like mainly discuss on how telecommunication & technology made impact on new HR functions (e-hrm) and also to the structures, job duties, work allocation and its cultural environment of organizations. By innovation of new technological enhancements may course some damage on some aspects of human resource management process. These issues will also be slightly discussed in this assignment by addressing case studies and some practical examples.


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Traditionally the human resource is considered as just the work force of an organization. They just wanted to fill up the positions & get the work done by anyhow. There is no human nature for them. But it did not last long forever. In 1980's the employers were rethinking about the human aspects in a broad manner. They realized the human resource as an asset for the organization rather than a work force. And also the employers believed that without motivating the employees one could not achieve the organizational objectives in its full sense (Dr.P.Subb Rao, 2008). In the mean time, the way of approaching towards employees also changed dramatically with the development of HRM. Earlier days the business is considered as one unit or entity, but now it is considered as a process. In other word, they followed the scientific approaches or philosophies to manage its workforce.

With the development of all those aspects now most of the business organizations in the world are highly influenced by modern telecommunication & technological developments. According to Cesaria and Cubello (2002), the organization consists of "the application of ICT tools & functionality to improve the effectiveness and the efficiency of human resource management processes and to enhance Human Capital as much as possible". The main concern or attention on this definition is basically the opportunities provided by new technological innovation to improve HRM activities or functions.

With regard to e-HR (electronic HR) that influences the basic HR activities of most organizations. Though it creates some of positive implications, there is a possibility to make threat to is employees. In the mean time at present more knowledge intensive organizations are visible than traditional direct control firms (Watson, 1994). According to ( Lower & Mohrman , 2001) there are three main factors of innovation, where they acknowledge these to use of e- HR, such as the operation activities are automated(i.e. Payroll system, Stock ordering system), one to one logic, the availability of a large decisions and so on.

Electronic - planning:

Now I would like to discuss some of the important HR activities which have been influenced by new technological developments. Once the manpower is determined (e-planning) [1] , one needs to recruit the suitable candidate for a job position. Basically in here, there are two ways of recruiting personnel to the organization. Internal (promote the candidate within the organization) and external sources (new blood to the organization from outside world). But nowadays to make the life easier online recruitments are more popular than other recruitments methods. One of the recent research depicts that around 70% -90% big organizations are highly used this method (K. Aswathappa,2008). When we consider real world examples one could see that not only private sector firms( i.e. MacDonald's highly use on line recruitments) but also Government organizations (i.e. NHS Trust) adopted the e-recruitments methods for recruiting right personnel. Nowadays HSBC specially using the On line assessment method to screen the employees to their banks. So in a way all the traditional recruitments methods are completely changed with development of new technology. Cutting cost, reducing cycle time, less administrative procedure are some of the benefits that one firm could achieved. In the mean time when the recruitment methods changed into computerized system, there is a possibility to make the recruitment process more impersonal & inflexible and those whoever do not have much knowledge in computer & new electronics would be in a critical situation. In other words, they would be ignored and finally they were demotivated due to technological changes. Further, the computerized systems may divulge some personnel information about the certain candidates (K. Aswathappa,2008).

Electronic- selection:

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According to the K. Aswathappa, the main purpose of electronic selection are mainly categorized into three. They are to achieve the cost reduction, sustainability and maximum utilization of human resources. With the help of HRIS (Human Resource Information System), intranet most of the organization are put in place some systems in the organization. HRIS is most popular technological developments in these days within organizations. It manages all the employee information, reporting analyzing all employees details and integrate with payroll systems. And also it tracts the attendance, pay raise , performance developments, training received of all the employees of a firm (internet,2009). So in here they use the technology as a controlling device other than any reson.When we consider the working place (Pizza hut UK Ltd.) where I am working, they used a system called TMRI (Team Member Readiness Inventory) sheet which select the team members though a pre programmed software and also which indicates the applicants competences, abilities by assigning a certain score out of hundred (Pizza hut working manual,2008).

Electronic Performance Management:

In today's world performance management also highly affected with new technological enhancements. By using the development of technology one can improve the productivity, competitiveness and employee motivation. The computerized performance management system consist with basic Key Performance Indicators (KPI) which shows the strength & weaknesses of a firm. In this case the firm's internet & intranet system also help to carry out the performance review. There would be some negative aspects will show in some of the firms. As we know, one to one or face to face interaction is more vital & efficient than the computer based appraisal system ( K. Aswathappa,2008). Because the system could not understand the employees inner mind.

