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Employee Engagement On Organizational Citizenship Behavior Management Essay

4570 words (18 pages) Essay in Management

5/12/16 Management Reference this

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The purpose of study is to examine the relationship between employee engagement and organizational citizenship behavior and whether this relationship is strengthen or not when human resource information system is used as a mediating variable. Employee engagement is considered as an independent variable which is composed of sub variables, role of human resource information system is taken as mediating variable, while organizational citizenship behavior which is also composed of some sub variables is considered as dependent variable. A questionnaire survey was conducted from 152 employees of multiple organizations from all over the Pakistan. Regression analysis and the analysis of variance and post hoc are used to measure the results, and the results indicated that there is a significant relationship between employee engagement and organizational citizenship behavior and this relation is more strengthened when human resource information system is used in the organization.

Keywords: Employee Engagement, Organizational citizenship Behavior, human resource information system.

Table of Contents



Loyal Employees are the assets of an organization. The helping behavior of the employees at work place and their devotion towards their employer are the essential elements of a prosperous and profitable firm. This study aims to find out the relationship between Organization Citizenship Behavior (OCB) and Employee Engagement (EE) with a mediating effect of role of Human Resource Information System (HRIS). The brief introduction of these terms is as under.

Organ defined Organization citizenship behavior as “individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization” (Organ, 1988). So it is a term use to define the more than required behavior of an employee at work place. As OCB is flexible behavior that is not part of an employee formal job, but that nevertheless promotes the effective functioning of organization (Bukhari, Ali, Shahzad, & Bashir, 2009). OCB refers to behavior that is not formally requested or directly rewarded but can be functional to the operations of an organization (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983). Research shows that OCB can have a positive impact on organizational success through improvements in productivity, resource utilization, group activity coordination, performance stability, employee recruitment, selection and retention, and the ability to adapt to environmental changes (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000).These all terms use to define a behavior which is not common and is not required in the formal settings of an organization, but if this behavior prevails in the organization it leads towards the profitability and better performance of the firm. How this sort of behavior is developed in the organization? Organ has defined five major antecedents that lead to Organization citizenship behavior (OCB), which are also the point of focus in this paper. These antecedents involve Altruism, Conscientiousness, Courtesy, Sportsmanship, and Civic Virtue.

The employee engagement construct is relatively new for HRM and start to exist in the literature for nearly two decades (Robinson, Perryman, & Hayday, 2004). Saks (2006) and Roberts (2006) noted that engagement is most closely associated with the existing construct of job involvement and flow (Ologbo C. Andrewa, 2012). In engagement organizational members’ selves to their work roles, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively and emotionally during role performances (Kahn, 1990). Employee engagement has become a widely used and popular term (Robinson, Perryman, & Hayday, 2004). al (2012) defined employee engagement as “the level of commitment and involvement an employee has towards his or her organization and its values”. However, most of what has been written about employee engagement can be found in practitioner journals where it has its basis in practice rather than theory and empirical research (Saks., 2006). As noted by, Robinson et al, there has been surprisingly little academic and empirical research on a topic that has become so popular (Robinson, Perryman, & Hayday, 2004).

This paper focuses on five major antecedents that lead towards employee engagement. These are Job Characteristics (JC), Management and Leadership Support (MLS), Reward and Recognition (RR), Workplace Well-being (WPW) and Communication (CN). The aim is to find out that whether these constructs develop organizational citizenship behavior in employees or not. The definition of human resource information system and its enablers are discussed as under.

The human resource information system (HRIS) is “the composite of databases, computer applications, hardware and software necessary to collect/record, store, manage, deliver, present, and manipulate data for human resources” (Broderick & Boudreau, 1992). The information stored and manipulated about the employees of the organization make them possible to access the required information any time with the help of human resource information system. Many enablers have been cited in literature regarding the enablers of HRIS, however this paper focuses on four enablers i.e. information responsiveness and information autonomy enabled by the system, feedback and control procedure which is also enabled with the use of HRIS and relative advantage of using HRIS. Initially, such a system was used in human resource management to support transaction processing and maintain management control. HRIS is an organized approach for obtaining relevant and timely information on which to base human resource decisions.

