Encyclopedia of Human Resources Information Systems: Challenges in e-HRM (2 Volumes)

Encyclopedia of Human Resources Information Systems: Challenges in e-HRM (2 Volumes)

Teresa Torres-Coronas (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain) and Mario Arias-Oliva (Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia, Spain)
Release Date: July, 2008|Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 918
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-883-3
ISBN13: 9781599048833|ISBN10: 1599048833|EISBN13: 9781599048840
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Description & Coverage

Driven by significant internal and external forces, human resource management (HRM) has evolved from largely a maintenance function, to what many scholars and practitioners regard as a source of sustainable competitive advantage for organizations. In the information era, it is important for organizations to progressively incorporate technology into their processes.

The Encyclopedia of Human Resources Information Systems: Challenges in e-HRM rigorously analyzes key critical HR variables and defines previously undiscovered issues in the HR field. With 132 articles from 180 of the world's leading experts on the state of HRM technology, this comprehensive reference source is essential to academic libraries and to practitioners and academics seeking to understand all dimensions related to managing people in the information society.


The many academic areas covered in this publication include, but are not limited to:

  • Corporate Responsibility
  • E-Ethics
  • E-flexibility
  • E-HRM
  • E-portals
  • E-practices
  • Employee e-involvement
  • Employee Relationships
  • HR variables
  • Human resource information systems
  • Human Resource Management
  • Knowledge Management
  • People management
  • Strategic Human Resource Management
  • Telecommuting
  • Work place regulations
Reviews and Testimonials

Recognizing the need for substantive revision on the HRM field, this Encyclopedia is a star to analyze the management of people in the IT society through 132 chapters organized in nine separated sections.

– Teresa Torres-Coronas, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Catalonia

Editors Torres-Coronas and Arias have assembled this two-volume encyclopedia on human resource information systems from over 100 articles on state-of-the-art IT applications and systems throughout the world.

– Book News Inc. (May 2009)
Table of Contents
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Editor Biographies
Teresa Torres-Coronas has a bachelor's degree in economics (Barcelona University) and a PhD in management (Rovira i Virgili University). She won first prize in the 2000 edition of EADA related management research. She is the author of the book Valuing Brands (Ediciones Gestión 2000, Spain), co-author of the book Retrieve Your Creativity (Septem Ediciones, Spain), and co-editor of the books Changing the way you teach: Creative tools for management education (Septem Ediciones, Spain), e-HRM: Managing knowledge people (Idea Group, USA), Higher creativity for virtual teams: Developing platforms for co-creation (Information Science Reference) and, The Encyclopedia of HRIS: Challenges in e-HRM (Information Science Reference). She is author of many articles and conference papers about intangible management, management education, and applied creativity and IT. She is management professor at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili. She is one of the researchers of the ELIS group: E-government for Local Integration with Sustainability (Hull University). She is an active member of the Management Education and Development Division (Academy of Management) and the Information Resources Management Association (IRMA).
Mario Arias Oliva, has a PhD in Management from Rovira Rovira i Virgili University. His PhD research was about Virtual Organizations. He took courses at Erasmus Universiteit Rótterdam as well as MBA courses at Rotterdam School of Management (Holland). He is professor at Rovira i Virgili University in the management area. Dr. Arias also collaborates with the Center for Computing and Social Responsibility, De Montfort University (UK) where he is an international research associate since (2002). He has conducted several research projects, including “Self-employment analysis in Spain” (Edited by the Spanish Economic Ministry) and The Relationship between Training Consultancy Organizational Design and Strategy:The Effects on Quality and Performance of Training Services (Edited by the Spanish Union “Unión General de Trabajadores, UGT”). Mario Arias has been invited speaker to several MBA programs, seminars, courses and international conferences.
Editorial Review Board
  • Joan R. Alabart, Rovira i Virgili University, Spain
  • Ignacio Arellano Salafranca, Member of the Board of Cegos Partners, France and Consultant Director of Tea-Cegos, S.A., Spain
  • T.V. (Tanya) Bondarouk, University of Twente, The Netherlands
  • José R. Córdoba-Pachón, Centre for Systems Studies, UK
  • Mila Gascó-Hernández, Open University of Catalonia, Spain
  • Kiyoshi Murata, Meiji University, Japan
  • Miguel R. Olivas-Lujan, Clarion U. of Pennsylvania, USA
  • Simon Rogerson, De Montfort University, UK
  • Raymond Saner, Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development (CSEND), Switzerland
  • Peer Review Process
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    Rationale for this book
    The belief that the people working for a firm are one of its main assets and one of the decisive factors in determining its results is one that leaves little room for argument. There is no question regarding the fact that workers’ qualities, attitudes and behavior in the workplace go a long way to accounting for a company's success or lack of it. While this type of resource is one over which companies do not have complete control, there do exist certain instruments to enable them to exert their influence on the quality and performance of the human capital on which they rely. The human resource management (HRM) practices that they adopt will have a vital influence in this area and thereby on the results obtained by the firm. Driven by significant internal and external forces, HRM has evolved from largely a maintenance function to a source of sustainable competitive advantage and organizational effectiveness.

