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Impact of the use of HR internet applications on managers' satisfaction with the HR function

By Cheryl Alleyne


This thesis explores the impact of the use of Internet applications, provided by the Human Resource (HR) ftinction as an internal supplier, on its internal customers' satisfaction at the managerial level with the HR function, using role theory to underpin the research. From a review of the literature on role, and the relevant fields of HR, internal marketing, and information and communication technology (ICT), a conceptual framework was developed. The study set out to fill a gap in knowledge and addresses the under-development in the HR field regarding HR's relationship with its customers, its use of technology to provide services, and the impact this has on customer satisfaction with the HR function. An exploratory theory building research methodology was adopted. The study follows a realist approach to social enquiry. Seeking to explain internal customer satisfaction, it is necessary to understand perspectives and social relationships between the key actors involved as customers and suppliers of HR Internet services. An exploratory case study was undertaken in a single organisation operating in the telecommunications industry. Sixty interviews, evenly divided between HR customers and HR suppliers, were conducted with middle/senior level managers. During the analysis phase the research sought out possible contrasts within the single case setting to highlight theoretical constructs. In addition, quantitative content analysis of the qualitative data was carried out to identify trends in data and to provide a more rounded understanding of the phenomena under investigation. This research identifies three overarching factors from the data which appear to be important for improving the level of manager satisfaction with both the HR Internet application (HRIA) and the HR function. The first is the quality of HR leadership, followed by effective communication, and the management of expectations which encompass the relationship management process between HR and its internal customers. In addition, two groups of factors were identified as being important to the nature of participants' expectations and feelings of satisfaction. The first was found to influence expectations and included organisational context, current role, personal characteristics and experience, while the second group of factors could also be used by the HR leadership both to align HR customer and supplier expectations and to make them more realistic. A model illustrating the findings was developed, together with propositions for testing the model in later research

Publisher: Cranfield University
Year: 2002
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Cranfield CERES

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