The enactment of e-HRM in a healthcare context: results of a qualitative study at Medisch Spectrum Twente

Engbersen, M.M.J. (2010) The enactment of e-HRM in a healthcare context: results of a qualitative study at Medisch Spectrum Twente.

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Abstract:Electronic Human Resource Management (e-HRM) is a fast developing phenomenon in the HRM field. E-HRM is the (planning, implementation and) application of information technology for both networking and supporting at least two individual or collective actors in their shared performing of HR activities. In this study HRM intranet is the information technology implemented within the HRM department of the healthcare organization MST. Medisch Spectrum Twente (MST), is a general hospital with core business of taking care of the residents health in the region by offering specialist medical care. The state of knowledge in the literature about HRM and e-HRM in a healthcare context is not sufficient enough. The research problem therefore regards a gap in information about e-HRM in healthcare organizations. The goal of the research is to advance understanding of the special features of e-HRM implementation in MST. Furthermore we want to provide insight in what kind of influences e-HRM has on the HRM department and the organization with its HR activities. Therefore the research question is: What are the changes in the HR activities brought about by HRM intranet of MST and in what way do users enact HRM intranet functionalities? Before starting the empirical part of the research a theoretical framework is developed. The framework created an interesting perspective for researching HRM intranet within MST. The perspective is derived from the structuration theory of Orlikowski (1991). The perspective emphasizes the interaction between the main stakeholders of e-HRM: information technology, human agents and the organizational context. The result is a dynamic movement in which the stakeholders are interacting and influencing each other. To exercise the perspective within MST we performed an explorative study on HRM intranet. It is a qualitative study in which fifteen semi-structured interviews with HR professionals, line managers and employees form the dominant technique to collect data. Further exploration is done by document review, observations in meetings, casual conversations and the observations on intranet. The findings show a dynamic movement of HR professionals, line managers and employees with HRM intranet in the healthcare environment. HRM intranet, according to the HRM department, is meant for line managers and the employees to support the HR activities. At MST the usage of HRM intranet is low. The HR professionals and line managers use HRM intranet sporadically for information purposes. The employees make little or no use of HRM intranet. A plausible explanation for the low usage of the employees is that there is no need. We noticed that employees are not involved in HR activities in the way the HRM department expected. When there are HR activities practiced, the process has to go by the line manager who decides the further progress. Furthermore the employees do not know what to expect from the HRM department and wherefore it can be used. The interaction between the employee and line manager is considered to be sufficient. The contact between the line manager and the HR professional is sufficient as well. Although the line managers and HR professionals feel that contact is sufficient between them, the line managers feel that the HRM department as a whole could achieve more within the organization. The HR professionals in their turn additionally feel that the HRM department can achieve more. With this in sight the professionals are enthusiastic about the increase of policy making. In all the interaction between the different stakeholders, the environment of the interaction is playing a role in the dynamic movement. It is playing a role by supporting subcultures, a ‘wait-and-see’ culture, low commitment to MST as a whole and being a large, complex organization. The overall conclusion of the research is that there are no changes in the HR activities brought about by HRM intranet within MST and the enactment of e-HRM in healthcare has not succeeded. We conclude that the line managers enact in the way of supporting the HR activities with information. The employees of MST do not use it. The HR professionals use HRM intranet sporadic. Therefore HRM intranet in MST is not enacted as intended by the HRM department. The enactment of e-HRM in a healthcare context - 5 In our research some limitations occurred. At the time of the research HRM intranet was just implemented which can have consequences for the findings. Furthermore the research population is partly based upon the interpretation of HR professionals and line managers on the research since they choose the participants for the interviews. Building further on the limitation of time we suggest further research with several measurement points so the movement of e-HRM in healthcare can be explored. For the HRM department more research is necessary on the implementation of HRM intranet and on the interaction between employee and HRM department. We conclude our research with the challenges we found and recommendations for these challenges: Recommendations derived from the challenges: Improve the relationship of the HRM department with the employees Involve users in implementing information technology Expand expertise HRM department Create a joint focus in projects Structure the implementation of the HR portal Provide clear communication Measure the usage With this research we provided an understanding of the special features of e-HRM implementation in MST. Furthermore an insight is created in what kind of influences e-HRM has on the HRM department and the organization with its HR activities.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Medisch Spectrum Twente
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60042
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