    In the information era, organizations are progressively incorporating information communication technologies (ICT) into their processes, using different tools and solutions. These tools are applied in a wide variety of ways (i.e., manufacturing resource planning, office automation, computer-supported cooperative work, distributed teams, supply-chain, enterprise-wide resource planning, or virtual integration). ICT is transforming organizations and the way that people work, interact and, feel in knowledge-based organizations. To cope with these new human resources challenges, it is necessary to review and to transform HRM into electronic-HRM (e-HRM).

    Recognizing the need for substantive revision on the HRM field, this Encyclopedia is a star to analyze the management of people in the IT society. That is why it aims at describing the current state of HRM in the ICT era and to provide new knowledge on effective e-HRM and human resource information management systems (HRIS).

    Since e-HRM does not mean to reinvent the wheel, the term HRM is used within this preface. It is already time to begin giving the “e” for granted. Erasing the “e” is part of our digital evolution to the e-world.

    Content Highlights
    This Encyclopedia contains 132 chapters organized in nine separated sections. In presenting the content we are aware that important topics are missing and some relevant ones are included. But… that is the way books are. Below, a brief description of the main issues discussed is presented to help the readers find their topic of interest and to acknowledge each of the contributors to this virtual and collaborative project.

    Part I, Present concepts and emerging trends in HRIS and HRM, begins with an overview of the human capital management concept and its role as key differentiator for sustainable competitive advantage (Akinyemi, chapter 1). Changing the HR function in a more HR technological environment is a must, but to do it, organizations need first to consider how human capital can be a source for a successful business strategy implementation. To achieve this goal, human resources policy needs to be perfectly aligned with business strategy. This match demands functional integration with HRIS (as presented by Staudinger, Ostermann & Staudinger, chapter 2). This integration is required to achieve higher degrees of business process efficiency. Well-aligned systems and processes provide an organization with competitive advantages. With this need in mind, both IT and organizational development (OD) efforts have to be also aligned with business strategy. The lack of business/IT alignment and business/OD alignment and its consequences are discussed by Cameron and Knight (chapter 3).

    The use of ICT induces the development of new organizational, productive, strategic and managerial models (Jiménez, Martínez & González, chapter 4). And, at the same time, the level of use of ICT determines the HRM and the labor structures increasing the capabilities of the organization (as presented in Mishra’s, chapter 5). HRIS allow self-service HR administrative activities and facilitate the collection of strategic information that contributes to the business strategy formulation (Pennarola & Caporarello, chapter 7). Therefore, HR managers must understand their organization’s strategy to sustain competitive advantage by adopting HRIS and e-HRM. Nevertheless, in this new organizational word, HRIS need to be redefined not only as technology evolves but also as the perception of its impact changes. Bocatto and Pérez’s paper (chapter 6) aims to deepen the comprehension of how information systems (IS) are used as a tool of organizational change and development.

