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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | MSc program in Management and International Business | 2015
Thesis number: 14017
Theorizing e-HRM: a model based on the perceptions of HR professionals in the blogs of major global online HR communities
Author: Platanou, Kalliopi
Title: Theorizing e-HRM: a model based on the perceptions of HR professionals in the blogs of major global online HR communities
Year: 2015  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: MSc program in Management and International Business
Index terms: johtaminen; management; henkilöstöhallinto; personnel management; työ; work; etätyö; remote work; internet; internet; yhteisöt; communities; tietojärjestelmät; information systems
Pages: 148
Key terms: e-HRM; HR transformation; strategic value; HR professionals; online HR communities; Leximancer
Throughout the past few decades, the human resources (HR) function has experienced significant changes, moving from the traditional focus on administrative activities to constant seeking of ways to add value to the organization.Utilizing information technologies, such as the electronic human resource management (e-HRM) systems, was considered to alleviate the burden of transactional HR activities and enable the HR function's transformation. However, such a proposition has yielded mixed evidence. Thus, the role of e-HRM in managing people in organizations is a relevant and important topic, which constitutes the focus of this thesis. Although the e-HRM research is growing, it lacks theoretical foundations that limit its understanding in terms of its consequences and the critical factors that affect its successful implementation. Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of e-HRM by empirically assessing Strohmeier's (2007) e-HRM framework through an innovative research design, which utilizes HR professionals' perceptions in the blogs of global online HR communities.

This thesis has been designed as a majorly descriptive longitudinal blog research, comprising data from seven blogs of online HR communities in the US and Europe. In total, 603 blog posts and comments were collected, covering a five-year period from 2009 to 2014. In turn, the data analysis was conducted based on a mixed methodology whereby large amounts of data are analyzed following the quantitative algorithm of the Leximancer software, providing both in-depth qualitative and quantitative insights into the data. More specifically, a detailed analysis of each year was followed by a comparative analysis across the years in order to identify evolving patterns.

The findings suggest that e-HRM includes technologies, such as in-house software, social media, cloud-computing systems, and mobile applications. Furthermore, HR professionals utilize e-HRM majorly to perform talent management and recruitment practices. In terms of e-HRM consequences, it was found that they are to some extent interrelated and their connection builds around two elements: the availability of real-time information and devolvement of HR tasks to line managers and employees. Finally, the findings also indicate that HR skills, IT architecture, and business and HR processes influence the realization of e-HRM consequences.

This thesis extends current understanding of e-HRM by providing a more complete definition of e-HRM and a model that illustrates the relationships between consequences and critical factors. The contribution of this study stems from its novel research design and provides empirical evidence of Strohmeier's (2007) framework. The managerial implications involve practical suggestions for the HR professionals and practitioners throughout the process of installing e-HRM systems. They also relate to the three stages of e-HRM implementation: selection, implementation, and harmonization (or standardization).
Master's theses are stored at Learning Centre in Otaniemi.