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HRM in the Digital Age

Special issue call for papers from Employee Relations

In conjunction with EURAM 2013 General Track “HRM in the Digital Age”

Guest Editors:  Emma Parry ([email protected])

Stefan Strohmeier ([email protected])

The world has undergone far reaching societal, cultural and economical changes based on the increasing dominance of digital media and tools. This has led to the current period being characterized as the “digital age”. In line with these changes, digital technologies also play an increasingly prominent role in Human Resource Management (HRM), which is affected in several ways:

• A first way refers to basic changes in the workforce, depicted as having differing values, attitudes, qualifications, behaviours, or expectations to previous workforce. For instance, those now entering the workforce are “digital natives” (Benett et al., 2008; Deal et al. 2010; Palfrey and Gasser, 2010; Prensky, 2001). However, the evidence as to which concrete changes in the workforce actually exist is so sparse that it is actually unclear whether there are systematic differences at all. Moreover, while it seems obvious that HRM has to react to such supposed changes, it is unclear which strategies, concepts, and practices are actually necessary and suitable to respond to this change. We therefore welcome submissions which deal with the multiple aspects and facets of a digital workforce.

• As a second impact on HRM, digital media and tools are ongoingly changing work itself (e.g., Brillhart, 2004; Gebhart, 2002; Powell et al., 2004; Riemer et al., 2009; Stanford-Smith et al., 2002). Changes include: the enduring automation of operative work with the consequence of increased shares of “mind work”; changes in the organization of work, with aspects such as (international) virtual teams or ubiquitous work based on mobile digital media and tools, and new forms of work contracting such as “e-lancing”. Again, however, it is not well understood, which concrete changes of work actually occur, and which consequences these changes imply for HRM. We therefore welcome papers which deal with the multiple aspects and facets of digital work.

• As a third impact, digital media and tools have also changed the way that HRm is performed (e.g., Bondarouk & Ruël, 2009; Parry & Tyson, 2011; Ruël et al., 2004; Strohmeier, 2007 and 2009). Digital media and tools, for instance, have dramatically changed the entire process of recruiting, which now uses digital media for realizing relationship management concepts, existing social networks for “peer-recruiting”, or digital serious games for assessments. Again the plurality and scope of actually emerging digital HR media and tools and the occurring changes and challenges in the respective functional areas of HRM are not well investigated and understood at present. We therefore welcome papers which deal with the multiple aspects and facets of digital HRM.

The Special Issue therefore aims to provide a broad forum to discuss the relevance and consequences of the ongoing digitalisation for HRM. We welcome empirical, conceptual and theoretical contributions, which refer to topics from the fields of digital workforce, digital work and/or digital HRM.

The Special Issue is edited in conjunction with the EURAM 2013 General Track on “HRM in the digital age”, June 26-29, 2013, Istanbul, Turkey. Papers should be submitted via Manuscript Central, and the deadline is the 15th July.
The editors of the Special Issue welcome discussion of initial ideas for submissions via e-mail.


Bennett, S., Maton, K. & Kervin, L. (2008). The Digital Natives Debate: A Critical Review of the Evidence, British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775-778.

Bondarouk, T. V., & Ruël, H. J. M. (2009). Electronic Human Resource Management: Challenges in the Digital Era. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(3), 505-514.

Brillhart, P. E. (2004). Technostress in the Workplace. Managing Stress in the Electronic Workplace, Journal of American Academy of Business, 5(1/2), 302-307.

Deal, J. J., Altman, D. G., & Rogelberg, S. G. (2010). Millennials at Work: What We Know and What We Need to Do (If Anything). Journal of Business and Psychology, 25(2), 191-199.

Gephart, R. P. (2002), Introduction to the Brave New Workplace: Organizational Behavior in the Electronic Age, Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 23(4), 327-344.

Lancaster, L. C., & Stillman, D. (2002). When Generations Collide: Who They Are. Why They Clash. How to Solve the Generational Puzzle at Work. New York: HarperBusiness.

Palfrey, J. & Gasser, U. (2010). Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives, Philadelphia: Basic Books.

Parry, E. & Tyson, S. (2011). Desired Goals and Actual Outcomes of e-HRM, Human Resource Management Journal, 21(3), 335-354.

Powell, A., Piccoli, G., & Ives, B. (2004). