E-HRM: Innovation or irritation. An explorative empirical study in five large companies on web-based HRM

Hubertus Johannes Maria Ruel, Tatiana Bondarouk, Jan C. Looise

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Technological optimistic voices assume that, from a technical perspective, the IT possibilities for HRM are endless: in principal all HR processes can be supported by IT. E-HRM is the relatively new term for this IT supported HRM, especially through the use of web technology. This paper aims at demystifying e-HRM by answering the following questions: what actually is e-HRM?, what are the goals of starting with e-HRM?, what types can be distinguished? and what are the outcomes of e-HRM? Based upon the literature, an e-HRM research model is developed and, guided by this model, five organizations have been studied that have already been on the 'e-HR road' for a number of years. We conclude that the goals of e-HRM are mainly to improve HR?s administrative efficiency/to achieve cost reduction. Next to this goals, international companies seem to use the introduction of e-HRM to standardize/harmonize HR policies and processes. Further, there is a 'gap' between e-HRM in a technical sense and e-HRM in a practical sense in the five companies involved in our study. Finally, e-HRM hardly helped to improve employee competences, but resulted in cost reduction and a reduction of the administrative burden.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)364-380
Number of pages17
JournalManagement revue
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • METIS-218194
  • IR-59729
  • Explorative Case Studies
  • Information Technology
  • Human Resource Management
  • Electronic Human Resource Management

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