Exploring Perceptions about the Use of e-HRM Tools in Medium Sized Organizations

Exploring Perceptions about the Use of e-HRM Tools in Medium Sized Organizations

Tanya Bondarouk (University of Twente, The Netherlands), Vincent ter Horst (Saxion Knowledge Center Innovation and Entrepreneurship,The Netherlands) and Sander Engbers (COGAS BV. Business Unit Infra and Networkmanagement, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-304-3.ch018
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This research focuses on acceptance of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) in medium sized organizations. We look at general SME’s in The Netherlands. The goal of this research is to analyse the perceptions about the use of HRIS as there is currently very little knowledge about it in “medium sized organizations”. To support the explorative nature of the research question, four case studies were selected in organizations that were using HRIS. Overall we conclude that the use of e-tools in medium sized organizations is perceived as useful, whereas not easy to use. The organizations involved perceive that the use of HRIS helps them to make HRM more effective.
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Nowadays IT supports critical HRM functions such as recruitment, selection, benefits management, training, and performance appraisal (Grensing-Pophal, 2001). During last decade large organizations have for several reasons implemented an increasing number of electronic Human Resource Management (e-HRM) solutions (Ruël et al., 2007; Ruta, 2005; Voermans and Veldhoven, 2007). While large organizations are no longer surprised by e-HRM, SME’s are at the early stage of its adoption.

Our knowledge about HRM practices in SME’s is odd (Huselid, 2003), but even less – about e-enabled HRM in SME’s. Only during the last couple of years research into HRM in SME’s has taken off. According to Heneman et al. (2000), scholars are lamenting the dearth of information about HRM practices in SME’s as the existing HRM theories are often developed and tested in large organizations. At the same time, there is a serious need in the development/ application of HRM concepts in the environment of SME’s as well-motivated and well-trained workers are probably the most important assets for smaller companies to stay competitive (Huselid, 2003). De Kok (2003) puts forward two main arguments which justify the specific attention for SME’s: firstly, SME’s form a large and vital part of modern economies; and secondly, despite the heterogeneous character of the SME sector, SME’s differentiate from large organisations in many respects.

This bias in HR research is of course understandable. Larger companies have the resources and people available to implement and perform state of the art HR policies and practices and are thus more exciting research playgrounds. They usually have more, and more sophisticated HR in place. But neglecting SME’s is inconvenient, given their position in most economies.

In the US for instance, 99,7% of all companies have fewer than 500 employees (the US definition of SME’s is all companies with fewer than 500 employees), a startling 78,8% have fewer than 10 employees (Heneman et al. 2000). The European definition of SME’s is companies with fewer than 250 employees. If we use that definition, in the Netherlands 714.000 out of a grand total of 717.035 companies are SME’s. Only about 1300 companies have more than 500 employees, whereas about 386.890 have no employees at all (Van Riemsdijk and Bondarouk, 2005). According to the Dutch organisation for SME’s companies with up to 250 employees (99% of all Dutch companies) provide 2.8 million jobs, more than half of the total of 4.8 million jobs in the Dutch private sector. 48% of the added value and 53% of yearly turnover of this sector is generated by these small and medium sized companies (Meijaard et al., 2002).

Yet good personnel management seems at least as important for small companies as for larger ones, and owners/directors of small companies are well aware of that. Indeed, next to general management issues, personnel policies are seen as the most important aspect of management by owners/directors of smaller companies (Hess, 1987 in Hornsby and Kurato, 1990). At the same time top management in smaller companies find personnel policy issues both difficult and frustrating (Verser, 1987, cited in Hornsby & Kurato, 1990). In other words, many owners/ directors of SME’s do find HR important enough to occupy themselves with it directly, but at the same time find it very hard to address the issue in a proper way and could use some help on the topic.

Concluding, what is known is that SME’s account for a significant proportion of employment in different countries, and that the owners/ managers of SME’s have high interest in personnel issues. However, what is not known is how people are managed in these firms, and to which extent information technologies play a role in people management (if any). The number of articles looking at the HRM issues in small business is increasing (Special Issues in the Human Resource Management Review in 1999 and 2006 are good evidence for the growing interest in it). However, as Heneman et al (2000) and Cardon and Stevens (2004) have shown, the progress has been slow.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Perceived ease of use: Degree to which a person believes that using a particular system would be free of effort.

Perceived usefulness: Degree to which a person believes that using a particular information system would enhance his or her job performance.

E-HRM: The support of HRM processes in organizations with the use of internet technology.

SME: Small and medium sized organizations with fewer than 250 full time equivalent employees.

