An analysis of the contribution of e-HRM to sustaining business performance

Hefin Rowlands, Esther Njoku, Linda Evans, Michael Murdoch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Despite the increasing use of e-HRM to enable the HR function to become more strategic in its activities, studies reveal that in many organisations HR has not realised the benefit of achieving the transformational role of operating and contributing strategically- a role e-HRM promises to provide. At the same time, studies have not been able to provide a unifying understanding of how this can be achieved. To address this, the research explored e-HRM’s contribution to sustaining business performance (SBP), using an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Drawing mainly from the ‘Integrated Value Chain theory’ and the ‘Dynamic capabilities theory’, and complementing these with RBV and TAM, exploratory models were developed, and hypotheses were generated. The hypotheses were tested in a single case study, using questionnaires which were complemented with semi-structured interviews, in order: 1) to explore and identify factors that can influence how e-HRM can contribute to SBP; 2) to explain the mechanisms and social structures involved in SBP using e-HRM; and 3) to examine HR professionals’ and Line managers’ attitude towards the value e-HRM creates in their organisation, aimed to understand how any differences between individuals or groups may influence e-HRM’s contribution to SBP.
The research demonstrates that e-HRM can contribute to organisational performance when it is used to consequentially enable ‘improved HRM strategic orientation’, and it can contribute to SBP when it is used as a management system to drive cycles of ‘continuous improvements’- to encourage ‘organisational renewal’. The factors that influence e-HRM’s ability to contribute to SBP were shown to include: the ‘e-HRM contextual factors’ that moderate and determine e-HRM’s contribution to SBP. While the mechanisms and social structures that link e-HRM to SBP were shown to include: the ‘e-HRM configuration’ for e-HRM’s contribution to SBP, made up of the relevant social actors, strategies, activities and e-HRM technologies that have internal fit and work together to ensure that the technology can contribute to SBP. Line managers’ and HR professionals’ attitude towards the value e-HRM creates in the organisation was not shown to influence their strategic use of the technology and their attitude towards e-HRM did not influence its contribution to SBP. Its contribution to SBP was revealed to be moderated and determined by the relevant social actors having access to the relevant web-based technology that will enable the strategic use of e-HRM in the organisation.
The research contributes an integrative multidimensional ‘Model linking e-HRM to sustaining business performance’- an adaptation of Strohmeier’s (2007) framework of a ‘complete picture’ of e-HRM. Implications of the research along with its limitations and future research suggestions are stated.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2018
Event7th International e-HRM Conference: HRM 4.0 for Human Centered Organizations - Universita Cattolica, Milan, Italy
Duration: 29 Nov 201830 Nov 2018


Conference7th International e-HRM Conference


  • e-HRM context
  • e-HRM configuration
  • e-HRM consequence
  • Integrated Value Chain theory
  • Dynamic Capabilities theory
  • sustaining business performance


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