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The role of IT in HR policies convergence, divergence, crossvergence: a process model based on evidence from the Middle East

Koldewijn, Rob (2009) The role of IT in HR policies convergence, divergence, crossvergence: a process model based on evidence from the Middle East.

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Abstract:This explorative study aims to contribute to the debate of convergence-divergence in the field of organization and management practices. Convergence means that technology is the catalyst of society that motivates individuals to develop a values system that is consistent with the technology of their society, while with divergence socio-cultural influence is the driving force that will cause individuals from a society to retain the specific values system of their culture over time. Ralston (1993) extended convergence-divergence with the concept of crossvergence, a combination of both technology and socio-cultural influences. After all those years, the debate is far from concluded, and new directions are still being explored. This study is focused on a relatively new field of research, information technology (IT) and human resource management (HRM). The aim of this study is not to conclude if convergence or divergence takes place, but how does the deployment of IT for HRM purposes, like HRIS and e-HRM, impact the convergence, divergence or crossvergence of HRM policies and practices? The research was conducted in the Middle East. Due to difficulties like funding and limited access to data, there is a lack of HRM literature focused on the Middle East. However, this does not mean that the region is not familiar with HRM. The literature review shows that several countries are reforming their economy and policies in order to benefit from globalization. One of the main factors that influences the development of HRM is Islam. The state of HRM differs strongly between the countries in the region. Factors like geographical location and the history of a country play a large role in this. Therefore, there is no single HRM model with distinct Middle Eastern characteristics. Over the years the role of IT has increased. In the early days it was nothing more than mechanized payroll activities. Nowadays, IT for HRM purposes, like HRIS, are advanced systems used to improve HRM in terms of administrative and analytical purposes. The rise of the internet in the mid-1990s led to a new way of delivering HR services, also labeled as e-HRM. One of the functionalities of e-HRM is to provide employees with applications that allow them to modify and update their personal records. e-HRM is also used to improve (strategic) decision-making. Companies implement e-HRM to reduce costs, improve the quality and timeliness of HR service, and to improve the overall organizational efficiency. One of the decisions an organization has to make during the deployment process of IT for HRM purposes is if it wants to develop the system in-house or buy an off-the-shelf package.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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