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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | Organization and Management | 2016
Thesis number: 14656
The role of HR analytics in creating data-driven HRM: Textual network analysis of online blogs of HR professionals
Author: Jensen-Eriksen, Krista
Title: The role of HR analytics in creating data-driven HRM: Textual network analysis of online blogs of HR professionals
Year: 2016  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: Organization and Management
Index terms: henkilöstöhallinto; personnel management; blogit; blogs; tietämyksenhallinta; knowledge management
Pages: 128
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14656.pdf pdf  size:3 MB (2752946)
Key terms: HR analytics; data-driven HRM; HR professionals; online HR communities; Leximancer
The role of HR has developed over time from the administrative function towards more strategic partnership. A major driving force behind this evolution has been the technological development. The collecting, storing and processing of data has been in central role in the gradual evolution of HRM. Still throughout past decades academics and practitioners have questioned the success of HR´s development to more strategic role. One challenge has been the ability to produce accurate information of people related issues and make fact-based strategic HRM decisions. In recent years a growing belief have risen that HR analytics could be the answer to these challenges and improve the data-driven HRM in a way that could help HR achieve its strategic position. Still relatively limited amount of research related to HR analytics can be found and therefore its real potential remains to be a question mark. Hence the purpose of this thesis is to deepen the understanding of HR analytics and its implementation. Also the possible connections between HR analytics and broader concept of data-driven HRM are examined.

The research of this thesis is based on data collected from blogs of HR professionals on five major online HR communities in the US and Europe. The data was collected on the basis of predefined keywords and altogether 510 blog posts were collected from the years 2009-2015. The first phase of the data analysis was made by quantitative methods with the software Leximancer, which was then followed by a qualitative analysis aiming to reveal the most prominent discussions of HR professionals related to the implementation of HR analytics and data-driven HRM.

The findings of this thesis indicate that HR is still in its infancy in HR analytics and data-driven HRM. HR as a function is currently routine-oriented and the focus is mainly on universal HR processes and metrics without any further analysis. Data-driven HRM as a term is not yet very widely used among HR professionals. Still it was concluded that in order to achieve the strategic role, HR needs to become more decision-oriented function with the focus of generating value to the business. HR analytics was seen as a possible way to make this happen, although the different possibilities related to HR analytics still remain unfamiliar to most HR professionals and it is currently focused mainly on monetary issues and on descriptive analysis. HR analytics and data-driven HRM was concluded to be context-based, which should be planned and used according to the organisation and its strategy and situation. This means that the successful implementation of HR analytics is depended on the capabilities of the people utilising these tools, their ability to understand how they can be used and knowing what tools to use and when.
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