Electronic Training:

Nowadays much more attention pay on e-learning or e-training of employees in the organization. In simple word we referred as Online training which is more popular among today's business world. Just for instance , most of the top distance Universities are conducting Video conference Presentations on line which get together all the participants in a one place. In the mean time some service oriented organizations ( i.e.: Pizza Hut, KFC) conducting its training for its employees by using DVDs in the work place rather than doing the training with a instructor (Pizza hut working manual,2008) . Some other methods like EPSS [2] ( Electronic performance support systems) are the systems used for automate training of Airline industries to identifies the job aids for pilots. Distance learning & internet based training are most popular among today's business world. Especially under Tele training one person is centrally located and group of people remotely located and carry out training through internet base techniques. For instance, Honda Group practicing this technique for their employees (Gary Dessler, 2008).The concept of 'job for life' has been changed with the impact of technology & globalization. The job security is not an offer these days, now the trend is fair treatment (compensation) & training & development (Internet,2009 [3] ). Even though we have experienced advantages from e-learning there are some disadvantages as well. Though we have all these on line base systems some of the research shows that no significantly grater evidence for improvements ( Gary Dessler, 2008).

Electronic compensation :

The other main HR activity is the electronic compensation (e-compensation) system. Basically this is a web enabled approach. In here with the help of compensation tools that enable a firm to collect, store, manipulate, analyze and distribute those data all over the world by using internet browser & intranet system. in a way these web based tools supports to employees and managers for crucial decision making process. Specially these days most of the HR managers using this tools for compensation administration purposes. The big challenge for HR professionals is design a system which could measure the impact on human's behavior (K. Aswathappa,2008). E-compensation & carrier developments are one of the main concerned in new physiological contract [4] . Therefore, management should pay their attention on employability, carrier developments and work life balance of the employees when they practicing new technological changes (internet,2009). However, if the management fails to treat its employees in full sense, this is the point where the whole mutual understanding between employer & employee will be collapsed. Now I would like to pay your attention that how the technology make impact on organizational structure, job duties, work allocation and organizational culture.

Changing Patterns of Work with New Technology:

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Basically nowadays traditional factory jobs go into high-tech works. Traditionally all job duties are specific and in a formal manner with job descriptions. There are some boundaries or restriction to stop or boycott some sort of activities for a employee. But now flexibility is one of the main features visible in most of the organization. For instance, Lloyds TSB has experimented with flexible job patterns with the aim of reduce cost & increase productivity through its network technology(Alan Price,2000). One of the research centers in Taiwan recruits highly talented engineers to their firm. And one of the researcher found that most of the engineers in the center were stressful while working. This is because, they have to work long hours and also high work load. In other words, they were not able to socialized with their families. Though they highly compensated, the management also expects some what extra efforts & dedication towards its research and development programmes. Another evidence shows that this is the reason for high turnover (65%) at TRP (Tainan Research Park). So what this case study revels is that though this TRP is one of the high tech companies in Taiwan, they were unable to manage its employees due to the failures in organizational structure & work allocation among the staff. (Journal of Business case studies, 2008). This shows some negative aspects of new technological developments. Once the new technology introduce to the organization it is quite hard to know the effects straightaway. And also it is not only limited to technical & economic aspects but also affect the culture and other parts of the organization (stampler, 1988). In this case the organizational culture & structure come into practice.

According to Armstrong M " the structure indicates who is accountable for directing, coordinating and carrying out these activities and defines management hierarchies, thus spelling out, broadly who is responsible to whom for at what level in the organization (Armstrong M, 2001)".

Armstrong again defines the culture is "the pattern of values, norms, beliefs, attitudes and assumptions that may not have been articulated but shapes the way in which people behave and things get done. Values refer to what is believed to be important about how people and the organization behave. Norms are unwritten rules of behavior" (Armstrong M, 2001).

Any way at present, the scenario has been changed that the HR departments have given a mission towards organizational structure to perform efficiently & effectively to provide a human consideration to the organizations. This transformation process happened due to development of new technologies (Lower, Mohrman, 2001). This arguments were further proved by Shaun Tyson & Alfled York,(2001). According to them, they believed that there are two types of approaches are visible in current organizational frame work. The human recourse approach and system approach [5] . Anyway they suggested that the organizations should follow the combination of those two approaches to adjust its environments. They refer this as "sociotechnical system" [6] .

