The HRM implications of new technology in organisations Issue:
The issue facing the organisation is whether or not to adopt a new technological system in order to enhance overall business strategy,
inter-functionality between departments, as well as improve the human resources function…
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The most primary issue is cost and labour investment that goes into development and whether the advantages outweigh these issues in regards to new technology adoption. Background: The implementation of new technologies in any industry has significant implications for human resource managers and line management. Depending on the nature of the system, such as HRIS for the human resources function, there are significant costs and labour expenditures to ensure proper development and training of existing staff members who must use this software. Other systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software or other system-wide technologies designed to facilitate better use of resources, also have cost issues and training problems that must be rectified by human resources management. Especially in international organisations, the complexity of these systems requires ongoing assistance from information technology support teams and the development of appropriate flowcharts that identify each key role and their job function related to the new technology implementation. Any such systems can be exceptionally problematic for human resources leadership in terms of driving motivation to use these systems effectively and eliciting change policies within the organisation. Discussion & Analysis: HRIS systems, human resource information systems, have some of the largest implications for human resource leadership and line management in virtually every organisation. HRIS is “a composite of databases, computer applications, and hardware/software necessary to collect/record, store, manage, deliver, present and manipulate data for HR” (Ngai & Wat, 2006, p.299). Such systems have administrative function to assist in record-keeping related to subordinate staff members and also assist in business decision-making throughout the organisation. A 1998 survey shows that 60 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on HRIS systems in daily operations (Ngai & Wat). This number has likely increased over the last decade. The benefits of such systems is better record-keeping related to issues of health care, benefits, and training documentation that only serves to support the HR role more efficiently. However, there are many drawbacks that must be considered before implementing such a system in a dynamic organisation. First, lack of budget is a considerable problem if the company does not have adequate resources for the expenditure. Secondly, the costs associated with ongoing information technology support teams can be a burden. Further, these systems create an organisation-wide inter-dependency that forces unrelated operational systems to work together, thus requiring additional training (Ngai & Wat). If unrelated systems with no formal knowledge of one another now must rely on technology to become integrated, management must devote their labour and expertise to ensuring proper flow of information and the social systems that support such interdependencies. There are significant benefits, however, to implementing new technology to support better business function. First, HRIS systems have self-service element to them that allow employees to handle some of their own human resources activities online. When linked with the corporate intranet, as one example, employees can request time off, review job postings as they change throughout the business, review company policy changes, and even update their demographic information in real-time (Copeland, 2004). Self-service systems give employees a broader sense of
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