Theorizing HR Intranets: Contextual, Strategic and Configurative Explanations

Theorizing HR Intranets: Contextual, Strategic and Configurative Explanations

Véronique Guilloux (Université Paris Xii, France), Florence Laval (Cerege IAE, France) and Michel Kalika (Strasbourg Université Robert Schuman, France)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/jthi.2010070102
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Abstract

This paper presents the results of a longitudinal exploratory survey based on a sample of French firms. Different contexts of Intranet, as well as introduction, development stages, performance and Intranet content are presented. Three approaches are in existence: corporate Intranet, specialized Intranet and HR Intranet. These can be linked to different stages of development: communication, functional support, and knowledge management. The HR Function will be successful if it integrates Intranet in its management process, if the players are aware of the stakes and they behave as “real change agents”. Research shows the importance of strategic alignment between human resource management (HRM) and Intranet as well as the relevance of technological infusion, therefore, this paper’s result in showing a configurative approach that allows the integration of more variables and in turn leads to a systemic model contains great significance.
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Introduction

The paper presents some interesting results of an exploratory and longitudinal survey based on a sample of French firms. The survey identifies the diffusion of HRM practices, together with their developmental stages. Investigation aims at answering the following questions: How are Intranet networks linked with the development of HR competences? How could they support the HR-function? What are the best French practices linking IT and HR management? A questionnaire is submitted as an application file and includes open questions on the firms and their Intranet (techniques, cost, assessment, perspectives). In the first part, we analyze stakes, organizational and strategic risks linked with HR Intranet use. Theoretical IT concepts and technological infusion aspects are explained. Intranet contexts, development stages, performance and Intranet content are presented. In the second part, we propose an organizational configurative analysis resulting from a HR Intranet perspective. Research hypotheses are based on HR and IT theories. A final discussion offers an opening towards a scientific research protocol aiming to validate assumptions and confirm the positive aspect of HRM-IT integration. Three perspectives are proposed. The first one leads to the concept of technological infusion; the second one to strategic alignment between the Intranet and HR; the third one is larger and concerns the concept of configurations including HR Intranet.

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