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HR Implications of Technology Change

Today, when the competitive demands of the marketplace require a reorientation of strategic human resource philosophies and practices, an emphasis are being given to a knowledgebased administration using technology as a tool. Todays human resources (HR) tasks cover an ample variety of activities requiring very different skill sets, from compensation and benefit administration (highly quantitative) to employee relations (highly qualitative). As a consequence, there are legitimate questions about whether these tasks need to be together on organizational plans in light of new realities and technologies. To be considered successful HR technology must achieve several goals, as described by Walker (Web-Based Human Resources, Alfred J. Walker): (a) Strategic alignment, which must support the goals of a business by helping users;
If an organizations Heart is defined as its mission, values, vision, strategy, goals, roles and responsibilities; then, strategic alignment is when all employees know about organizations Heart, feel passionate about it, make all their daily decisions based on it, and behave according to it. Strategic alignment is when all structures, processes and systems support your organizations Heart and dont work against it. Alignment is when all the organizations teams all the way from the top executive suite down to the front line teams have goals that are in perfect sync with each other and are truly committed to such goals. Strategic alignment is when all the team leaders regardless of their rank (CEO, Middle Level Managers, or Entry Level Supervisors) give precedence to the team they belong to, over the team they lead.

(b) Business Intelligence, which should inspire new insights and learning, by providing users(emp) with relevant information and data, and by answering questions; Business Intelligence is a set of methodologies, processes, architectures, and technologies that transform raw data into meaningful and useful information used to enable more effective strategic, tactical, and operational insights and decision-making." It mainly refers to computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting, and analyzing business data, such as sales revenue by products and/or departments, or by associated costs and incomes. (DSS) (c) Efficiency and Effectiveness, which must change the work performed by HR personnel, by dramatically improving their level of service, allowing more time for work of higher value, and reducing their costs.

Holistic model of human resource management practices

Walker (2001) stated that HR technology can help organizations meet their business goals and objectives today and in the future by:

Helping managers deploy their workers more efficiently. Ensuring that workers receive proper training and development. Offering new insights on how to increase productivity. Enabling employees and managers to receive needed information faster. Reducing HR administrative costs. Assisting with better employee assessment and selection (Walker, 2001, pp. 10-11).

Recent studies of HR management and business performances have found that HRs adopted high involvement practices have resulted in Improvement on market value Rate of return on capital employed

Revenue growth Revenue-per-employee rate Productivity Product/service quality Organizational survival

We can assume that the use of technology by HR has proven to assist on the improvement of business performances. Although we expect all businesses to have embraced this high involvement on technology, only about one of every eight business has done so. In order for this to happen, HR should bring the customers voice to inside an organization, and accomplishing that, upper management will empower HR to reflect the customers value proposition. Knowledge Management HR is part of the knowledge management in an organization, and because of this it has to play a role in concurrence with the IT department, and others responsible for generating and manipulating knowledge.
Knowledge Management (KM) is the set of professional practices which improves the capabilities of the organizations human resources and enhances their ability to share what they know.

Knowledge Life Cycle Knowledge in business can be seen to have a lifecycle of its own. It must be created either within or outside the organization. This is typically comprised of iterative tacit and explicit loops until Create the knowledge is ready for distribution to those outside the creating group. It can then be stored somewhere, either Learn Store tacitly or explicitly so that it is accessible for others to find and use. Those who need the specific knowledge must then find out where it is, when they need it, by searching in the right places Use Find and / or asking the right people. Once the knowledge source is found, the user will then go through the act of actually
Acquire

acquiring it. This will involve gaining personal knowledge from other humans or documented sources. Once acquired, the knowledge can be put to use towards some productive purpose. Having been used, perhaps repeatedly, the user will learn what worked well and not so well as a result of applying the knowledge gained. This can then be taken as significant input into further iterations of the knowledge creation and distribution process.

Benefits of knowledge management

Benefits of knowledge management Knowledge management can create competitive advantage for a company and its customers.

Why benefit occur By sharing information and best practices, organizations create expanded opportunities for market share and financial growth. Furthermore, knowledge management provides a means for organizations to differentiate themselves from competitors.

Knowledge management can create a truly customer-focused culture.

Appropriate organizational resources can be directed toward solving customer problems or meeting customer needs quickly and effectively.

Knowledge management can be a catalyst.

Through tools, resources, and systems, it can help ignite creativity and innovation in the development of an organizations products and services.

Knowledge management can improve time to market.

By leveraging best practices, learning and other time-savers to improve productivity, products can be introduced faster.

Knowledge management can expand a companys strategic options.

By leveraging intellectual property in research and development efforts as well as overall market and business strategy, organizations can discover new ways to create value.