The research is divided into several chapters. First chapter contains the introduction of the work done in this study, second chapter contains the review of literature on these issues, third part contains the Hypothesis development, in forth section the conceptual framework is given, fifth part comprises of research methodology and design, and then results and findings are stated in sixth chapter, final chapter contains the limitation and future directions for further research.




Nearly four decades ago, (Katz, 1964) identified the importance of a set of discretionary and impulsive behaviors that are above the defined role requirements, but are highly important for organizational effectiveness. (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983), in a report of empirical research on the characteristics and antecedents of such behaviors, termed these contributions as “organizational citizenship behavior”. Later Organ has defined OCB as “individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system, and that in the aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization. By discretionary, we mean that the behavior is not an enforceable requirement of the role or the job description, that is, the clearly specifiable terms of the person’s employment contract with the organization; the behavior is rather a matter of personal choice, such that its omission is not generally understood as punishable” (Organ, 1988). However, (Organ, 1997) refined this definition as “conceptualizing organizational citizenship behavior as any form of performance that supports the social or psychological environment in which the work tasks are embedded”. Organizational citizenship behavior was first examined by Organ and his colleagues (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983). After that, many related concepts have emerged, such as extra-role behavior (Van Dyne, Cummings, & Parks, 1995), organizational spontaneity (George, 1992), organizational citizenship performance (Borman, 2004), voice behavior (LePine & Van Dyne, 1998) and pro social organizational behavior (Brief & Motowidlo, 1986). These terms are related, but often emphasize different features.

OCB typically refers to “behaviors that positively impact the organization or its members” (Poncheri, 2006). It can be affected by incorporating a perception of perfection in employees regarding their job task (Todd, 2003). There is credible proof that “OCB is an outcome consistent with a social exchange relationship” (Deckop, Mangal, & Circa, 1999). The concern for the organization is closely related to OCB as it will directly affect the working of the organization (Dick, Grojean, Christ, & Wieseke, 2006). But it is also evidenced that citizenship behaviors give better results in long term rather than in short time span (Daniels, Joireman, Falvy, & Kamdar, 2006). al (2004) considers OCB to be “an extra-role behavior” i.e. it is a behavior which is not explicitly defined by the organization and is completely dependent upon the consent of the employees.

OCB represents “a set of desirable organizational behaviors, which demonstrate multi-dimensional relationships with positive organizational consequences” (Walz & Niehoff, 1996). Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Paine, and Bachrach (2000) distinguished 30 different forms of organizational citizenship behavior (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000). Initial versions of OCB measures based on interviews by (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983), Yielded two major factors: altruism and compliance. Organ (1988) suggests that additional noticeable dimensions of OCB might include “courtesy” (actions that help to avoid problems for coworkers), sportsmanship (facing the behaviors of others with a positive attitude), and civic virtue (Active participation in organization’s extra role activities) (Farh., Zhong., & Organ., 2004).

Form the above given definitions it can be seen that the term OCB is very wider. Multiple terms are used in contrast with organizational citizenship behavior. This paper focuses on five major constructs identified by organ (1988) i.e. (Altruism, Conscientiousness, Sportsmanship, courtesy, Civic virtue that lead to organizational citizenship behavior. These constructs together with their meanings are discussed as follows.


Altruism is defined as the “Discretionary behaviors that have the effect of helping a specific other person with an organizationally relevant task or problem” (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990). al defines that altruism “capture’s behavior that is directly and intentionally aimed at helping a specific person in face-to-face situations” (Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983). It includes helping coworkers in organizational task related problems. It is the most important antecedents of OCB, as Pare and Tremblay (2000) explains altruism as behaviors such as helping coworkers who have heavy workloads, helping a colleague who has not been present from work, being aware of how one’s own behavior affects others’ jobs, and providing help and support to new employees represent clear indications of an employee’s interest for its work environment (Pare & Tremblay, 2000). So altruism is all about helping others at the work place, this more than the required behavior makes altruism a major construct of organizational citizenship behavior.