    As information technology (IT) becomes a strategic partner for HRM, the factors that determine the utilization of HR information for strategic decision-making purposes must be better understood. This is what Burbach and Dundon (chapter 8) do by ranging HRIT application through a continuum -from an administrative use to a strategic one. The development of more flexible organizational structures and the development of IT are some of the drivers of the necessity for HRIS. Benchmarking activities show the potential to generate valuable information for the management of HRIS. Ostermann, Staudinger and Staudinger (chapter 9) provide an overview of different approaches to benchmark the potential benefits and impacts of HRIS. As they point out “future trends to benchmarking HRIS should focus in the value-adding contribution of HR and HRIS to overall business performance.”

    Part II, Setting new directions to HRM functions, starts providing a description of some of the key ways in which HRM can enhance the development, implementation and success of new technologies. It also focuses on how HRM can enhance its own value through the use of new technologies (Härtel, chapter 10). One of the consequences of applying IT to the HRM is the modification of HR-related practices (as examined in Wang & Lang’s, chapter 11, and Yamamoto & Özbek, chapter 15). On the other hand, in our today’s competitive world the need for a personnel management with standardized and integrated processes is crucial. The development of this idea and its implications are presented by Staudinger, Ostermann and Staudinger (chapter 12).

    As organizations are increasingly using HRIS, it is important to talk about the potential impacts of technology on HRM in terms of the rationale behind the introduction of a HRIS (Parry, chapter 13). A better business and HRM performance are some of the HRIS benefits. Stepping forward, Katou (chapter 14) presents an integrative framework for understanding the link between HRM and business performance and the integration of e-resourcing. Most of the time, the success of the implementation of such new technological systems depends upon the mindsets of the people involved. Sasovova and Leenders (chapter 16) state how such mindsets emerge and evolve through the social relationships of the users of the HRIS. Others relevant factors affecting HRIS planning projects are described by Othman (chapter 17).

    Part II also deals with how the balanced scorecard approach can be applied in the management information system (MIS) (Kettunen, chapter 18). Hurley-Hanson (chapter 20) analyzes the role of HRIS in crisis response planning, and Guilloux, Kalika and Laval (chapter 19) examine how web based technology permits new online HR services to employees and management.

    Part III, Staffing the organization, is devoted to specific HR functions such as recruitment and selection.

    How can we transfer the concept of relationship marketing to personnel recruitment and why? This is Keim and Fritsch’s main question (chapter 21), which they answer presenting an approach for the IS-supported management of employer-candidate relationships. In the next chapter, Keim and Weitzel (chapter 22) illustrate that HRIS adoption increases over time and decreases as the phases of the recruitment process progress. The use of technology in personnel recruiting is also the main worry of Puck and Paul’s work (chapter 23). An international perspective of e-recruitment is presented by Fernández-Sánchez, de Juana-Espinosa and Valdés-Conca (chapter 24), Rao (chapter 25) and Joia and Alves (chapter 26). In the recruitment process is also important to understand the value of the employer brand image (Harold & Nolan, chapter 31) as well as why and how some organizations externalize work activities and use employment intermediaries (Guilloux & Kalika, chapter 32). To improve person-job fit Pollack (chapter 27) addresses issues related to online employment testing software and Cegielski and Hall (chapter 28) examine the perceived value of information technology certification.

    Finally, there is still room for organizational ethical responsibility. Manley (chapter 29), from a US-perspective, presents possible solutions to ensure HR managers are complying with fair selection. In a similar way, Ready, Novicevic and Evans (chapter 30) invite the reader to think about HRIS and the need to consider how HRIS affect employment practices.

