Conflict Resolution in E-HRM Environments

Conflict Resolution in E-HRM Environments

Joseph Abiodun Bello, Adeniji Anthonia Adenike
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-883-3.ch027
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There have been studies on conflict resolutions but many focused on regional inter-tribe and international conflicts between or among nations of the world. Only very few have written about industrial conflict recently, even these few did not touch the mechanism of resolving conflicts in the organization in depth. Therefore, this article will focus on various conflict resolution mechanisms and the three major models of conflict resolutions—namely distributive bargaining, integrated bargaining, and interactive problem solving as given by Cross, Susan, Rosenthal, and Robert (1999). To do this effectively, we will explore the available literature on the antecedents of conflicts in human resource systems. Varieties of views and notions held by individuals and groups in respect of the role and the consequences of conflicts in the functioning of humans in our modern complex organizations will be considered. The consequences of conflicts on interpersonal, inter-group, and inter-organizational processes, when conflict may empower, distress, or lubricate the wheels of human interaction in the context of human resource management will be traced. The views of experts, professionals and academicians on how and why conflicts should be handled to ensure a healthier and conducive environment to work will be traced.
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All aspects of human resource management, including how companies interact with the environment, acquire, prepare, develop, compensate, evaluate, and resolve conflict within the organization can help meet their competitive challenges and create value. Meeting challenges is necessary to create value and to gain a competitive advantage. This emphasizes how electronic human resource management (e-HRM) practices can and should contribute to business goals and help achieve effectiveness.

E-HRM is a new and intriguing field of research at the intersection of human resource management and information systems. It is an innovative lasting and substantial development in HRM that results in new phenomena and major changes. E-HRM focuses on human resource management practices including labor-management relations such as union structure and membership, the organizing process, contract negotiations, new union agenda, and less adversarial approaches to labor-management relations. It utilizes information technology in a two-fold way:

  • Technology is necessary to connect usually partially segregated actors and enable interactions between them irrespective of their working in the same room or in different positions within and between organizations—meaning, technology serves as a medium with the aim of connection and integration.

  • Information technology serves as a tool for task-fulfillment. This implies technology supports actors by partially helping and substituting for them in executing HR activities.

It is a fact that e-HRM is a multilevel phenomenon by its nature. Individual actors are interactingin groups within organizations that interact with other organizations. Actors of e-HRM are those who plan, implement, and perform e-HRM. These include managers, HR professionals, employees, consultants, and line managers, and are therefore different actors that constitute a configurational component.

E-HRM activities encompass the single HR functions like recruiting and selection, training and development, compensation, and conflict resolution which are performed in order to provide and maintain the needed human resources.

Conflict resolution is about industrial relations and collective bargaining.

Industrial relations are all aspect of the employment relationship between employers and employees. It deals with everything that affects the relationship between workers and employers from the time the employee joins the organization till he leaves the job. Industrial relations are borne out of employment relationship in an industrial setting. They are characterized by both conflict and co-operation. It also involves the study of conditions that are conducive to the labor, management co-operation, and policy framework laid down by the government.

Industrial relations cover: promotion and development healthy labor management relations, maintenance of industrial peace and avoidance of industrial strife, and development of industrial democracy.

However, Fajana (2004) identified that there are three parties to industrial relations:

Key Terms in this Chapter

E-HRM: Also known as virtual HRM; refers to technological mediated networks of actors providing the firm with the HR services needed without the further existence of a conventional HR department.

Mediation: A dispute resolution process in which a neutral third party known as a mediator helps the negotiators resolves an impasse by reaching an agreement.

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