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Information Technology on Human Resource Performance

Role of ICT for organizations

1 - Introduction and Background

1.1 Introduction of the research

In today’s rapid globalizing world, information and commutation technology (ICT) has played a crucial role in thriving organizations. Therefore in this research the researcher will be able to analyze about the role of the Information and communication technology tools in the HR performance. The organizations have been keen on adapting to latest technologies in order to stay ahead of competition and also stay abreast in the technology front. Information and communication technology plays an important role in organizational performance and growth. ICT tools such as e-mails, intranet, internet, and video conference which not just help to reduce cost and time but also help to do things faster, safer, secure and reliable. According to (Brooks et al,. (2007-p74):
“Considering the dependency of today’s organizations reliance on ICT there has been much debate to claim interdependency of performance and technology”.
The research on ICT performance in organizations will help to build my career in IT industry. As am from IT background this research will help me to build my career.

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1.2 Background to the research

Human resources management (HRM)

Human resources management was recently re-defined by Armstrong (2009) as a “strategic, integrated and coherent approach to the employment, development and well-being of the people working in organizations”.
It covers activities such as strategic human resource management, human capital management, corporate social responsibility, knowledge management, organization development, performance management, learning and development, reward management, employee relations, employee well-being and health and safety and the provision of employee service (Brooks, 2006).
During the last decade, a “holistic” approach to managing people in organizations, corresponding to the above presented definition, largely replaced the traditional “personnel management” concept (Ferguson & Reio, 2010). HR managers are no longer responsible only for
“bringing people into the organization, helping them perform their work, compensating them for their labors, and solving problems that arise”
As described by Cherrington (1995) or “handling, directing and controlling of individual employees, (as well as) acquisition and retention of competent employees through proper recruitment, selection, placement, utilization, and development”
(Brooks, 2006).

Although these tasks are still valid today, it has to be pointed out that modern approach to HR management takes into account additional perspectives, emerging from massive technology advancement as well as increasing importance of personnel performance management.
Human resource managers can no longer care “only” about employees, but have to tightly cooperate with executive management and more so act as direct contributors to organizations’ overall performance.
In order to be able to act appropriately in this new role, HR managers are highly dependent on correctly setup processes (i.e. “sets of activities, transforming a set of inputs to a set of outputs (goods or services) in order to fulfill other peoples’ or processes’ needs, using specific actors and tools” (Řepa, 2007)). This rationale is based on the currently predominant process approach to management, presented among others by Kaplan and Norton (1996). In accordance with the above listed definitions from Armstrong (2009) and additional hints from Marques (2010) and Brooks (2006), the HR managers are accountable and for the following business processes:

  • Preparing and reviewing capacity planning,
  • Interviewing and recruiting,
  • Managing personnel evidence,
  • Instituting programs for retention and growth (job trainings, certifications),
  • Setting up motivation programs (including management of benefits),
  • Evaluating employee efficiency,
  • Establishing tools and guidance for management reviews,
  • Designing administrative and supportive processes,
  • Outplacement and discharge.

Performance Drivers and HRM

Performance Drivers definition is deduced from concepts presented by Kaplan (1996) and Grundy and Brown (2003). Kaplan describes performance drivers in Balanced Scorecards (BSC) context, where they are commonly used as differentiators: “their measures capture the value propositions that the company will attempt to deliver to its targeted customer and market segments… they answer the question ‘What must the company deliver to its customers to achieve high degrees of satisfaction, retention, acquisition, and, eventually, market share?’” (Repa, 2007).

Performance drivers can be further divided into several categories (Brooks, 2006). Clear distinction can be made for example between the following categories:

  • Generic (valid for any and all organizations with very rare exceptions) and specific (valid for given organization at given time and place),
  • Recurring (consequently applied) and non-recurring (single-use),
  • Dependent (with dependencies and relations to other performance drivers) and independent (Armstrong, 2009).

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and HRM

In this report, a sample set of generic performance drivers, as mentioned above are considered which are specific to HR-related performance drivers and are connected to extensive usage of ICT – more specifically usage of the technology which is considered to be crucial for sustainable performance growth.
Brooks (2006) asserts that “obtaining the right tools is essential for HR to manage day-to-day activities on a number of fronts – to decrease costs, save time, and increase accuracy, while giving HR the resources to assess big picture needs and aid in advancing their increasingly more strategic roles.” To maximize the benefits that ICT can bring to specific problem areas, the report proposes to identify the appropriate performance drivers and take them into account in defining corrective actions that will help achieve expected results.

