Hris

Topics: Human resources, Human resource management, Management Pages: 22 (7499 words) Published: September 16, 2013
Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS): An Unrealised Potential* David Grant** Work and Organisational Studies The Institute Building (H03) The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia Email d.grant@econ.usyd.edu.au Tel: +61 (0)2 9351 7871 Fax: +61 (0)2 9351 5283

Kristine Dery
Work and Organisational Studies The Institute Building (H03) The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia Email k.dery@econ.usyd.edu.au Tel: +61 (0)2 9036 6410

Richard Hall
Work and Organisational Studies The Institute Building (H03) The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia Email r.hall@econ.usyd.edu.au Tel: +61 (0)2 9351 5621

Nick Wailes
Work and Organisational Studies The Institute Building (H03) The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia Email n.wailes@econ.usyd.edu.au Tel: +61 (0)2 9351 7870

Sharna Wiblen
Work and Organisational Studies The Institute Building (H03) The University of Sydney NSW 2006 Australia Email s.wiblen@econ.usyd.edu.au Tel: +61 (0)2 9036 7603

Abstract: Over the last decade there has been a considerable increase in the number of organisations gathering, storing and analysing information regarding their human resources through the use of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) software or other types of software which include HRIS functionality (Ball, 2001; Barron, Chhabra, Hanscome, & Henson, 2004; Hussain, Wallace, & Cornelius, 2007; Ngai & Wat, 2006). The growing adoption of HRIS by organisations combined with the increasing sophistication of this software, presents the Human Resource function with the opportunity to enhance its contribution to organisation strategy. In this study we examine the ways in which HRIS might be used in order to achieve this. Our analysis of four Australian case study organisations finds that the claimed potential of HRIS to contribute to business strategy is contingent on its overcoming one or more of three key challenges. * This research is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant (LPLP0882247) in collaboration with the Australian Senior Human Resources Roundtable (ASHRR). ** Corresponding Author.

Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS): An Unrealised Potential The last decade has seen a significant increase in the number of organisations gathering, storing and analysing human resources data using Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) (Ball, 2001; Barron et al., 2004; Hussain et al., 2007; Ngai et al., 2006). In this paper we show that the study of the impact of HRIS is of direct significance to the ongoing debate about the extent to which Human Resources (HR) can play a strategic role in the organisation (Becker, Huselid, & Ulrich, 2001; Hewitt Associates, 2007; Huselid, 1995; Lawler & Mohrman, 2003; Sheehan, Holland, & De Cieri, 2006). Specifically, we examine the argument that through its capacity to deliver accurate and timely metrics, HRIS has the potential to assist the HR function in developing business strategy and thus enhancing organisation performance (Barney & Wright, 1998; Broderick & Boudreau, 1992; Gueutal, 2003; Lawler, Levenson, & Boudreau, 2004; Lengnick-Hall & Moritz, 2003). Our initial findings from the first phase of interviews with four organisations based in Australia, suggest that the potential of HRIS to deliver the strategic competencies promised remains largely unrealised and that instead HRIS is used to increase administrative efficiency and/or obtain compliance support. Specifically, we find that the implementation and use of HRIS is being hindered by three main challenges: maintaining organisational attention, addressing the complexities associated with people management, and managing user acceptance of the change associated with the system. The paper comprises four main sections. In the first section we review the literature on HRIS paying particular attention to previous studies which recognise challenges associated with the selection and implementation of HRIS as well as the importance of social constructionism as...
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