Opportunities and challenges
Opportunities and challenges
Technology has had a tremendous impact on every aspect of Human Resources Management in every industry throughout the world. Human Resources was ranked number one by the Benchmarking Exchange of 1998, emphasizing the importance of this aspect of business to success (Kandampully, Mok and Sparks, 2001). This essay will assess the overall implications that the various forms of the technological innovation have had on industry as a whole. Taking the time to analyse the developing pattern of positive and negative aspects of the evolving technology will allow a much more centred decision making capability in the future.
Beginning with past efforts to implement technology in business will lay a foundation upon which to establish a source of data. Following the first segment with an assessment of modern practice will aid understanding how important each new technology can be to emerging businesses. Finally, this study will focus on the future potential and the what this means for the business world.
In the end, this essay will have examined past practice, modern application and future potential with the stated goal of establishing the overall impact of technology on business and just opportunities and challenges remain to be faced.
Alongside the development of industry during the twentieth century, came the recognition that customer service was an element of business that would continue to grow in importance (Kandampully, Mok and Sparks, 2001). With studies including the Benchmarking Exchange of 1998, a base hierarchy of critical business functions was established. The Exchange study stressed the Human Resources sector, followed by the sectors of Information systems, benchmarking, purchasing and accounting and customer service. Each of these facets was determined to deserve generous amounts of consideration in every industry scenario (Kandampully, Mok and Sparks, 2001).
A secondary innovative method of the period that was thought to aid in the ability to communicate with both staff and customer, thereby increasing production, was the Blueprinting method, or establishing items of value that could be added to the service with little or no additional cost (Kandampully, Mok and Sparks, 2001). This generation of Human Resource management focused on rewarding behaviour in order to sustain that specific habit. Each development of technology added a new potential element to the associated repertoire.
Dubois (2004) cites a study by Rothwell, Prescott and Taylor (1998) that produced the six most critical trends in industry that must be addressed:
- The presence of increased technology.
- Increased influence of globalization.
- Moderation of cost, while sustaining growth.
- The ability to adapt rapidly to developing change.
- A firm working grasp of the importance of information.
- Overall increased rate and results of change.
Each one of these categories is a reflection of the ability for technology and communication to play a major role in the development of industry in the coming era.
The modern era has seen a drastic increase in the ability for information vital to effective Human Resource Management to be rapidly accumulated and put to use (Cascio and Boudreau, 2008). With communication technology available that can achieve connections only dreamed about a generation ago, the ability for these innovations to play a role in the further development of positive HRM policy is credible. Cascio and Bourdreau (2008) argue that any modern policy that hopes to attain success must invest in more than the numbers and mechanics of the policies. Alongside any sustained effort to generate an upward trend in the wide range of HRM requires a substantial investment in the personnel themselves. This approach asserts that with proper placement of resources there will be a broad utility increase that will translate into a better production model for the business (Cascio and Bourdreau, 2008). With a well-balanced employee base will be considered and thoughtful decision making capabilities, increasing every potential.
There is a fundamental recognition among modern industries that nothing can be accomplished without an effective Human Resources Management program (Dubois, 2004). No matter the amount of technology available to a business, there can be no progress without a means of reaching the employee base. The potential of the technology to impact modern industry hinges on the capacity for the employee to utilize the innovation in a positive manner (Dubois, 2004). A primary challenge of the modern age rests on the ability of management to provide a credible training regime, in a timely manner, that capitalizes on the potential gain. In many cases the lack of training has cost a business much more revenue that had the concern opted to provide the training and take advantage of the opportunity (Dubios, 2004).
Modern human resource management has been argued to be made up of seven distinct and interrelated functions (Mathis and Jackson, 2002). Human resources has an impact on every area of business including the roles strategic HR section, compliance with any and all hiring practices, staffing on every level, the development and management of employee talent, the compensation and reward policies, associated risk management and protection concerns and the base employee and labour communications that are fundamental to every industry. Alongside technology, has come the recognition of the growing importance of the HR department and the many tasks that must be accomplished in order to promote success in the entire business (Mathis and Jackson, 2002).
Technology in the HR department has continued to produce benefits in the modern era in the form of policies that are much more adaptable than prior generations (Mathis and Jackson, 2002). With concerns that range from increased access to benefits to insurance to compensation, modern technology has allowed a much wider range of choices and opportunities for each person in virtually every scenario. New methods of evaluating an entire work force or an individual have provided a means to make the most of every possibility (Mathis and Jackson, 2002). Ranking among the challenges of the coming generation must be the recognition of which person is best in which position, regardless of the persons individual concerns.
The future need for an adaptable and credible Human Resources Management program will continue to increase as the ability to communicate and incorporate entirely new perceptions into the traditional business model (Mathis and Jackson, 2002). As the world continues to grow closer together in both business and social practice, Human Resource Management will become a primary tool of making a business successful.
Schwalbe (2000) argues that any future progress will be achieved through the application of principle as opposed to the empty rhetoric of previous eras. As one of the leading challenges to future HR policy, the recognition of the problem cannot be allowed to be the sum of the effort, there must be action behind the words. Another area of potential in the area of HR resides in the redefinition of the working experience as it is currently known (Schwalbe, 2000). Communication technology as well as increased capacity for remote connections has allowed a growing perception of opportunity in terms of acquiring the best talent of for any project, regardless of the location. This is a tremendous opportunity and challenge for the future of HR.
A possible benefit to both the employee and the employer is the modification in the time it takes for many traditional tasks to be accomplished (Schwalbe, 2000). This evolution through technology will allow a development of personal and professional habits that were previously thought to be too time consuming to be profitable.
Technology has had a profound on every element of the Human Resource Management practice in every industry around the world. With innovations in communication and production allowing a previously unknown level of efficiency, the capacity of the HR department to train and take advantage of every opportunity is becoming a critical area of survival in business. The emergence of technology has allowed HR management to develop policy to ensure that each person’s skills are utilized in the most efficient manner, thereby increasing the return of revenue to the underlying business.
In the end, technology will continue to have a resounding impact on the practice of Human Resource Management. However, it remains the person behind the technology that will serve to propel the business into the next era. Combining the determination of the previous generations with the vision and flexibility of modern entrepreneurs will illuminate the path forward into a successful future.
Cascio, W. and Boudreau, J. (2008). Investing in people. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: FT Press. p. 1-250.
Dubois, D. (2004). Competency-based human resource management. Palo Alto, Calif.: Davies-Black Pub. p. 1-200.
Kandampully, J., Mok, C. and Sparks, B. (2001). Service quality management in hospitality, tourism, and leisure. New York: Haworth Hospitality Press. p. 1-200.
Mathis, R. and Jackson, J. (2002). Human resource management. Australia: South-Western College Pub. p. 1-200.
Schwalbe, K. (2000). Information technology project management. Cambridge, Ma.: Course Technology. p. 1-350.