Original Research

The role of electronic human resource management in diverse workforce efficiency

Tonja Blom, Yvonne du Plessis, Hamid Kazeroony
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 17 | a1118 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v17i0.1118 | © 2019 Tonja Blom, Yvonne Du Plessis | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 August 2018 | Published: 30 September 2019

About the author(s)

Tonja Blom, North-West University Business School, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa
Yvonne du Plessis, North-West University Business School, North-West University, Mafikeng, South Africa
Hamid Kazeroony, College of Management and Technology, Walden University, Minneapolis, United States

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Orientation: Diversity management, focusing on developing and appreciating diverse ideas and building relations among diverse employees, and new electronic human resource management (e-HRM) approaches to employees, often leave employees feeling disrespected and indignant. Thus, instead of human resource practitioners, harnessing the strategic role of e-HRM towards value creation for people and organisation, e-HRM has taken a dehumanising turn.

Research purpose: This research questioned how technological changes affecting e-HRM could optimise and enable diversity.

Motivation for the study: Current literature does not adequately address this e-HRM dilemma impacting on HRM.

Research approach/design and method: A qualitative exploratory case study was used to determine how and to what extent the application of e-HRM technology implementation impacted on diversity management. The human niche and ecological model theories help explain the nature of employees’ interactional relationships and coping mechanisms when intervening factors such as e-HRM are introduced respectively.

Main findings: The research revealed disconnectedness between e-HRM, individuals and groups, affecting efficiency. Further research is required to improve humanistic approaches for e-HRM implementations.

Practical/managerial implications: Application of human niche theory may guide a more participative approach from the onset. Leaders and managers who follow a pure transactional approach may fuel employee isolationism and hamper diversity management through technology in e-HRM.

Contribution/value-add: Our findings provide insight into the unintended consequences of diversity. We indicated how e-HRM systems can lead to relational breakdown in a developing country context. Technology should be integrated in managing diversity, and not just focused on operational efficiencies.


ecological model; e-HRM; globalisation; human niche theory; humanistic; human resource management; diversity; technology integration; psychological reactance


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