Theoretical perspectives of e-HRM

Studies on the theoretical framework of e-HRM focus on diverging approaches including the sociotechnical systems theory, contingency theory, coordination theory, actor-network theory, and improvisation theory;

and these theories are commonly analyzed within two main dimensions. According to Bondarouk (2011: 7), the first dimension deals with the relative significance of "prescriptive" versus "enacted" e-HRM implementation, whereas the second dimension tackles the extent to which an e-HRM application is accepted as a "tangible" physical system versus "mental framework: linear and dynamic approaches in e-HRM."

Marler and Fisher (2010) also indicate that there are relevant theoretical foundations in strategy, information sciences, and strategic HRM literatures. According to them, the crucial theories in the strategy research in relation to the e-HRM and strategic HR relationship include the contingency theory, the resource-based view (RBV), and strategic evolution, value chain theories, and institutional theory, whereas information science theories involve technological determinism, structuration theory, innovation diffusion theories, technology acceptance theories, and information processing theory.

A closer look at the literature (e.g., Maler & Fisher, 2013; R^l & Kaap, 2012; Ruel et al., 2007; Strohmeier, 2007) reveals that there is still no grand or integrative multilevel theory of e-HRM. It can be observed that the major theoretical framework of these studies emerges as the contingency theory. However, Strohmeier (2007), in his study, discards these assumptions and instead adopts a different approach to classify contextual factors in the micro and macro level. Nonetheless, the contingency theory could be usefully interpreted within e-HRM. On the other hand, the second crucial theory can be identified as the RBV; the third one as the transaction cost theory; and the last one as the new institutional theory.

Lawrence and Lorch's (1967) contingency theory stipulates that organizations are heavily influenced by their environment. Therefore, the success of the organization depends on the extent to which it shapes its internal structuring by taking into account the limitations imposed by their environment (Lawrence & Lorch, 1967). Even though the propositions of the contingency theory are limited to the organization and its environment, there is a clear necessity to analyse the HRM issues in context (Jackson & Shuller, 1995). It is highly visible implicitly or explicitly that the management information systems (MIS) of the HRM directly benefit from the perspective of the contingency theory. A closer elaboration of the list of variables that Weill and Olson (1987) use in their study fits well with the variables that are most widely used by the contingency theory, namely, strategy, structure, size, environment, technology, individual, and task. These variables are assumed to influence the design, management, actual use, and implementation of the MIS. Based on these assumptions, it can be hypothesized that the higher the "fit" between these variables, the better will be the performance of the IS. The "fit" here is defined as a situation where factors or variables are positioned in such a way that the ideal situation or outcome is obtained (R^l & Kaap, 2012: 265).

Chapter three: The concept of e-HRM


Similar to Strohmeier's categorization of micro and macro level of e-HRM, Ииё1 and Kaap (2012: 267) classified the e-HRM variables as follows:

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