Title

The role of electronic human resource management in diverse workforce efficiency

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Originally Published In

SA Journal of Human Resource Management

Volume Number

17

Abstract

Orientation: Diversity management, focusing on developing and appreciating diverse ideas and building relations among diverse employees, and new electronic human resource management (e-HRM) approaches to employees, often leave employees feeling disrespected and indignant. Thus, instead of human resource practitioners, harnessing the strategic role of e-HRM towards value creation for people and organisation, e-HRM has taken a dehumanising turn.

Research purpose: This research questioned how technological changes affecting e-HRM could optimise and enable diversity.

Motivation for the study: Current literature does not adequately address this e-HRM dilemma impacting on HRM.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative exploratory case study was used to determine how and to what extent the application of e-HRM technology implementation impacted on diversity management. The human niche and ecological model theories help explain the nature of employees’ interactional relationships and coping mechanisms when intervening factors such as e-HRM are introduced respectively.

Main findings: The research revealed disconnectedness between e-HRM, individuals and groups, affecting efficiency. Further research is required to improve humanistic approaches for e-HRM implementations.

Practical/managerial implications: Application of human niche theory may guide a more participative approach from the onset. Leaders and managers who follow a pure transactional approach may fuel employee isolationism and hamper diversity management through technology in e-HRM.

Contribution/value-add: Our findings provide insight into the unintended consequences of diversity. We indicated how e-HRM systems can lead to relational breakdown in a developing country context. Technology should be integrated in managing diversity, and not just focused on operational efficiencies.

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