Podsakoff define conscientiousness as “Discretionary behaviors on the part of the employee that go well beyond the minimum role requirements of the organization, in the areas of attendance, obeying rules and regulations, taking breaks, and so forth” (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990). It means that it is a way of doing the things beyond the required ones, such as punctuality, caring the resources of the organization, and considers all the matters positively in the maintenance of organization (Organ, 1988). Conscientiousness is thus taking the initiative to engage in behaviors for the good of the organization, it can be expressed in numerous ways in organizations and, most obviously, in terms of job performance (King, George, & Hebl, 2005). In other words, conscientiousness means the thorough adherence to organizational rules and procedures, even when no one is watching (Bukhari, Ali, Shahzad, & Bashir, 2009). So it can be observed from the definitions that conscientiousness is a behavior which is more than the required one and is essential for the better performance of the organization.


Discretionary behavior on the part of an individual aimed at preventing work-related problems with others from occurring (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990). Examples of this attitude include trying to prevent other people from suffering as a result of a certain event, informing fellow workmen on work schedule about the points which must be taken into consideration in advance (Organ, 1990) (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000). It includes advance notices, reminders, passing along information, consultation, and briefing all suggest the intrinsic quality of courtesy” (Organ, 1988). Organ is of the view that courtesy behaviors (e.g., advance notice of taking more than routine work) assists co-workers to efficiently put and control their efforts, that leads to reduction in anger, frustration and chances of loss of organization’s assets (Organ, 1988). This behavior leads to organization citizenship behavior and is considered as a antecedent of OCB.


Enthusiasm of the employee to tolerate unhealthy circumstances without complaining, Organ defined sportsmanship as a behavior of “avoid complaining, petty grievances, railing against real or imagined slights, and making federal cases out of small potatoes” (Organ, 1988). “Sportsmanship behaviors are aimed at maintaining the status quo and promoting social harmony” (Wang., Hinrichs., Prieto., & Howell, 2010). The definitions of sportsmanship are quite narrow. Empirical research (MacKenzie, Podsakoff, & Fetter, 1993) (MacKenzie, Podsakoff, & Rich, 1999) that has included sportsmanship in the context of other forms of citizenship behavior has shown it to be different from them, and to have somewhat different antecedents (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, & Bommer, 1996) (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990) and consequences (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997) (Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 1997) (Walz & Niehoff, 1996). Sportsmanship include those people whom are having positive attitude towards others Good sportsman are people who not only do not complain when they are inconvenienced by others, but also maintain a positive attitude even when things do not go their way, are not offended when others do not follow their suggestions, are willing to sacrifice their personal interest for the good of the work group, and do not take the rejection of their ideas personally (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000). This sort of behavior which is unusual in employees is considered as a contributor towards OCB.

Civic Virtue

Organ Defines that civic virtue is responsible, constructive involvement in the political process of the organization, including not just expressing opinions but reading one’s mail, attending meetings, and keeping abreast of larger issues involving the organization. (Organ, 1988) (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000). Behavior on the part of an individual that indicates that he/she responsibly participates in, is involved in, or is concerned about the life of the company (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990). Redman & Snape (2005) explain the civic virtue is positive commitment of employees with customers and co-workers showing a behavior which is beneficial for the well being of the organization. Active participation in the working of the organization in terms of attendance meetings, debates, giving opinions about the work method that should followed in the organization, monitoring the surroundings for potential threats and opportunities, and always work for the best of the organization even sacrificing his own interest (Podsakoff P. M., MacKenzie, Paine, & Bachrach, 2000). So, civic virtue will lead to OCB.

It has been proposed earlier that there is a relationship between Employee Engagement and OCB, this paper aims to find out the potential relationship between these two terms means that whether engaging the employees within the activities of the organization develops the organization citizenship behavior among them or not. First we will discuss the main components that are essential for engaging the employees and than their impact on OCB will be discussed.


