Office automation has become a reality. Stand-alone personal computers are universally used for word processing, and spread sheets have become the workhorses of office life. As a result, electronic records are being created virtually everywhere in the world. Wherever computers are used to carry out a function records are being generated. Records provide the primary evidence of how the functions of public administration are carried out. They are the building blocks of accountability. In a growing number of organizations human resources are now viewed as a source of competitive advantage. There is greater recognition that distinctive competencies are obtained through highly developed employee skills, distinctive organizational cultures, management processes, and systems. Increasingly, it is being recognized that competitive advantage can be obtained with a high quality work force that enables organizations to compete on the basis of market responsiveness, product and service quality, differentiated products, and technological innovation. The effective management of human resources in a firm to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace requires timely and accurate information on current employees and potential employees in the labour market. With the evolution of computer technology, meeting this information requirement has been greatly enhanced through the creation of HRIS. A basic assumption is that the effective management of employee information for decision makers will be the critical process that helps. A HRIS is concerned with activities related to employees and potential employees of the organization. Because the human resources function relates to all other functional areas in the business, the HRIS plays a valuable role in ensuring organizational success. Some of the activities performed by the HRIS are workforce analysis and planning, hiring, training, job and task assignment and many other personnel related issues (Stair R,2006,241). THE EVOLUTION OF HRIS
In the 1980s, office automation began to appear on the landscape, and HRIS were developed as a special category of office automation systems (OAS). At first it seemed the emphasis was on developing systems as cheaply as possible. The replacement of people with software was seen as the main advantage. Rather than have HR managers maintain extensive employee records, data-entry technicians would enter data once into a system and update records as necessary. Today, however, HRIS would be more accurately viewed as a hybrid of several classical types of information systems. Along with OAS capabilities, current HRIS include features of transaction processing systems (TPS), decision support systems (DSS) and communication systems. HRIS may comprise stand-alone software for any of the primary areas of use for information systems in HR management. These areas include employee record management, compensation and benefits, recruitment and retention, training and development, performance appraisal, and promotion and succession planning. It became evident as HRIS took hold in the corporate culture that a quality HRIS could provide valuable information to the organization in managing one of its most valuable assets: the organization’s human resources. As top management began to put pressure on HR managers to use HRIS, it was becoming clear that by collecting and processing more and more information in a timely manner, the value added was in the use of the data in decision making and not in the actual system used for collection and storage. This evolution has resulted in firms being able to leverage HRIS for administrative and strategic competitive advantage. WHY THE NEED FOR HRIS IN HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
Using HRIS gives firms several benefits. They include the following: •Providing a comprehensive information picture as a single, integrated database; this enables organizations to provide structural connectivity across units and activities and to...
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