Information Technology and Its Implication on Hr Strategies

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The chapter examines the background of the study, statement of the problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significance of the study, scope of the study, limitations of the study and conceptual framework adopted for the study.

1. Background of the Study

SOS Children’s Village is a private non-political social welfare organization whose primary goal is to provide permanent homes and education to orphaned and abandoned children. SOS Children’s Villages was founded by Hermann Gmeiner who after witnessing the suffering of children in the second world war established the first SOS CV in Imnst, Austria. Currently there are 450 SOS Children’s Villages worldwide in over 132 countries. The children stay with the organization until they are able to lead independent lives. The SOS Children’s Village -Eldoret is located off Elgeyo Road in Kapsoya estate. The organization was started in 1988. The organization runs nursery, primary, and secondary schools for their children and communities near their schools (SOS kdi Handbook).

The Kenyan National Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Policy states the following; Countries that have harnessed the potential of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) have attained significant social and economic development. In addition, they are rapidly transforming into information and knowledge-based economies. The Government, therefore, recognizes the role of ICTs in the social and economic development of the nation and has promulgated a national ICT based on the Economic Recovery Strategy for Wealth and Employment Creation (2003-2007) (Ministry of Information and communication registry, 2006). This Policy seeks to facilitate sustained economic growth and poverty reduction; promote social justice and equity; mainstream gender in national development; empower the youth and disadvantaged groups; stimulate investment and innovation in ICT; and achieve universal access. It is based on internationally accepted standards and best practices, particularly the COMESA Model adopted by the COMESA Council of Ministers in March 2003. The policy is based on four guiding principles: infrastructure development, human resource development, stakeholder participation and appropriate policy and regulatory framework (Ministry of Information and Communication registry, 2006).

In the recent past, Information Technology (IT) has become a wild card in business, a source of opportunity and uncertainty, advantage and risk. Business executives have often viewed the IT function with apprehension, seeing it as the province of technocrats primarily interested in few features that may have little relevance to real world business problems. Technology executives have often considered business managers to be short sighted, lacking the vision to exploit that entire technology offer. Both struggle as they attempt to implement increasingly complex systems in the face of rapid changes in business and technology (Applegate, 2003)

IT is therefore no longer simply a tool to support “back office” transactions, rather it has become a strategy of most businesses enabling the redefinition of markets and industries and the strategy and design of the firms competing within them. Distance and time have become less significant determinants of market and organizational structures and processes. The introduction of the World Wide Web (www) for instance brought a revolution to the HR strategy formulation and implementation (Applegate, 2003). For example the employee resourcing strategy had to be revised so that an organization can adopt e-recruitment.

Technology has become a core enabler and, in some cases, the primary channel through which business is done. The world is smaller, and ‘the global village’ is quickly becoming a reality. Physical location matters less than it once did. Borders and boundaries, ownership and control have become less rigid. According to...
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