HRIS: Human Resource Information Systems.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Tanya Bondarouk, Huub Ruel, Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
Tanya Bondarouk, Huub Ruel, Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
Chapter 1
Steve Foster
Several organisations have adopted e-HRM technology as a platform for achieving transformational change, improving HR operational processes... Sample PDF
Making Sense of e-HRM: Transformation, Technology and Power Relations
Chapter 2
Cataldo Dino Ruta
Intellectual capital is today considered a key issue in analyzing the critical determinants of company performance. Companies design more and more... Sample PDF
HR Portal: A Tool for Contingent and Individualized HRM
Chapter 3
Barbara Imperatori, Marco De Marco
The evolution of the managerial discourse is the result of fashion lifecycles that sometimes have no rational or technical foundations and find no... Sample PDF
E-Work and Labor Processes Transformation
Chapter 4
Gerwin Koopman, Ronald Batenburg
This chapter theoretically and empirically addresses the notion that user participation and involvement is one of the important factors for IS... Sample PDF
Early User Involvement and Participation in Employee Self-Service Application Deployment: Theory and Evidence from Four Dutch Governmental Cases
Chapter 5
Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
In organizations, researchers as well as professionals have generally observed insufficient use of computer technologies when compared to their... Sample PDF
Does User Centered Design, Coherent with Global Corporate Strategy, Encourage Development of Human Resource Intranet Use?
Chapter 6
Nawaf Al-Ibraheem, Huub Ruël
Companies new to the e-HRM technologies are overwhelmed by the dilemma of choosing either the ready-made, off-the-shelf e-HRM systems, or develop... Sample PDF
In-House vs. Off-the-Shelf e-HRM Applications
Chapter 7
Pieternel Kuiper, Betsy van Dijk
Adaptation of electronic forms (e-forms) seems to be a step forward to reduce the burden for people who fill in forms. Municipalities more and more... Sample PDF
Adaptive Municipal Electronic Forms
Chapter 8
Hazel Williams, Carole Tansley, Carley Foster
Global, enterprise-wide, information systems (GEIS) projects are often delayed with budget over-runs often due to a lack of understanding of the key... Sample PDF
HRIS Project Teams Skills and Knowledge: A Human Capital Analysis
Chapter 9
Adam Smale, Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä
The design and implementation of a globally integrated e-HRM system within a multinational corporation (MNC) requires different parties to reach... Sample PDF
IT-Based Integration of HRM in a Foreign MNC Subsidiary: A Micro-Political Perspective
Chapter 10
Huub Ruël
Research on Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) implementation lacks theoretical depth and richness. For that reason this paper applies a... Sample PDF
Studying Human Resource Information Systems Implementation using Adaptive Structuration Theory: The Case of an HRIS Implementation at Dow Chemical Company
Chapter 11
Jonas F. Puck, Dirk Holtbrügge, Alexander T. Mohr
This chapter empirically analyses the influence of the cultural context on the comprehensiveness to which companies in different countries make use... Sample PDF
Applicant Information and Selection Strategies in Corporate Web Site Recruiting: The Role of National Culture
Chapter 12
Emma Parry, Shaun Tyson
HR practitioners are often expected to be both efficient administrators of the employment relationship and to act as a strategic partner to the... Sample PDF
What is the Potential of E-Recruitment to Transform the Recruitment Process and the Role of the Resourcing Team?
Chapter 13
Pramilla Rao
This chapter will address the role of national culture on e-recruitment practices in India and Mexico. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and... Sample PDF
The Role of National Culture on E-Recruitment in India and Mexico
Chapter 14
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Modeling Human Resources in the Emergent Organization
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Elfi Furtmueller, Celeste Wilderom, Rolf van Dick
In order to maintain their customer base, many e-recruiting firms are in need of developing innovations. The Lead User (LU) Method has been heralded... Sample PDF
Utilizing the Lead User Method for Promoting Innovation in E-Recruiting
Chapter 16
Sven Laumer, Andreas Eckhardt
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What Makes the Difference? Introducing an Integrated Information System Architecture for Employer Branding and Recruiting
Chapter 17
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The subject of our communication will be a better understanding of how the regulation between the on line HR designers and HR experts is built, and... Sample PDF
The Enrichment of the HR Intranet Linked to the Regulation's Process Between HR Actors
Chapter 18
Tanya Bondarouk, Vincent ter Horst, Sander Engbers
This research focuses on acceptance of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) in medium sized organizations. We look at general SME’s in The... Sample PDF
Exploring Perceptions about the Use of e-HRM Tools in Medium Sized Organizations
Chapter 19
Loubna Tahssain, Mouna Zgheib
The changing business environment and increasing technology is redefining the role of the human resources function. Nowadays, corporations have to... Sample PDF
Perceived Performance of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Perceived Performance of the Management of Human Resources (HRM)
Chapter 20
Leon Welicki, Javier Piqueres Juan, Fernando Llorente Martin, Victor de Vega Hernandez
Employee life-cycle processes management (hiring new employees, changing their conditions, and dismissing them) is a critical task that has a big... Sample PDF
Employee Life-Cycle Process Management Improvement with Web-Enabled Workflow Systems
Chapter 21
Manel Guechtouli, Widad Guechtouli
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Chapter 22
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What are the Main Impacts of Internet and Information and Communication Technology on Unions and Trade Unionism? An Exploratory Research in Europe and North America
Chapter 23
Isabelle Parot
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Coordination of Virtual Teams: From Trust to Control
Chapter 24
Jeroen ter Heerdt, Tanya Bondarouk
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Information Overload in the New World of Work: Qualitative Study into the Reasons
Chapter 25
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About the Contributors