Tipping the scales: ambidexterity practices on e-HRM projects

Tansley, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-6893-3243, Kirk, S. ORCID: 0000-0002-8371-1590, Williams, H. ORCID: 0000-0003-3792-4816 and Barton, H. ORCID: 0000-0001-5693-584X, 2014. Tipping the scales: ambidexterity practices on e-HRM projects. Employee Relations, 36 (4), pp. 398-414. ISSN 0142-5455

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Purpose: We examine and conceptualise the ways in which a balance can be achieved between optimising the efficiency and effectiveness of electronic HRM (e-HRM) systems for human resource management (HRM) and enabling innovation to occur during the system implementation.

Design/methodology/approach: An intepretive case study of a UK local authority e-HRM system implementation is examined using the notion of ambidexterity as an analytical device. Ambidexterity relates to how an organisation develops the ability to operate efficiently in the now, while at the same time being able to adapt to environmental changes around and ahead of them in order to grow into the future.

Findings: As an intra-organisational capability, ambidexterity is found to derive from the simultaneous interplay and balancing of dual capabilities: exploitation and exploration.. E-HRM exploitation concerned the capability to generate new knowledge with innovatory effects, created through the everyday practices performed by practitioners at all levels in the organisation. E-HRM exploration, rather than being a purposeful act, was found to be an accidental consequence of engaging in exploitation to maintain the status quo.

Originality/value: There is a lack of detailed investigation of how organisations actually achieve ambidexterity, particularly in three under-researched areas: ambidexterity in the public sector, at HR functional level and e-HRM systems implementation. Bundling these three areas into an integrated examination allows us to both identify how exploitation and exploration play out in the ambidextrous practices of an e-HRM project and also to identify the dimensions of ambidexterity in balancing e-HRM work.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Employee Relations
Creators: Tansley, C., Kirk, S., Williams, H. and Barton, H.
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing
Date: May 2014
Volume: 36
Number: 4
ISSN: 0142-5455
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 10:27
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2021 11:08
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13073

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