Title: Localising versus standardising electronic human resource management: complexities and tensions between HRM and IT departments

Authors: Mary Tate; Elfi Furtmueller; Celeste P.M. Wilderom

Addresses: School of Information Management, Victoria University of Wellington, PO Box 600, Wellington 6140, New Zealand ' School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands ' School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, The Netherlands

Abstract: In this paper, we provide an analysis of the complexities involved during global e-HRM (Electronic Human Resource Management) implementation. We present findings from a case study on the challenge of global integration versus local responsiveness of e-HRM systems. We take a local site lens, analysing the experiences of a local IT department in charge of implementing a global e-HRM strategy. Although this implementation was hailed as a success by the organisation, there were many unexpected and negative outcomes at the local level. These appeared to arise from a non-participative approach by global IT, with inadequate consideration of changes in the role, relationships and relative power of the local IT and HR teams. We suggest that desired corporate IT outcomes should not be forced on the local units at the expense of flexibility in equally important local HR initiatives. However, balancing the requirements of HR flexibility and system standardisation in a large-size, multinational firm is non-trivial.

Keywords: global strategy; e-HRM implementation; challenges; localisation; standardisation; knowledge underutilisation; local professional knowledge; international HRM; strategic management; electronic HRM; human resource management; HRM departments; IT departments; information technology; flexibility; human resources; multinational corporations; MNCs.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2013.055280

European Journal of International Management, 2013 Vol.7 No.4, pp.413 - 431

Published online: 24 Jul 2013 *

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