    Part IV, Building human capital: Training and development, begins with Hall and Inskeep’s work (chapter 33). These authors discuss the importance of developing a curricula framework that meets the organization’s business and learning objectives. In an organization that has e-HRM systems, these curricula frameworks fall within its online e-learning application. As the new curricula demands new skills, integrating networking skills to have better professionals becomes a key factor in HR development (Jeffries & Papp, chapter 34).

    But, can we rely on e-training to address a forecasted worldwide shortage of skilled workers? To answer this question, Murray and Efendioglu (chapter 35) examine the key supply and demand determinants of the global worker shortage and analyze the systematic requirements that favor the use of asymmetric and interactive e-training technologies. Other worthy ideas to be explored are: learning theories (Victor C. Wang, chapter 36), transformative learning (Kathleen P. King, chapter, 37), and simulations in management development through ICT (Stokes, chapter 38).

    Case, Dick and Van Slyke (chapter 39) focus on corporate learning management systems (LMS) and the role reusable learning objects are playing in corporate LMS. Gilbert (chapter 40) connects the collaborative theory with the current innovations occurring on the World Wide Web that are enabling users to experience a sense of community (such as Second Life®). King (chapter 41) pays attention to mobile learning, including podcasting. Galla (chapter 42) discusses the use of online or electronic e-training in ethical behavior and why this training is maybe more important today that in the past.

    To evaluate the effectiveness of e-training programs Carretero-Gómez (chapter 43) studies two particular techniques -utility analysis and multi-attribute utility analysis. Yiu and Saner (chapter 44) examine the need to invest in training and to adopt technology based learning modality for up-scaling of training coverage. They also highlight the benefits of implementing the International Standard ISO 10015. In the next chapter, Yiu and Saner (chapter 45) deeply discuss two training related standards.

    Finally, Sullivan, Mainiero and Terjesen (chapter 46) review the concept of the kaleidoscope career, discussing the implications of the model for HRIS. Mentoring, as a tool for human capital development, has been impacted by the use of Internet technologies giving rise to the so-called “e-mentoring”, a concept discussed by Colomo-Palacios, Gómez-Berbers, García-Cresco and Casado- Lumbreras (chapter 47)

    In Part V, Competence development and compensation, Berio, Harzallah and Sacco (chapter 48) describe an integrating architecture for competence management. Kesti, Syväjärvi and Stenvall (chapter 49) search for a new e-HRM system to measure and analyze tacit human signals and human competence recognition, and Urquiza’s paper (chapter 50) is devoted to competence management automation practices. Finally, based in the competency management theory, Valdés-Conca, Canós-Darós, and de Juana-Espinosa (chapter 51) present the foundations for the design of an intranet for the development of business-to-employee relationships. A conceptual model which allows expanding existing barriers of HR systems can be found in Povalej and Weiß (chapter 54).

    Problems that arise from performance evaluation are presented in the next chapters. In that sense, performance management systems as an important part of HRIS are discussed by Case and Hoell (chapter 52). Bondarouk and Looise (chapter 53) also contribute to the performance discussion by developing a contingency framework of how the organizational conditions are likely to support the process of adoption of e-performance management. And, Panina (chapter 55) presents a model of electronic monitoring effectiveness.

    Following the performance evaluation discussion, Hall and Inskeep (chapter 56) explore innovative alternatives for attracting, retaining, and managing talent in our e-world. As employee commitment depends upon well designed rewards systems, Ostermann, Staudinger, Thoeni and Staudinger (chapter 57) sketch the functionalities of a complex and strategically fit reward system and Adenike (chapter 58) looks into effective systems. Finally, Liang (chapter 59) provides a comparison of major compensation software products and services developed using Internet technology.

    Part VI, Managing individuals and groups in the organization, is devoted to issues related to individual and group behavior. First, Akinyemi (chapter 60) explores the concept and changing nature of the psychological contract. Chung (chapter 61) points out that in coping with today’s business environment and work settings, a process-oriented motivation theory is more effective than the traditional theories. The organizational implications for managing the HRIS employee experience are discussed by Ruta (chapter 62) and Guzman (chapter 63) presents a cultural approach to the study of the people who work in IS through the concept of ‘occupational culture’.

