An Assessment Of Human Resource Information System Information Technology Essay

Nowadays, we are in a highly dynamic and competitive business globe. Hencea key person or top management of any organization tries to earn a larger share of the existing market. In such an environment, Information Technology (referred to henceforth as IT) and Information Systems (referred to henceforth as IS) would sharpen the business process and smooth the functions of the day-to-day operations. Although there are number of software or ISs are available in an organization, Human Resources Information System (referred to henceforth as HRIS) is the only system which takes care of human capital of the organization. Therefore, it is very important to have an effective and efficient HRIS and it should be maintained properly. Especially, infrastructure of the telecommunication organizations should be consisted with innovative technologies to cater quality service through their satisfied staff. Human Resources (referred to henceforth as HR) Department should pay more attention to achieve the desires of internal customers such as employees, middle managers and senior managers.

According to the pilot survey, nearly all the employees in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC are using HIRS which has been implemented island wide. Existing users are facinga lot of system issues such as outdated, incorrect, inconsistent data, less reliability and user-friendliness, low performance, insufficient user training and most importantly poor contribution in making decisions. Theseissues mightheavily affectthe company’s HR functions.

The main objectives of this study are to assess the effectiveness of existing HRIS implemented in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC and identify its implications, advantages of introducing Online Performance Appraisal System (referred to henceforth as OPAS) to support the Strategic Human Resource Management (referred to henceforth as SHRM) in same organization context. To achieve the above objectives, the researcher has to address different aspects and various categories of employees and all managerial and technical difficulties in using the system, user trainings, inaccuracy of data, and use of web base sub sets of HRIS, etc.

Conceptual Background

Main focus of this section is to describe the main concepts which would be used in the entire research study.

What isHuman Resource Information Systems?

Tannenbaum(1990, p. 27) defines that ‘Human Resource Information System is the system used to acquire, store, manipulate, analyze, retrieve and distribute related information regarding an organization’s human resources’.Nowadays, HRIS functionality includes corporate communication, recruitment, selection, training, employee opinion survey, compensation, payroll services and employee verification as well as general information (Ngai&Wat 2006). Same time HRIS assists HR professionals to focus on human capital analysis, but simply having more information does not automatically lead to a better analysis (Roehling et al. 2005).

HRIS is an important tool for many businesses. Even the small office needs to realize the benefits of using HRIS to be more efficient. Normally,HR system should provide the capability to plan, control and manage HR costs more effectively; achieve improved efficiency and quality in HR decision making; and improve employee and managerial productivity and effectiveness. They also provide centralized location for company policies, announcements, and links to external URL’s, reliable communication processes and save paper by providing an easy-access.

There are two types of IS for HR Professional. The software available as web-based and desktop based.

More popular some HRIS modules are:


Attendance and Leave

Organization charts

Employee self-service (Employees can update personal information and view benefits selections, absence transactions and payroll information)

Automatic alerts

Benefits Administration (Save paper and postage, take weeks off the benefits open enrollment period, reduce administration time, and improve data accuracy)

Training and developments

What is Human Resources management?

Human Resources management is the process of managing human capital in organizations in a systematic and structured manner. This covers the job analyses, planning, recruiting the right people for the job in right time, managing wages and salaries, providing benefits and incentives, training and development, performance evaluation, resolving disputes, and communicating with all employees within the organization.

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What is the Performance Appraisal System?

The Performance Appraisal System (referred to henceforth as PAS) is a software program which provides the facility to evaluate an individual employee’s performance and productivity link with objectives of the organization and pre-defined criteria in systematic way. Generally, performance appraisal interview is conducted once a year. Some companies have implemented mid-year review to monitor the progress of achieving individual targets. In the process of PA interviewing supervisor provides feed back to the employees, recommend trainings, and discuss compensation, disciplinary decisions, or job status. Performance management systems would align and manage organization’s resources in order to achieve corporate goals through highest possible performance.

What is the Strategic Human Resource Management?

The strategic human resource management is relationship of strategic goals and objectives of the organization, with human resources in order to increase productivity, flexibility, to develop organizational culture and competitive advantage. HSRM involves as a strategic SHRM partner to achieve corporate goals through human resources functions such as employee selection, recruitment, carrier development, benefit management, etc.

