Human Resources Management Practices in the Global Environment & Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS)
The objective of this study is the examine Human Resources Information Systems (HRIS) as it relates to Human Resources Management practices in the Global Environment. Toward this end, this work in writing will examine the literature in this area of study.
Globalization, in the work of Husain (2010), is reported as symbolizing "the structural making of the world characterized by the free flow of technology and human resources across national boundaries presenting an ever-changing and competitive business environment." (p.1) Husain defines globalization as "the ongoing economic, technological, social, and political integration of the world that begin after the Second World War." (2010, p.1) Husain argues that a large base of evidence indicates that "changes taking place in the global business environment are often not accompanied by complimentary changes in human resources management practices whereby the failure of some firms is due to the mismanagement of people rather than to problems with technical systems; (2) This is because organizations have achieved relatively low levels of effectiveness in implementing Strategic Human Resource Management practices; and (3) In order to manage employees for competitive edge in a period of globalization, human resource personnel must possess competencies relevant for effective implementation of such strategic HRM policies and training. (Husain, 2010, p.1) - HRIS Project Implementation is stated to be based on three principles: (1) consideration for the organization's busy timelines and resource limitations; (2) emphasis on building partnerships with organizations; and (3) flexibility in the implementation process to cater to specific organization requirements. (Community Care Information Management, nd)
The work of Pirakatheeswari (2010) states that innovative HRM is characterized by the following:
Improved tools for data analysis (Pirakatheeswari, 2010)
The various aspects of HRM are stated to include:
Human Resource Planning
Transfer & Planning
Total Quality Management
Quality of Working Environment
Quality Cycle (Pirakatheeswari, 2010)
It is noted by Pirakatheeswari, (2010) that information system has "become a tool for more HR professionals, and often, these systems are provided through the Internet."
Dresser Associates states that the system requirements, features and capabilities of the HRIS that must be addressed include: (1) the recommended hardware to operate the system; (2) the anticipated cost of the hardware; (3) local area networks that are compatible with the system; (4) maximum number of employee records the system can handle effectively; (5) is the system commercially available or written in programming language; and (6) the estimated time to process and generate a standard 10-field employee roster listing that includes age, annual salary and years of service for 500 employee records. (Dresser Associates, nd)
It is necessary that the real needs of the system be clearly articulated and that questions including those as follows be addressed: (1) what major tasks are to be accomplished and what results are expected; (2) what tasks and results are to be realized over the next two years; and (3) what results will be produced by the system for the organization's operational management over the next three years. (Dresser Associates, nd)
I. Theoretical Background
The work of Wolfgang Mayrhofer (2004) states that social systems theory "…as developed by Niklas Luhmann is an option for the theoretical foundation of Human Resource Management (HRM). After clarifying the advantages of using a grand (social) theory as the basic theoretical perspective, the roots of this social systems theory - the deterministic view of systems as machines, the open systems approach and non-linear systems theory - are addressed." Upon the basis of the view of social systems as "…autopoietically closed systems" Mayrhofer states that there are five primary contributions to a theoretical foundation of HRM identified and that those are as follows: "(1) the conceptualization of organizing and managing human resources as social processes, thus overcoming an individualistic angle; (2) the new importance of individuals as essential element in the system's environment; (3) the abstention form far reaching or highly unrealistic assumptions about the 'nature' of human beings; (4) the interaction between various levels and units of analysis built into the theory which is essential for comprehensive and in-depth analyses of HR phenomena and (5) the openness for additional theories for which social systems theory provides the overall framework." (Mayrhofer, 2004)
According to Mayrhofer, grand theories when borrowed from theoretically offer a clearer view of HR phenomena. HRM has its roots historically in tools and practices and has had to derive its theoretical foundation from other sciences. The HRM discussion is stated by Mayrhofer to be enriched by social systems theory and it is stated that this approach not only "contributes to the integration of HR research organizational theory discussion. This not only helps HR theory, but also strengthens the theoretical link to the general organizational theory debate, thus underscoring the vital role HR plays in an overall view of organizations." (2004) Viewing HRM from the unified theoretical perspective enables the discussion concerning the various aspects of HR within a single theoretical language…" and as well resulting is that novel methods of reconstruction and sense-making of HRM phenomena may be developed since the "categories of this framework can be used to reconstruct organizational reality in a different way than using classic organizational and HR theory categories." (Mayrhofer, 2004)
Mayrhofer (2004) states as follows:
"A grand theory helps building practical decisions on sound assumptions about crucial elements within the myriad of practical elements that practitioners face. In addition, it allows practitioners more than an educated guess about the outcome of practical decisions since such theories at least roughly outline the link between crucial elements ('variables. Beyond that, such grand theories offer a basic view of organizational reality." (Mayrhofer, 2004)
The work of Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce (2003) reports the development of a Human Resource Information Systems functions model, which is based upon general systems theory, academic research that is relevant, and observations of the practitioner. The model is stated to "underscore the "role of HRIS as the operational link between strategic organizational vision and human resources implementations." Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce relate that scholars in the field of management declare that "enhanced theoretical rigor is necessary to bridge the gap between research and practice." (2003) Stated is that the response in the reported research is such that the model of Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce (2003) has been drawn "from over a decade of HRIS studies, organizational learning and general systems theory of human resources developmental research, and other relevant work in organizational behavior and information systems literature." It is stated that the models serves to "underscore the role of HRIS as the operational link between strategic organizational vision and human resources implementations."
Human resources operations create organizational challenges that are of a dual nature but have outcomes that are interdependent. Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce state:
"One summons organizational change that may be perceived as a threat to the status quo, while the other set of outcomes gives highly valuable potential benefits for organizational performance. This paradox stems from the requirement for U.S. businesses to improve productivity from their skilled workers in order to satisfy the demand shift from manufacturing to technological and intellectual innovations. This transformation means that both organizational productivity gains and competitive advantage depend on high quality worker competence. In other words, increasing productivity through people is now paramount. Consequently, essential human resource functions have recently become even more critical to general organizational well-being." (Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce, 2003)
It is reported that many organizations are using information systems technology to achieve these objectives, which are reported to be of a complex nature. (Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce, 2003, paraphrased) HRIS functions that are successful are reported to provide key process support in the areas of: (1) executive decision-making; (2) employee training; (3) technology selection; (4) interdepartmental integration; and (5) organizational reporting structures." (Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce, 2003) It is the assumption of knowledge management that "knowledge and its complement, learning, are the forces that optimize organizational performance." (Mayfield, Mayfield, and Lunch, 2003) Organizational knowledge is such that can be observed in intellectual capital comprised of 'hard' and 'soft' assets which are two clearly distinct categories while simultaneously being interdependent. (Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce, 2003)
Mayfield, Mayfield and Lunce (2003) report that 'hard' intellectual capital assets are such as "legal documents, software and databases. Soft capital assets are of the nature of "people-centered organizational strengths including skills, expertise, culture and commitment." These two categories are of the nature that can effectively integrate with well-designed HRIS. HRIS are stated to "make vital contributions to knowledge management by advancing organizational learning." (Mayfield, Mayfield, and Lunce, 2003 Knowledge management is inclusive of training and which is delivered "in both cost-…