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


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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Crossref Citations

1. Examining Adoption of Electronic Human Resource Management From the Perspective of Technology Organization Environment Framework
S. M. Shafiul Alam, K. M. Zahidul Islam
IEEE Engineering Management Review  vol: 49  issue: 4  first page: 59  year: 2021  
doi: 10.1109/EMR.2021.3114034