Main features of SHRM:

There is a precise relationship with overall organizational strategic goals and HR policies and practices.

HR management delegates much of their responsibilities down the line.

There are some organizing schemas linking individual HR interventions mutually supportive.

Contextual Background

This section covers the current context of the research study in brief.

A pilot survey was conducted to identify the contextual background of the Sri Lanka Telecom’s (referred to henceforth as SLT) HRIS and used a semi-structured interview guide line to interview six senior managers who are attached to the HR group and other user group who are involving implementation and currently using the HRIS. Through the pilot survey the researcher has identified the problems of the context. Furthermore, SLT Annual reports were referred to in order to identify their policies and practices and also Telecom Management Information System (hereinafter referred as TMIS) documents such as user guides, architecture, diagrams were referred.

At present,Sri Lanka Telecom is the leading Telecommunications Service Provider in Sri Lanka. For the first time SLT introduced a HRIS in year 2000 through a local company. It included very basic HR functions and facilitated simple operations. However in year 2005 the system was upgraded and currently using new version which has many automated HR processes keeping up-to- date employee records such as payroll, Attendance, personal information, training and development, benefit management, etc.

Chief Officer Human Resource (referred to henceforth as CHRO) of Sri Lanka Telecom stated that SLT had spent around 30 Million LKR for Telecom Management Information System to upgrade the entire HR system in 2005. Although, SLT is paying approximately 1.5 million LKR for the annual maintenance of HRIS there are some technical and managerial issues available. Most of the users who are using existing system face lot of -issues such as out dated, incorrect, inconsistent, information less reliability and user-friendliness, low performance, insufficient user training and especially poor contribution in decision making.

Human Recourse activities are very important for any organization to carry out their day to day business activities. As displaying in Figure 1.1, there are twenty sub modules are available in TMIS and it starts from employee recruitment to termination.HR processes include HR planning, exam& assessment information, recruitment, Employee Information Manager, transfers, promotions, payroll, bonus, training & development, attendance & leave, disciplinary, welfare & benefit management (e.g. loan, housing loan, medical reimbursement, circuit bungalow reservations, quarters allocation).

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Module Overview of the Telecom Management Information System

C:UsersSLTUSERDesktopTMIS Diagrams.jpg

Figure 1.1.HRM Enterprise – Module Overview.Reprinted from TMISV2 System Architecture Document (p.11), by Hsenid Business Solutions,2005. Reprinted with permission.

Research Issue

Although, Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has been using the existing Human Resources Information System for the last decade, there is no sufficient improvement in human resource management and it does not support the strategic decision making. Furthermore, manual performance appraisal stem is not contributed to the strategic human resource management effectively and efficiently.

Purpose of the research

The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of existing Human Resource Information System implemented in Sri Lanka Telecom Public Listed Company (referred to henceforth as PLC)and to understand weather existing sub systems and web-based applications are supported to the strategic human resource management adequately. Especially HRIS should be contributed to the decision making in human resource management.

Outcome of this research would contribute to the body of knowledge by filling existing gap in strategic human resource management of HRIS at SLT studies by analyzing senior HR mangers, middle HR mangers and senior officers of other user groups who are engaged in human resources group as well as Human resources information system. This study would determine the advantages of online performance appraisal system further for strategic human resource management at Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.

Significance of the Study

All employees are using SLT HIRS in their day-to-day activities to fulfill various individual, operational and managerial requirements. Currently, SLT has implemented the HR system island wide (All groups, divisions in head office and regional offices). Most of the users who are using existing system face lot of issues such as out dated, incorrect, inconsistent data, less reliability and user-friendliness, low performance, insufficient user training and most importantly poor contribution in making decisions. which might affect the operations relating to the HR matters such as salary, overtime (OT) and Bata payments, maintaining employee master records, attendance, leave and benefit management (Issuing loan, medical reimbursement, etc..)etc.

