Technical & Behavioral Dimension of Technology in HRM


Amit Kumar Srivastava
Asst. Professor
Gyan Institute of Management & Technology
Kursi Road, Lucknow


This research paper presents the close relationship between explosion of technology and effective HR practices and also introduces the competitive challenges supported by accelerating technological change, globalization & liberalization that have a pose to threat, organization of 21st century. The pace of change is so rapid, as its scope so wide, that some analyst sees the emergence of new technological paradigm.

Traditional modes of competition, based on low costs & prices are being replaced by the 'new competition', driven by quality, flexibility, design, reliability & networking. Technological advances have eroded physical, cultural, economic & political borders. These advances have revolutionized the native of production, transportation & communication systems & consequently the nature of work & workers. The explosion in technology use has fostered a concern about its impact on workers. Hence effective HRM practices are becoming increasingly important in the new knowledge- based economy, as companies face the double challenge of the need for more highly trained employees with a shortage of qualified labour.

 The open system approach to the work of the organization has adopted by Wright & Snell (1991) in the field of human resources by incorporating the competencies of individual members. In this open system approach environmental inputs are transformed in to outputs via the social structures of human behaviors. This theory also provides a useful theoretical frame work for

Combining human resources, technology &the firm's strategic goals.


The Technology System

Model given by Wright & Snell

The technical &behavioral part of influence of technology in HRM can be analyzed through the training & competencies requirement of an organization.A critical issue in training efforts among technologically focused organizations in the task of achieving a balance between a concern for mastery of mechanical facets of automation on one hand and command of "people issues" on the other. Firms that provide their members with high technology tools performing their jobs (i.e. desktop, video-conferencing systems, collaborative software system, virtual teams) implement increasingly flat ( horizontal) organizational structures, so teaching people to master technology is only one aspect of training process. Individuals must also acquire interpersonal and behavioral tools necessary to implement self management. The behavioral descriptions could provide a behavioral basis for selection, interviewing or testing and for training and appraisal.

Technology can introduce such change in an organization that identification of job requirements is like choosing and moving target. Upgraded technology can bring with it changes in work content and process. Further more the changes are dynamic not static. That is changes due to the implementation of intensive technology often bring with them decentralization in decision making and greater worker independence. Moreover, technology makes it possible to easily and quickly share information among workers and to perform teams, perhaps virtual one around projects. Technology can reduces the time needed for previously labour-intensive tasks, but can increase the need for effective communication and inter personal skills. Given the capabilities offered by technology the particular tasks performed by workers can change dramatically over time and across the projects. This organizational reality poses serious problems for identifying the workers knowledge, skills, abilities, personality and other characteristics needed for maximal performance in this environment. Traditional job analysis falters when confronted with a dynamic work environment. Given the influence of technology the tasks identified through job analysis could be out of date. By the time the list of tasks is compiled. It follows that the inferred worker characteristics given those tasks could also be an error and specifies technical skills and knowledge that are no longer import.

Identifying competencies needed in a dynamic environment requires an approach to job analysis that identifies underlying stable characteristics even though tasks are changing (cardy 1993). One approach for example focuses directly on identifying skills, personality, value and other workers characteristics important for performance in the dynamic work environment. The managers rated hundreds of personality traits, skills and values for importance of performance in their organizations.  Furthermore, out of a wide number of skills only those, which met the important criterion, have their effective expression and reception. Obviously, these managers considered the process of work more important that the content of work. In a dynamic environment, the emphasis on process is not a surprise since content, and the technical skills it entails, is in flux. The important point is that competencies necessary for performance in dynamic work environments can be identified.


Finally, this paper includes some of the future challenges and issues facing the research community for the advancement of technical and behavioral dimensions of technology in the field of human resource management. Furthermore, I hope the inclusion of a section dealing with copyrights, ownership issues will shed light on the challenges facing.

Amit Kumar Srivastava
Asst. Professor
Gyan Institute of Management & Technology
Kursi Road, Lucknow

Source: E-mail January 8, 2011


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