Making Sense of e-HRM: Transformation, Technology and Power Relations

Making Sense of e-HRM: Transformation, Technology and Power Relations

Steve Foster (University of Hertfordshire and NorthgateArinso, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61692-852-0.ch118
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Several organisations have adopted e-HRM technology as a platform for achieving transformational change, improving HR operational processes, allowing distributed access to employees / managers and providing better decision support. However, as a consultant working in this field, the author regularly encounters organisations that fail to take advantage of the transformational potential of e-HRM, particularly those in the United Kingdom public sector. This chapter argues that the concepts of sense-making and technological frames may explain the inertia experienced in some organisations. It contends that the analysis of technological frame domains provides a valuable lens for understanding and interpreting e-HRM, where high levels of frame incongruence may act as a barrier to transformational change. Research suggests that power relations between key groups of stakeholders, in particular HR Managers and line managers, may influence these frames and shape attitudes to technology. This approach may also provide the basis for strategies to manage e-HRM related change more effectively. Using a grounded theory approach, the research, currently work in progress in support of a professional doctorate (DBA),investigates how United Kingdom public sector organisations make sense of, plan for and implement HR technology.

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