    The goal of Diederichsen’s chapter (chapter 64) is to depict applications -ranging from company internal employee communities to company external applicant communities- of virtual communities in HR relevant processes. Capriotti (chapter 65) presents the main impacts that new technologies (and, principally, the Internet) are having on employee communication, which can help us to understand the changes that have been produced in organizations by the evolution from traditional employee communication to e-communication. Lastres-Segret and Núñez-Gorrín (chapter 66) talk about the challenges and possibilities that IT offer as an internal marketing support, mainly, being an important channel for internal e-communication. Since e-communication organizations can “offer jobs, environments, work places, incentives programs more suitable to every employee”. Kratzer, Leenders and Van Engelen (chapter 67) attempt to shed some light at the determination of media ensembles by formal and informal communication.

    The study of trust and trusting relationships is presented by Bello (chapter 68) and Márquez-García (chapter 69) who claim that IT play a key role rising or diminishing trust within the organization. O’Neill and Nilson (chapter 70) also examine the role of relationship building and the development of trust among workers who rarely meet face-to-face. Aneas (chapter 71) focuses on virtual team work and the managing of virtual intercultural communication. In the following studies, Forcadell (chapter 72) focuses on the organizational factors that enable effective implementation of organizational democracy. These factors work along with ICT in this kind of transformation into more democratic organizations and Triana (chapter 73) talks about organizational justice and the study of fairness in virtual team setting.

    Rethinking leadership and leadership styles are discussed by Victor C. Wang (chapter 74). Crawford-Mathis (chapter75) describes the leadership theory, the competencies of effective leaders, and the implications for the future. Provitera and Esendal (chapter 78) review the concept of e-leadership and illustrate how it has impacted human resource management. In a similar way, Crawford-Mathis (chapter 79) presents the changes in work force dynamics as the reason for e-leadership. What do the more traditional leadership approaches have to offer those involved in virtual organizational settings? This question is answered by Mackenzie and Pate (chapter 77). Trust and good leadership are needed to build a “healthy work ethic” which is discussed by Victor C. Wang (chapter 76). In the last two chapters of part VI, Ebner (chapter 80) talks about conflict resolution and management and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). As HRM makes the transition to e-HRM, traditional ADR is adopting new methods for coping with conflict through e-methods: on line mediation. Bello and Adenike (chapter 81) also focus on conflict resolution mechanisms and the three major models of conflict resolutions – namely distributive bargaining, integrated bargaining and interactive problem solving.

    Part VII, Managing people and technology in new work environments, begins with a reflection on how organizations have generated a language of electronic signs (Sanchez-Alarcos and Revilla, chapter 82) and the challenges of organizational semiotics.

    Are HRIS accepted by employees? Deakins (chapter 83) offers insights that will help system developers and human resources managers to design and introduce user-accepted e-HRM systems.

    How are ICT impacting the internal work environment of organizations? Some ideas can be found in Dixon and Shelton’s study (chapter 84). These authors refer to the concept of adaptable work arrangements: “non-traditional job designs that utilize ICT in order to enable individuals to work from different locations, and at any time during day or night”. Wielki (chapter 85) also deals with the challenges connected with the utilization of internet technology-based tools in the workplace. The home-based working (Benito-Osorio, chapter 86) and its flexibility are strictly related to improve the conciliation between labor and family life (also discussed in Lekoko’s, chapter 87).

    Many firms are adapting their human resources policies and their technology to create more flexible workplaces. The results of empirical research regarding the implications for organizational performance of a number of flexible practices –such as telework- are commented by Rimbau-Gilabert (chapter 88).

    The above papers are complemented by Cox’s and Vilette’s chapters (see chapter 89 and chapter 90, respectively). Cox proposes a multidimensional model for assessing the impact of mobile technologies on work-life balance considering social, organizational, legal, technological and ethical issues to inform the development of human resource strategies.

