Original Research

An exploration of key human resource practitioner competencies in a digitally transformed organisation

Michiel J. van den Berg, Marius W. Stander, Leoni van der Vaart
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 18 | a1404 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v18i0.1404 | © 2020 Michiel J. van den Berg, Marius W. Stander, Leoni van der Vaart | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 May 2020 | Published: 08 December 2020

About the author(s)

Michiel J. van den Berg, Opentia Research Focus Area, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Marius W. Stander, Opentia Research Focus Area, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Leoni van der Vaart, Opentia Research Focus Area, School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resource Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Digital transformation lies at the heart of what has been termed the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and many researchers consider this as one of the most significant drivers of change in the area of human resource management. For this reason, organisations and human resource practitioners (HRPs) are encouraged to re-evaluate their roles to ensure that they are able to impact the business performance.

Research purpose: This study reflects upon the potentially unique competency requirements of the HRP in a digitally transformed organisation by exploring the perceptions of the line partner.

Motivation for the study: Digitalisation is transforming the roles of HRPs. Consequently, HRPs may need a different set of competencies. Despite the transformation and the associated change in competency requirements, little knowledge exists regarding the HRP competencies needed (especially in digitally transformed organisations).

Research approach/design and method: The researcher identified 43 senior line partners through a purposive sampling procedure to participate in semi-structured interviews. Nineteen participants completed the interview process. The researcher analysed the interview data using thematic analysis.

Main findings: The main themes are the ability to design, extract, understand, analyse, interpret and apply information (data); continuous learning; stakeholder relationship management; and cultivating positive organisational practices.

Practical/managerial implications: The exploration of competencies provides organisations with additional context in terms of the complexity of the environment for the HRP, and provides a model that can be utilised for talent management.

Contribution/value-add: This study contributes to the limited knowledge regarding HR competencies in digitally transformed organisations, especially from the perspective of line partners.


Keywords

digitalisation; digitally transformed organisation; HR transformation; HR competencies; talent management

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