1.3 Company Background

Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) is a software consultancy organisation which provides software and IT solutions for business all around the world. Tata Consultancy Services Ltd is an information technology (IT) company. The company offers a range of IT services, outsourcing and business solutions. They also offer IT infrastructure services, business process outsourcing services, engineering and industrial services, global consulting and asset leveraged solutions. Their segments include banking, financial services and insurance; manufacturing; retail and distribution, and telecom.
The company is a part of Tata Group, one of India's most respected business conglomerates and most respected brands. They are headquartered in Mumbai. They are having 142 offices in 42 countries as well as 105 delivery centres in 20 countries. The company shares are listed on the National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange of India (Indiainfoonline, 2012).
The HR team of TCS Provides the below listed services (TCS, 2012):

  • Recruitment and resourcing
  • Workforce administration
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Performance and learning
  • Payroll and time

HR Services are backed by industry experience, HR expertise and global coverage which provide comprehensive traditional and IT-enabled multi-process services that are specifically designed to allow the business concentrate on its core activities.
These processes are then enabled a range of tools, methodologies and activities under a well-orchestrated governance model(TCS, 2012):

  • Service delivery models
  • IT and infrastructure (including a strategic alliance with SAP)
  • Process and transformation tools
  • Analytics and third-party vendor management

Through this range of open and transparent best practice business services, TCS brings rapid transformation across all HR processes with the goal of minimizing manual workload, providing better service and drastically reducing costs.

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1.4 Research Aim:

Performance Management through Information and Communication Technology in TCS.

1.4.1 Research objectives:

  • To identify the ICT tools and resources available for the HRM teams for employee performance improvement.
  • To identify the changes that ICT can bring in the employee performance.
  • To help understand the changes that ICT has brought in the way performance of employee is reviewed.

1.5 Scope & Limitations

The researcher used a wide range of well-established, credible and contemporary academic and commercial literature sources. However, the list of references is not an exclusive one and there are many other sources, in terms of scientific domain and area, which could be used. In this respect, the present dissertation is structured through a particular literature focus, which could vary depending on the literature sources employed.
Another limitation is that due to the fact that the literature is developed on specific contextual particularities it could be suggested that there is a certain degree of subjectivity embedded in the literature. This is why it would be fair if the present dissertation is also recognised to be influenced by a certain amount of contextual subjectivity (Bell, 2005).
The research project has another limitation of Time, this could be a drawback for the research as the research would need to be carried out and completed in approximately 12-15 weeks. However, the data collected from the key personal of the TCS staff through interviews and surveys is arranged in advance it would ensure that the data is collected within the timeframe provided for the research.
Finally, the present research project is entirely dependent on university requirements, which creates certain research limitations. Although the researcher received continuous academic guidance and support, and was provided with a great richness of academic information, the dissertation was conducted under a number of university research criteria, which resulted in a number of research constraints such as: time horizons, research approaches and resources.

1.6 Methodology of Research

Saunders et al., (2009) provided a research onion model which enables researchers to easily identify the research methodology, philosophy, approaches etc. that they would be using for the research purposes. The current research efforts also use this model in order to identify the research intricacies and structure suggested by the research process onion. Apart from the above the Saunders et al (2009) model provides clarity on the research design, time horizon, strategy and the data collection methods.
Due to the nature of the research topic the current research report has adapted the quantitative as well as qualitative method for assessment of data. The qualitative data evidence could be based on surveys and close ended questionnaire the research is complemented by the observed patterns depicted by the quantitative findings. There are various philosophies involved in adapting to a particular research method such as positivism, interpretivism and realism and these philosophies are based upon the relative assumptions made for the research purpose.

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References

  • Armstrong, M. (1977). A handbook of personnel management practice. London: Kogan Page.
  • Armstrong, M., 2009. Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice. London: Kogan Page.
  • Armstrong, M., and et.al., 2005. Managing Performance: Performance Management in Action. 2nd ed. CIPD Publishing.
  • Babbie, R. E., 2010. The Practice of Social Research. 12th ed. Cengage Learning.
  • Bacal, R., 2011. Performance Management. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill Professional.
  • Bada, O. A., and Madon, S., 2006. Enhancing human resource development through information and communications technology. Information technology for development, 12(3), pp.179-183.
  • Beardwell, J., and Claydon, T., 2007. Human Resource Management: A Contemporary Approach. 5th ed. Prentice Hall Financial Times.
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