The realization that knowledge management plays a central role in ensuring competitiveness of the company rests on the perception that in todays business world the only truly unique resource of a company is the intellectual and human capital.

Tasks to be Performed by Human Resource Management to Improve Efficiency


Although HRM are, as Ivancevich (2001) explained, action-oriented, individual-oriented, globally-oriented, and future oriented (p. 24), there is a need to streamline its operations and improve efficiency. According to Cascio (2005) HRs are to be more efficient on the following competencies: Assisting the organization business model to compete for business in the product and service markets in which it operates. Acquiring basic business literacy in corporate finance, marketing, accounting, information technology, and general management. On its functional areas within HR, such as legal requirements, recruitment, staffing, training and development, performance management, compensation and benefits, labor and employee relations, and occupational safety and health. Listening skills, as well as the courage to raise difficult issues with senior executives. Improving its skills as a strategic business partner by creating an overall talent or people mind-set; creating an HR strategy that aligns people, processes, and systems

The Role Technology Plays on Todays Human Resource Management


Technology is the practical application of science to commerce or industry; the study of or a collection of techniques; a particular technological concept; the body of tools and other implements produced by a given society (Luck, 2010). Technology is here and will continue to progress. To understand the role technology plays on todays HRM we first have to understand business technology: Business technology refers to the integration of computer and communications technologies in support of administrative applications and procedures within an organization. Business technology is constantly evolving. Business technology is required for a successful business.

It is no longer enough for HRM to maintain a narrow operational focus, view its activities as restricted to the limits of its own organization, or to limit itself to traditional human resource (HR) responsibilities, HRs should go above and beyond. The HR field has evolved over time and nowadays HR is under more scrutiny and is more accountable than ever. There is little room for mistakes, which can be overwhelming costly. HRs these days and in the near future have a greater importance in the strategic business partnership with the organization, and for this challenge to be won there is an increasing need for technology to be inserted on its daily operations and on its decision-making considerations.

The Impact of Technology in Human Resource Management


Ivancevich (2001) wrote that prior to the Industrial Revolution most people worked either close to or in their homes. However, mass production technologies changed this and people began to travel to work locations or factories (p. 52). Today, with increased computer technology, there is a move for many to work from anywhere; people are no longer necessarily anchored to one place. Computer technology, especially the Internet, changed that. The trends in technology which directly or indirectly have an impact in HRM are:

Growth in knowledge needs. World trade is growing over three times faster in knowledge-intensive goods and services such as biomedicine, robotics, and engineering (Ivancevich, 2001, p. 52).

Global market connection. Technology is dissolving borders and creating an interconnected marketplace (Ivancevich, 2001, p. 52). Business streamlining. Easy to use communication, electronic mail, electronic conferencing, and databases are creating instantaneous dissemination of data to make better decisions to geographically dispersed workers (Ivancevich, 2001, p. 52).

Rapid response. Technology permits quicker communications, which allows faster decision-making (Ivancevich, 2001, p. 52). Quicker innovation. Teams of marketing, engineering, and production personnel working in parallel with computer provided files, data, and information develop products faster (Ivancevich, 2001, p. 52).

Quality improvement. The concept of building quality into the entire process of making, marketing, and servicing is enhanced by computer monitoring systems and through robotics (Ivancevich, 2001, p. 52).

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS)


HRIS as an integrated system providing information used in HR decision making . An HRIS serves two major purposes in organizations: (1) improves the efficiency with which data on employees and HR activities are compiled; (2) having accessible data enables HR planning and managerial decisions making to be based to a greater degree on information rather than relying on managerial perceptions or intuitions.

The Internet Economy and HR


With the widespread adoption of the Internet by business and people there is a greater use of electronic business (e-business) processes. E-business includes several forms of buying and selling products and services, such as: Business-to-consumer transactions. Per example: purchasing books and tickets, and conducting services including banking online. Business-to-business transactions. This is when there are transactions between manufactures and wholesalers, and between wholesalers and retailers. Consumer-to-consumer transactions. An example would be the website ebay.com.

E-business relies on the Internet to obtain product information online, directly order products and services, receive after-sale technical support, and view the status of orders and deliveries. E-businesses create many challenges for HRM departments because of the fast pace of changes on information technology. HRMs are required to continually update their skills requirements and then recruit and train people to meet these requirements.

Conclusion
Today, HRMs are presented with the challenge of becoming more effective and productive, and they are accepting this challenging by turning to technology as a mean to improve their performance; however technology presents its own challenges as well. The role technology plays on HRM is most fundamental when used as part of an organizations business strategy. There are specific technology designed for HRM decision-making, however the efficiency of these decisions remain dependent on the human training and skills. Technology is incorporated on the fiber of our lives because of its overwhelming presence on e-business, as Internet continues to have an exponential growth.