    John Wang, Yao and Hsu (chapter 91) and, Yao and John Wang (chapter 92) approach the world of decision support systems (DSS) and group support systems (GSS) that facilitate HR groups collaborative work. Córdoba (chapter 93) presents a tool of collaborative technology for group facilitation, and the uses of collaborative technologies are discussed by Oiry (chapter 94). In the following chapter, Córdoba (chapter 95) explores the meaning of trans-disciplinary collaboration in organizations and the role of information systems and technologies to support it.

    Strohmeier (chapter 96) examines whether portal technology is feasible in e-HRM and hence can serve as a measure of integration of heterogeneous HR systems. Ruta (chapter 97) presents the co-evolution of technology and HRM, considering the enabler role that IT plays in the reconfiguration of the HR function. Ruta shits from the concept of HRM to the concept of relational resource management. The increased use of IT leads to the generation of huge amounts of data which have to be stored and analyzed by data warehouse systems. The application of these systems to e-HRM is illustrated by Burgard and Piazza (chapter 98). Reynolds, Fedorovich and Williams (chapter 99) consider that there is a gap between research focusing on the technological aspects of computer technologies, and the human resource impacts. This chapter focuses on emerging trends in computer technologies, and the HRM implications of these technologies.

    Human computer interaction (HCI) is another issue to be taken into account. Campderrich (chapter 100) refers to the interdisciplinary field of human computer interaction (HCI) and Kathleen P. King and James J. King (chapter 101) talk about ergonomics and the problems that result from using increasingly ubiquitous office/computer technologies.

    In a different level, Araujo (chapter 102) conducts a literature review and examines the longitudinal effects of computer-mediated work on team processes and performance, while Shwarts-Asher, Ahituv and Etzion (chapter 103) explore the influence of virtuallity and structural levels on processes that affect team output. These research papers contribute to better understanding of virtual teams.

    John Wang, Yan and Zhang (chapter 104) take a closer look to project management by reviewing the types of methodologies and tools that exist in business today. Hall and Inskeep (chapter 105) present an overview of project management and introduce concepts for gaining control of any undertaking, especially e-HRM projects, based on the generally accepted principles of project management.

    Part VIII, Knowledge and organizational learning, presents one of the major challenges for today’s organizations: to understand the role of knowledge and learning for business success. In the process of knowledge management (KM) some companies emphasize the use of technology to capture, handle, and locate knowledge while others focus on knowledge sharing among workers and the rest of the firm’s stakeholders. But the most important things have to do with the transformation of individual knowledge into organizational knowledge and with the building of knowledge management systems (KMS). To achieve this goal one has to be aware of the historical context and the fundamental concepts of the knowledge management discipline (Pérez-Montoro’s chapter 106). To suit the role of technology in KM initiatives, Meroño-Cerdán (chapter 107) adopts a KMS approach based on knowledge processes and Cox and Perkins (chapter 108) adopt a KM to view the dyad between human ability, organizational need and the extent to which electronic IS can mediate between them.

    Following this discussion, Edelstein and Lee (chapter 109) focus on the creation of a successful knowledge transfer process; Costa (chapter 110) and Revilla and Sánchez-Alarcos (chapter 111) refer to networks of expertise (or communities of practice) and Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce (chapter 112) provide a model to explicate a blueprint for tacit knowledge enhancement through HRIS techniques. Victor Wang (chapter 113) opens a discussion about the relationship of knowledge facilitator and knowledge dictator in order to determine effective management for HR development (HRD) and HRM. Later, Leray (chapter 114) focus on new practices of knowledge’s acquisition introducing a different view between knowledge and power. In the following chapters, Burakova-Lorgnier (chapter 115) outlines theoretical discussions around the social capital theory, as well as its quantifiability and contribution to the further improvement of e-HRM, and Gibney, Zagenczyk and Masters (chapter 116) argue about self-service technology and its relation with social capital.

