Orchestrating the e-HRM Symphony: Looking for a Harmony between HRM and Information Technologies
On 4th of December 2014 Prof. Tanya Bondarouk held her inaugural speech centred around two main questions. Do companies truly gain competitive advantage and become better places to work for with electronic HRM… or they follow competitive necessity and IT-fashion when taking decision to implement e-HRM?
It is now time to explore the subject further and to define what new territory there is for e-HRM research. The e-HRM territory is a field of scholarly inquiry that focuses on all integration mechanisms and all HRM content shared via IT that aim to make HRM processes distinctive and consistent, more efficient, high in quality and which create long-term opportunities within and across organizations for targeted users. Therefore, the future research should aim to improve the understanding of this phenomenon and to contribute to its progress in terms of its 1) content, 2) design, 3) implementation, 4) its interaction with the organizational context, and 5) its consequences.
It is now acknowledged that across different e-HRM studies, research has echoed contradictory organizational reality: some HR activities benefitted by adopting e-HRM (cost savings, efficiency, flexible services, employees participation), whereas others acquired extra organisational barriers (work stress, more HR administration and disappointments with technological properties).
Given these findings, scholars are invited to make a switch in the focal points of the e-HRM research. For the past few years, business cases in e-HRM have been predominantly built upon cost containment and return on investment, making these the main research foci. Given the new e-HRM research territory, theoretical, empirical, and implementation challenges will pave the future research directions as a substitution to the business case foci.