Kahn (1990) was one of the founders in applying the concept of engagement to the workplace (Avery, McKay, & Wilson, 2007). Kahn (1990) defines personal engagement as “the harnessing of organization members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances”, Personal disengagement refers to “the uncoupling of selves from work roles; in disengagement, people withdraw and defend themselves physically, cognitively, or emotionally during role performances” (Kahn, 1990). “Engagement means to be psychologically present when occupying and performing an organizational role” (Saks., 2006).

The word engagement is defined by various authors. To make things difficult, employee engagement has been defined in many different ways and the definitions and measures often sound like matching with the other better and established constructs like organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior (Robinson, Perryman, & Hayday, 2004) (Saks., 2006). “Mostly engagement has been defined as emotional and intellectual commitment to the organization” (Baumruk, 2004) (Richman, 2006) (Shaw, 2005) “or the amount of discretionary effort exhibited by employees in their jobs” (Frank, Finnegan, & Taylor, 2004). In a Society for Human Resource management article, Lockwood (2005) defined engagement as “a state by which individuals are emotionally and intellectually committed to the organization or group” (Lockwood & SPHR, 2005). Engagement refers to a state where an employee is either positively involved committed and attached with all the matters of the organization, or try to involve in the well being of the organization. Wellins and Concelman suggested that engagement is ”an amalgamation of commitment, loyalty, productivity and ownership” (Wellins & Concelman, 2005). Krug (2008) defined engagement as “a motivational construct that defines the ability of the employee to feel part of the work process, not only in terms of the physical process it entails, but also emotionally and cognitively” (Krug, 2008). A highly-engaged employee is defined as a “passionate employee, the employee who is totally immersed in his or her work, energetic, committed and completely dedicated, the more engaged they will be, the better they will perform, and the less likely they will be to quit their organization” (Truss, Soane, Edwards, Wisdom, Croll, & Burnett, 2006).

The second perspective of the definition of employee engagement is based on job burnout. Burnout researchers define engagement as the opposite or positive contrast of burnout (Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, 2001). Cartwright and Holmes defined job burnout as “a psychological syndrome that involves a prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stressors and leads to poor job performance, withdrawal behaviors and poor mental health and is the negative antithesis of job engagement” (Cartwright & Holmes, 2006). Maslach et al explains that “engagement is characterized by energy, involvement, and efficacy, the direct opposite of the three burnout dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficacy”. According to Maslach et al. (2001), “six areas of work-life lead to burnout and engagement: workload, Control, rewards and recognition, community and social support, perceived fairness and values”. (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2004). Work engagement refers to a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption. Vigor relates to high enthusiasm and energy level during work, dedication means a strong positive involvement in terms of pride inspiration and challenge, and absorption refers to concentration and level of involvement in work that they don’t even care about the time to detach them from work (Schaufeli, Salanova, Gonzalez-Roma, & Bakker, 2002). Kahn, (1990) identified three psychological conditions associated with engagement or disengagement at work “meaningfulness, safety, and availability” (Kahn, 1990).

From the above given definitions it can be seen that the employee engagement is a term that is used for showing the devotion of the employees towards their jobs which is because of their satisfaction with their jobs. In order to engage the employees with the organization certain elements are essential. This paper focuses on 5 major components of employee engagement which are Job characteristics (JC), Management and Leadership supports (MLS), Reward and Recognition (RR), Workplace Well-being (WPW) and Communication (CN). The meanings and sources of these variables are defined as follows.