Therefore, it is necessary to have an assessment of all subject modules in existing HRIS and identify the advantages of automating the performance appraisal system (referred to henceforth as PAS). We have to gather ideas from different aspects, and various categories of employees including senior managers. All managerial and technical difficulties in using HRIS, training requirements, inaccuracy of data, barriers to maintain up to date records, use of web base sub system, etc., need to be addressed.

It is also necessary to assess existing HRIS and its relevance to the strategic human resource management in line with the organizational HR goals.

Objectives and Research Questions

Table 1.1

Objectives and Research Questions of the Study.


Research Questions

To identify the features of HRIS

What is HRIS?

What are the features of HRIS at SLT?

To evaluate the existing HRIS for Strategic Human Resources Management (SHRM)

How existing system is supported to strategic human resource management?

How web-based applications are useful to strategic human resource management at SLT?

To identify the advantages of Online Performance Appraisal System (OPAS) for Strategic Human Resources Management(SHRM) at SLT

What is performance appraisal system?

What are the advantages of online performance appraisal system for strategic human resource management at SLT?

Note. Researcher’s work

Research Method and Design

Research approach

The researcher uses deductive approach since general quantitative data would be moving to the particular situations of organizations.

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Time horizon

Researcher gathered data one time interviewing from senior managers in a pilot survey and through e-mailing the research questionnaire to the sample group within the SLT. Therefore, time horizon is cross sectional.

Population, Sample & Sample Techniques

All employees in SLT have been considered as population.

Sampling process of the research is based on the stratified random sampling technique.

Data collection methods and procedures

1. Semi-structured interviews

Six interviews were conducted with senior managers in SLT based on semi-structured interview guide line.

2. Questionnaire

Research questionnaire was designed using the liker scale method and e-mailed to the sample group.

3. Journal articles and work papers

Journal articles and work papers were used to find out more information on previous research work relevant to HRIS, HRM, PAS and SHRM.

4. SLT annual reports and TMIS documents

Annual reports and TMIS documents were referred.

Internet / web sites

Refer online journal articles, text books, etc.

Scope of the study / Delimitations

Existing HRIS contains twenty separate modules to provide HR practices such as Human Resource Planning, Recruitment and Selection, Training and Development, Time and Attendance, Disciplinary, Payroll, Welfare and Performance Appraisal, etc.

SLT HRIS is same as traditional HR services which provided conventional HR systems in other organizations. Four out of twenty modules (Recruitment, HR Planning, Exam Assessment and Disciplinary) are not being using and Performance Appraisal module is not yet implemented.

In this study, researcher hopes to evaluate the existing HRIS and its usefulness for strategic human resource management and identifies the advantages of sophisticated On-line Performance Appraisal System which will improve the strategic human resources management at SLT.

Organization of this dissertation

Chapter 1: Introduction -This chapter contains the background of this study, research issue, significance of the study and its objectives.

Literature survey would be discussed under chapter 2 which include spats studies and their findings. It also highlights the existing gaps in body of knowledge and discovers the potential contribution of the current research to fill the gap.

Mainly, chapter 3 explains the Research Methodology of the study which includes research philosophy, approach, strategy and conceptual framework of this research. Conceptual framework is developed identifying context of the study. Furthermore, select the suitable statistical methods to analyze the data.

The researcher elaborate the results and present using appropriate graphs, charts and tables using statistical software packages would be consider in Chapter 4 called Data Analysis.

Chapter 5: Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations – Point out the observations, findings of this study and highlights the future researches for the potential researchers.

Chapter Conclusion

This section briefs the facts of the entire research study.

Present business world is very competitive and running with the state-of-the-art technology. Many organizations use Information Systems in four levels (strategic level, management level, knowledge level and operational level) in their day-to-day operations. HR Department uses HRIS for the workforce management.

However Human Resource Information System implemented in Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has lot of issues, such as insufficient user training and less supportive for the decision making at each organizational level. Therefore, main objective of this study is to assess the effectiveness of existing Human Resource Information System in SLT and its usefulness for Strategic Human Resource Management to identify the advantages of Online Performance Appraisal System which will advance the Strategic Human Resources Management at SLT.

Outcome of this research would contribute to the body of knowledge by filling existing gap in strategic human resource management of HRIS at Sri Lanka Telecom PLC.

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