    Castilla and Gallardo(chapter 117), considering HRIS like an intersection between HRM and IT, propose an intellectual capital model taking into consideration that a correct definition of intangible assets will determine an appropriate HRIS and viceversa. In the following chapter, Yang (chapter 118) discusses issues related to the learning organization, and Victor Wang (chapter 120) points out that “without in-depth knowledge of learning organizations versus static organizations, e-HRM would become an empty term.” In the era of knowledge economy intellectual capital and learning become major sources of competitiveness. Consequently, HRIS need to embrace these concepts. Open source projects and the development of organizational learning are presented by Guilloux and Kalika (chapter 119). And finally in this part, Ramalho Correia and Mesquita (chapter 121) invite the reader to think about lifelong learning in the context of a knowledge based society as a tool to update the knowledge that organizations will need to remain in the market in competitive positions. People are the most important asset in a “knowledge based/learning economy” and this requires that every citizen be equipped with the right knowledge, skills and attitudes to achieve.

    Part IX, Other trends and issues in e-HRM, begins with a research on the relationship between corporate social responsibility and financial performance (Arora, chapter 122). In the e-HRM world investing in building better employment relations has also both direct and indirect benefits for the organizations. Searching for similar conclusions, Blanco (chapter 123) reviews the application of the TQM (Total Quality Management) philosophy to e-HRM. As Blanco states “TQM affects all employee-related issues from productivity, loyalty, and work ethic to overall well-being” as social responsibility does. When deploying the human capital of an organization service quality can be influenced. Lastres-Segret and Cadagan-García (chapter 124) present an empirical study which identifies different factors that influence the quality of service taking into account how different organizations from the service sector manage their human resources.

    Needless to say that technological advances and HRIS technology are affecting operational structures within organizations. A direct consequence of that is the growing up of call centers which have been tightly integrated into e-HRM practices as presented in Carroll’s work (chapter 125). This chapter ends drawing out the balance between HRM practices and operational structural design.

    But how are these changes affecting other organizations and sectors? Mockler and Dologite (chaoter 126), and Crisóstomo-Acevedo and Medina-Garrido (chapter 127) present the new technological work environment in the healthcare sector. IT systems have been incorporated to services at hospitals so a new type of worker, the healthcare teleworker, is needed. Different sources of the resistance to incorporate telemedicine are briefly discussed. In the next chapter, Joseph and Ezzedeen (chapter 128) discuss governments’ use of electronic human resources management (e-HRM) as a means of improving overall public sector performance.

    The level of e-HRM adoption among European firms is presented by Galanaki and Panayotopoulou (chapter 129). These authors consider three important elements: the extent of e-HRM deployment, the characteristics of the companies that adopt e-HRM and the level of satisfaction with the system. A contrast, from an Anglosaxon perspective, can be found in Olivas-Luján and Florkowski’s work (chapter 130) where an empirical study of the diffusion of HRIT is presented. Finally, Val Hooper and Lau (chapter 131) investigate the adoption of e-HRM in large organizations in New Zealand. These three chapters are essential to understand how organizations are adopting and accepting technological changes with regard to HRM functions. Without no doubt, top management commitment is not a trivial factor influencing the adoption of technological centered HRM.

    Technology and computer-mediated relationships, in both public and private organizations, are not free of worries. In that sense Ritter’s work (chapter 132) brings good final reflections about old problems, such as sexual harassment, which are still alive in our more technological work environments. Building more friendly working environments does not depend on technology. It is up to our values and behaviors.

    The Spanish anthropologists Eudald Carbonell and Robert Sala wrote a book entitled “Encara no som humans” (“We are not human beings yet”. Editorial Empúries, Barcelona. 2002). They state that we will only be able to progress as human beings if we really use the technology and apply critical knowledge to evolve. In doing so, we must never forget that we all are much more than workers and/or e-workers.