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E-HR and international HRM: a critical perspective on the discursive framing of e-HR

Francis, Helen; Parkes, Carole; Reddington, Martin


Helen Francis

Carole Parkes

Martin Reddington


In the current global economic climate, International HRM is facing unprecedented pressure to become more innovative, effective and efficient. New discourses are emerging around the application of information technology, with ‘e-HR’ (electronic-enablement of Human Resources), self-service portals and promises of improved services couched as various HR ‘value propositions’. This study explores these issues through our engagement with the emergent stream of ‘critical’ HRM, the broader study of organizational discourse, and ethical management theories. We have found that whilst there is growing research into the take-up of e-HR applications, there is a dearth of investigation into the impact of e-HR on the people involved; in particular, the (re) structuring of social relations between HR functions and line managers in the move away from face-to-face HR support services, to more technology-mediated ‘self-service’ relationships. We undertake a close reading of personal narratives from a multi-national organization, deploying a critical discourse lens to examine different dimensions of e-HR. and raise questions about the strong technocratic framing of the international language of people management, shaping line manager enactment of e-HR duties. We argue for a more reflexive stance in the conceptualisation e-HR, and conclude with a discussion about the theoretical and practical implications of our study, limitations and suggestions for future research.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 8, 2014
Online Publication Date Jan 8, 2014
Publication Date May 31, 2014
Deposit Date Jan 17, 2014
Publicly Available Date Jan 17, 2014
Journal The International Journal of Human Resource Management
Print ISSN 0958-5192
Electronic ISSN 1466-4399
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 25
Issue 10
Pages 1327-1350
Keywords HRM; Human Resource Management; e-HR; electronic-enablement of Human Resources;
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Jan 17, 2014


E-HR and International HRM: a critical perspective on the discursive framing of E-HR (853 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Article published online first 08/01/2014
This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article submitted for consideration in the International Journal of Human Resource Management (cTaylor & Francis). International Journal of Human Resource Management is avaialable online at"

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