1.Factors that changed the primary role of HRM to a strategic partner
According to Friedman (2013), the role of HRM has transformed to strategic partners because of the changes in government regulations, economic conditions, technological advancements, and workforce demographics. Notably, technological changes take the leading position in influencing how different organizations execute their operations. For instance, the robust development in technology has affected operations hence changing the role of HRM. Human actions are limited to planning how to use the computers to generate results for a particular purpose. Information that used to be stored in files is now condensed and stored in the computers. Therefore, HRM have been influenced to become strategic thinkers and help strategic and operations management to invent superb and effective ways of capitalizing on technology to enhance organizations competitiveness.
2.Historical evolution of HRM and HRIS regarding the changing role of HRM and the influence of computer technology
Ngai and Wat (2006, p. 300) assert that HRM is crucial for the success of organizations that operate in the 21st century because of their plight in boosting competitive edge. The harshening business environment has necessitated the need for companies to capitalize on information technology in creating efficiency in HRM. According to Faruk, Chowdhury, & Ferdous (2014, p. 78), HRM and HRIS evolved in five major phases. These phases include pre-war era, post war era, legislative era, low-cost era and emerging of HRIS, and the tech era and emergence of strategic human resource management. The pre war ii era was marked by human resource being treated as personnel, personnel management as an independent organization function, organization focused on employee welfare, and more focus on record keeping by HR. The post war ii era was characterized by more emphasis on employee relations, extensive record keeping and recording, and the emergence of computers in facilitating management of employee information. The legislative era (1960-1980) was marked with personnel becoming HR, HR recognized as crucial for organization success, the emergence of MIS for HRM, and HRIS being used to keep administrative records (Faruk et al. 2014, p. 79). The low-cost era and the emergence of HRIS were experienced in 1980-1990 and this period, HRIS was relied on for all HRM functions. Lastly, the tech era and the emergence of strategic human resource management began in 1990 up to date and entirely depend on computers in executing various HRM roles.
3.Requirements for an effective management of the HR
Business organizations seek to gain and maintain a competitive advantage over other players in the market. Getting to the top usually entails obtaining and maintaining an edge over other competitors in the field. Organizations can gain an advantage over others through cost leadership by the human resource. The management should ensure that the unit cost of production is reduced and the number of the total units produced is increased. Adoption of the best technology for management of the human resources is one the proven ways of cost leadership (Sameer & Vrinda, 2011, pp. 68-69). This is because technology provides the best efficient work methods thus cutting down the costs. Therefore, organizations should embrace new technology in managing the human resource which will, in turn, give them a competitive advantage.
4.Strategic HRM and the influence of computer technology and approaches used in HRM to facilitate the use of SHRM in businesses.
SHRM emerged in the tech era in 1990, and it is widely practiced today. It was developed because of the economic landscape that underwent radical changes due to technological breakthroughs and increasing globalization. This era led to increased business reengineering such as right sizing of employee numbers, outsourcing, reducing organization structures, and reducing layers of management (Faruk et al., 2014, p. 76). Today, firms recognize creative and innovative employees because of their capability in bringing new knowledge that is fundamental in creating efficiency hence organization success. The tremendous change in technology has resulted in changing of roles of human resource to strategic partners since they entirely rely on computers to process, analyze and disseminate information used in decision making. Some of the HRM approaches used to enhance strategic management include the application of management information systems, incorporation of technology in operations to improve efficiency which is instrumental in hitting organization strategy.
5.Technology and HR activities
Technology has been assisting the HR professionals to deliver quality services in their different practices through the use of the integrated system that acquires and stores data used in the analysis and decision making. It enables effective communication and collaboration through the tools such as e-mail, video conferencing, electronic work groups, and virtual teams that have enhanced the possibility of workplace interactions (Long, 2009). Technology standardizes and aromatizes the routines by allowing people to focus more on the interpretation of information rather than the traditional administrative activities. It has also led to the transformation of HR management by bringing in new processes such as e-training, virtual recruitment, portal applications and self-service HR and the knowledge and competency management.
It is a method that defines and measures, improves and analyses as well as controlling the business processes and is supported by the assortment of the various statistical tools (Nirmala & Rajesha, 2014, p.334). Six Sigma is one of the standard approaches that produce excellent process performances of organizations. In the human resource department, it fosters the definition of the problem areas, elimination of the recognized errors, and provision of safeguards that are useful in the prevention of challenges from reoccurring. It allows HR experts to speed up and improve their hiring process, increases the database accuracy and tracking the success of a particular project within the department. Therefore, six sigma leads to improvements in career and succession, leadership, planning, change management and implementation of effective communication programs (Nirmala & Rajesha, 2014, p.337).
7.Need for HRIS
There are multiple reasons as to why HRIS is required in various companies which can be derived from its primary function of documentation of employment relation from all aspects of complexity. HRIS enables managers to access the needed information legally and ethically and henceforth supporting satisfactory reporting of their employees (Ama, Peter & Evans, 2015, p.429). Nonetheless, it frees the HR staff from additional strategic functions which may be cumbersome. Also, employees can update accompanied with addressing necessary changes without having to follow the long traditional procedures. Another reason includes facilitation of required data for the employee management, knowledge and career growth and development together with the equal treatment (Ama et al., 2015, p.431). HRIS achieves these roles through the underlying technology of storage, retrieval and the distribution of data.
8.Types of information systems
The human resource information systems include Electronic Data Processing (EDP), Management Information System (MIS) and Decision Support Systems (DSS) (Kumar, 2012). EDP facilitates the automated processing of the routine information within an organization, storage of data and files, processing of transactions and summarizing reports. The MIS allows integration of data through the retrieval of information, data categorization and the generation of the standardized report that is useful to all the managers and the affected employees. The DSS is useful, particularly when making managerial decisions as it enables an appropriate interactive user, enhances the generation of the decision alternatives that managers can select the best from and analysis of utility (Kumar, 2012). Furthermore, DSS has a software application that helps in giving solutions to the uncertainty of something using what if analysis.
9.Influence of National and Corporate Culture on HRIS
Culture can be said to be national culture, coming from the external environment or it may be organizational culture, emanating from the internal business environment. Both types of culture have an influence on the operation of the human resource. Firstly, there are various aspects of the national culture that have an impact on the HRIS. These include government regulations which may legalize or illegalize certain aspects of the HRIS thus influencing them. Also, the labor market and the societal concerns must also be put into consideration in the operation of the human resource thus influencing them. On the other hand, the corporate culture also affects the functioning of the human resource through factors that the HR must consider in its decision making (Fischer, 2009, pp. 25-48). These include the strategic management system of the organization, its technology, and research among many others.
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