Job Characteristics

Job characteristics are defined in relation with job fit which is defined as “the degree to which a person feels their personality and values fit with their current job” (Resick, Monson, & Chard, 2007). Good job fit promote a sense of association resulting in professional configuration with interests and values, and it significantly affect the development and growth of job related attitudes such as employee engagement (Kahn, 1990) (Saks., 2006). Job characteristics are also defined in terms of psychological meaningfulness. “Psychological meaningfulness involves a sense of return on investments of the self-in-role performances” (Kahn, 1992). According to Kahn (Kahn, 1990) (Kahn, 1992), “psychological meaningfulness can be achieved from task characteristics that provide challenging work, variety, allow the use of different skills, personal discretion, and the opportunity to make important contributions”. This is based on (Hackman & Oldham, 1980) job characteristics model and in particular, the five core job characteristics (i.e. skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback). Jobs that are having high core job characteristics give more chances to individuals to bring out more potential from themselves into their work roles in order to be more engaged with their work (Kahn, 1992). Job characteristics lead to engaged employee which develops organizational citizenship behavior among employees.

Management and Leadership Support

Researchers such as Wildermuth & Pauken, (2008) and Wallace, (2009) are of the view that “engagement occurs naturally when leaders are inspiring” (Wildermuth & Pauken, 2008); (Wallace, 2009). As when the employees considered that their work is important and meaningful to the organization, they feel engaged. The leaders must ensure their employees that their work is worth enough to be considered and is essential for the organization success. Real and supportive leadership is conceived to impact engagement of followers in the sense of increasing their “involvement, satisfaction and enthusiasm for work” (Gardner W. L., 2005) (Schneider, Macey, & Barbera, 2009). Babin & Boles, (1996) define supervisory support as “the degree to which employees perceive that supervisors offer employees support, encouragement and concern” (Babin & Boles, 1996). Employees feel safe in work environments that are characterized by “openness and supportiveness” (Saks., 2006). Supportive environments allow members to experiment and to try new things and even fail without fear of the consequences (Kahn, 1990). So the employees feel more energetic to do their work when they consider that the leaders will support their work. That’s why management and leadership support is considered essential for the development of employee engagement.

Reward and Recognition

Kahn, (1990) reported that “people vary in their engagement as a function of their perceptions of the benefits they receive from a role” (Kahn, 1990). According to (Andrew & Kent, 2007), “commitment of all employees is based on rewards and recognition”. Freedman, (1978) is of the view that “when effective rewards and recognition are implemented within an organization, favorable working environment is produced which motivates employees to excel in their performance” (Freedman, 1978). Similarly Deeprose, (1994) found that the motivation level of employees and their productivity can be enhanced through providing them sufficient effective recognition which will lead towards improved performance of organizations (Deeprose, 1994). The success of an organization is based on how an organization keeps its employees motivated and in what manner they evaluate the performance of employees for compensating them (Rizwan., Qaiser., & Danish., 2010). Maslach, Schaufeli, & Leiter, (2001) are of the view that a lack of rewards and recognition can lead to burnout, so appropriate recognition and reward is important for engagement. When rewards and recognitions are given to employees with justification it creates sense of engagement in them with the organization.

Workplace Well-being

Workplace well-being is one more important measure that enhances employee engagement. Joshi & Sodhi, (2011) explain workplace well being as the facilities for rest and recreation, working conditions, similar in similar companies. Hawthorne studies in the 1920s emphasized the role and contribution of happiness to productivity. Wellbeing is a broader construct than happiness and includes wellbeing in terms of “personal growth, purpose in life, positive relationships with others and social contribution and integration” (Eid & Larsen, 2008); (Keys C. , 1988); (Ryff C. , 1989). (Wright, 2006) and (Harter, Schmidt., & Hayes., 2002) suggests that “employee wellbeing may eventually prove to be a more robust predictor of whether employees decided to stay or leave their jobs than either job satisfaction or job commitment” (Wright, 2006). Additionally, wellbeing has been related to “improved physical health” (Carver, Scheier, & Segerstrom, 2010), “personal striving, coping with stress” (Emmons, 1992); (Freedman, 1978), and “satisfaction with important other life domains” (Diener & Lucas, 2000). So it is proposed that employee’s well being leads to more engaged employees and assists in development of organizational citizenship behavior.