Now we will see how other aspects of new technology & telecommunication comes under the culture & organizational structure of an organization. According to P Baloh and P Trkman the internet users has grown up over 300 million in 2000. (Baloh and Trkman, 2003) So one could imagine how technology quickly spreading all over the world. In other words the internet has great influence on how the organizational structure to be and how we are going to fill up the positions. For example whoever talented with IT techniques have more chance to find a better job in the market and performed well.(Baloh and Trkman, 2003).

In the changing pattern of work, Knowledge management also plays a role in the firms. The knowledge is one of the main fundamentals behind the success of any organization (Drucker, 1993) .In this case knowledge has played a vital role in the past and at present. In today's world knowledge, innovation and change are all inter linked (Castells, 1996). The survival of any current organizations determined by the way of it uses the knowledge of its professionals (Internet, 2009).

Alternative staff & new technology:

The Human resource departments used to be "Administrative "office and mainly pay attention on controlling cost & administrate the staff (Ulrich, 1997). But now, staffing is one of the area highly affected by internet technology which saved the huge amount of companies money as well. As I mentioned previously with the help of on line recruitment one can cut down the process time from 18 days to 12 days ( Baloh and Trkman, 2003). Basically there is no charge for postal, application charges and so on. And also one can screen out the best team member from the pool. And also Tele working is one of the famous terms used in today's HRM process. The simple meaning is working from a remote geographical area basically from home. In a way this allowed more flexibility to performing a task and also it increases the productivity & satisfaction (John Stredwick & Steve Ellis, 1999). On of the recent research shows that teleworking has been increased 15% annually in developed countries (Baloh and Trkman, 2003). Even though employees work in their own site, they loss their social life and also become mechanized to work. In a way their morale will be decreased. That is the most verse part of the new technological innovation. In the mean time project oriented works are more popular among organizations. Nowadays most of the professional organizations are willing to recruit sub contract employees rather than the permanent one. Because the companies prefer to hire the people from agencies to get their job done. So one could get the knowledge of collection of skilled people when they are needed for long term or short term projects (Baloh and Trkman, 2003). One of the leading example is Microsoft UK, they own more sub contactors than the permanent staff(John Stredwick & Steve Ellis,1999).This sub contract form of work already created the negative impacts to the whole economy when we consider the current postal strike in UK (internet,2009).

When we consider about work allocation, the allocation of work depends on how you are capable to cope with new technological innovations. In other words, for best jobs one need the more education & skills (introduction to HRM chapter1, p-10). By introducing new HR technologies the organizations could improve decision making process, cost saving and employee satisfaction. Telling the truth, those are the main value for any of the business (Eric lesser,2007). And also there is evidence that once you could manage the human resource factor, then you can easily control over physical, technical or economic factors. (C.B. Mamoria & S.V. Gankar , 2008).As I have mentioned in earlier ,the industries and officers were highly affected by the new technologies. And also it changes the way of work itself. In other word, this is referred as electronic working place. Further it goes to virtual organizations [7] (i.e., eBay & so on) .but once the organization is not good enough to adopt these technological changes, and then most of the positions will be displaced. Therefore just ignoring the impact on these changes cause a serious impact on employees as well as the organization itself (S.K. Bhatia & Nirmal singn, 2003).


According to Linda.H one thing becomes clear that the survival and extinction mainly depends on creativity, innovation and also continuous renewal of a organization (Linda, 2004). Though we have new technological systems, it should be in line with the business strategy of the firm. More use of technology creates double side effects to the organization. In one way it can results in improving work load & better communication. On the other hand, with out having a well effective strategy which will create a pressure on employees(Linda .H ,2004). As we know there is no universal approach to be followed by an organization. Mainly it should be tailor made by considering internal & external factors of a firm depending on the environmental challenges.

However, there are main three fundamental features of an organization. such as culture, structure and management styles. When new technology has introduced into the firm, necessary adjustments should be made to these characteristics if the organization is to evolve. In other words one can not ensure a success of a firm only reliance on technology. But it has to marry technology with human endeavor and a client oriented focus which will place the organization to survive in the future (internet, 2009).