HRIS Project Teams Skills and Knowledge: A Human Capital Analysis

HRIS Project Teams Skills and Knowledge: A Human Capital Analysis

Hazel Williams (Nottingham Trent University, UK), Carole Tansley (Nottingham Trent University, UK) and Carley Foster (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-304-3.ch008
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Global, enterprise-wide, information systems (GEIS) projects are often delayed with budget over-runs often due to a lack of understanding of the key roles required on the project. The “hybrid” knowledge and skills requirement of functional GEIS teams, typically composed of both IT personnel and representatives from the departments where the system is going to be used, are generally not acknowledged and understood. This chapter presents the findings of a study conducted with project teams working in a multi-national organisation implementing and maintaining the HR “pillar” of an SAP GEIS located in four countries. The main purpose of that study was the identification of HRIS skills and knowledge in the key roles on the global project and make suggestions for development of project team members. Using a human capital frame of reference, we provide a guiding framework which can be used as a sensemaking tool by those responsible for managing people working in hybrid roles on such projects.
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The development of human resource information systems (HRIS) over the last twenty years has been driven by imperatives to improve the service of the HR function, further compounded by the growth of global enterprise-wide information systems (GEIS). A GEIS is a software system that allows an organisation to share common data across functional areas of enterprises operating transnationally and which produce and access information in a real-time environment (see Davenport, 1998; Klaus et al., 2000). During the 1990s, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems became the de facto standard for replacement of legacy systems in large and, in particular, multinational companies (Holland et al 1996; Holland et al 1999).

Adoption of GEIS can be long, complicated and problematic, involving major technical and organisational challenges of business process reorganisation, often involving delays and budget over-runs and ending in failure (Cozijnsen et al 2000; Matta and Ashkenas 2003; Robey et al 2002; Shanks and Seddon 2000). In addition, a number of writers note the role of human factors in the failure or the success of these technological changes (Guérin et al 2001; Martinsons and Chong 1999; Paré and Elam 1995). There can be many reasons for this, but often overlooked is whether the skills and knowledge requirements of those on international project teams are available at the right time and place. Each functional GEIS is typically composed of both IT personnel and representatives from the departments where the system is going to be used in the representative country. Such teams are populated by individuals with a blend of knowledge, skills and talents and who necessarily traverse different disciplines as ‘hybrids’. However, there is often a lack of understanding of the key roles required on the project and the need for ‘new’ roles for specialist areas (because of the multi-disciplinary nature of the knowledge and skills required).

Historically human resourcing specialists have focused their skills and knowledge on HR management processes, such as resourcing, training and development, rewards, performance management and employee relations. However in recent years, and mirroring other functional specialisms, another role has been added to the HR specialist’s remit: responsibility for the implementation and management of human resource management information systems (HRIS) projects. The introduction of this technological resource suggests the introduction of new skills and competencies for the HR specialist, in particular project management and information systems. The requirement for these new skills and knowledge sets has been a challenging learning journey for many within the HR profession.

Although there has been a growing body of academic interest in HRIS, the majority of interest is around how HRIS supports and integrates with corporate strategy to enable competitive advantage (Broderick and Boudreau 1992; Hannon et al 1996; Minneman 1996; Tansley et al 2001; Williams 2000), and the presence and ‘fit’ in different organisations (Ball 2001; CIPD 2007). There is limited and dated research around the information systems skills and knowledge of the HR specialist (Beaumont et al 1992; Kinnie and Arthurs 1996).

Key Terms in this Chapter

HCM: Human capital management

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
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Making Sense of e-HRM: Transformation, Technology and Power Relations
Chapter 2
Cataldo Dino Ruta
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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
Marielba Zacarias, Rodrigo Magalhães, José Tribolet
This chapter will address the role of national culture on e-recruitment practices in India and Mexico. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and... Sample PDF
Modeling Human Resources in the Emergent Organization
Chapter 15
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
In 2007 Erickson and Gratton asked “What it means to work here” and discussed the need for a structured approach to establishing an employer image... Sample PDF
What Makes the Difference? Introducing an Integrated Information System Architecture for Employer Branding and Recruiting
Chapter 17
Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain
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
Information Technologies (IT) seem to be affecting individuals and organizations’ communication and behaviors since many years now. This chapter is... Sample PDF
Information Technologies' Impact on Individual Learning Process: The Case of a Community of Practice
Chapter 22
Valéry Michaux
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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
In this communication, the author attempts to answer the question of coordination in virtual teams (or remote teams). Virtual teams can result from... Sample PDF
Coordination of Virtual Teams: From Trust to Control
Chapter 24
Jeroen ter Heerdt, Tanya Bondarouk
In this chapter the authors present a revision of the information overload concept elaborated by Eppler and Mengis (2004). The main elements of our... Sample PDF
Information Overload in the New World of Work: Qualitative Study into the Reasons
Chapter 25
Mitchell van Balen, Tanya Bondarouk
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