The role of communication is an important predictor of the value of intangible organizational assets (Ritter, 2003). Inter organization communication is associated with higher levels of performance and service (Tourish & Hargie, 2009) “generating communication capital” (Malmelin, 2007) and “social capital” (Lee, 2009), grounded in organizational relationships. Communication plays important role in engagement. As Truss at el report three most important factors for engagement, i) having opportunities to feed your views upwards; ii) feeling well informed about what is happening in the organization; and iii) thinking that your manager is committed to your organization (Truss, Soane, Edwards, Wisdom, Croll, & Burnett, 2006). Communication can be held by providing supervisory feedback as (Bulent, Seigyoung, Michelle, & Abeer, 2012) defined supervisory feedback as “employees’ perception that they are receiving clear information about their performance outcome and suggestions for improvement”. When employees consider that they are receiving more and accurate developmental feedback, they perceive that supervisors are interested in their growth, development, and learning (Ashford & Cummings, 1983). On the other hand, a lack of communication can create “ambiguity, conflict, and confusion” about what is expected (Jaworski & Kohli, 1991); (Bulent, Seigyoung, Michelle, & Abeer, 2012). Engagement begins with employees’ clear understanding of what is happening in the organization (Clampitt, 2004). Communication is essential within the organization in order to engage the employees. Engaging employees will lead to the development of Organizational citizenship behavior.


It is proposed in this study that, In order to strengthen the relationship between employee engagement and organizational citizenship, role of Human resource information system act as a mediator. As all the employees are engaged through this HRIS, so continuous information flow and communication takes place, which may lead towards more engaged employees and ultimately towards the development of Organizational citizenship behavior. The term HRIS is used in two different ways, one usage relates to “an organizational unit within the human resources functional area, which specializes in human resource information” (Raymond & Gerardine, 1995). The other usage regards the HRIS as “the entire computer based applications that process human resource information, regardless of where the information-processing resources are located” (Raymond & Gerardine, 1995). So Human resource information system “(HRIS) is a system used to acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve and distribute pertinent information about an organization’s human resource” (Tannenbaum, 1990). Initially, such a system was used in human resource management to help the transaction processing and to maintain management control (Normalini, Ramayah, & Sherah, 2012). The special function of HRIS is to “gather, collect and help analyze the data necessary for the human resource department to do its job properly” (Anthony, Kacmar, & Perrewe, 2002). The HRIS can improve organizational working through quicker information processing, better employee communications, greater information accuracy, lower HR costs and complete HR productivity improvements (Dery, Grant, & Wiblen, 2009). HRIS can ease strategic value generation by designing making and implementing the policies that ensure that human resource is committed to achieving business objectives (Boateng, 2007). Beckers & Bsat, (2002) pointed out at least five reasons why companies should use HRIS. These are, i) increase competitiveness by improving HR operations; ii) produce a greater number and variety of HR-related reports; iii) shift the focus of HR from the processing of transactions to strategic HRM; iv) make employees part of HRIS; and v) reengineer the entire HR function of companies (Beckers & Bsat, 2002).

HRIS helps the HR professionals in different ways as more HR professionals are able to be more responsive, answer queries more quickly, their responsiveness towards their community increases (Normalini, Ramayah, & Sherah, 2012). Cohen identifies the essential functions of an HRIS as, “selection and placement, performance management, training and education, and career planning and development” (Cohen, 1989a) (Cohen, 1989c) (Cohen, 1989b).

So from the above given definitions it can be seen that HRIS is used to increase the human resource responsiveness and communication flow in the organization. The reasons of using HRIS in organization involves, the degree to which it Enables Information Responsiveness (EIR), Enable Information Autonomy (EIA), and increases the process of feedback and control (F&C) within the organization and the Relative Advantage (RA) provided by the system, which will engage the employees of the organization which ultimately leads towards the development of organization citizenship behavior.. These terms together with their meanings and sources of adaptation are as follows.

Enable Information Responsiveness

Using IT enables HR professionals to access more information, allow them to answer queries from employees and managers quickly, and make them more efficient at handling complex information (Normalini, Ramayah, & Sherah, 2012). As more HR professionals are able to be more responsive, answer queries more quickly and provide more accurate information, “IT may enable HR professionals to increase their

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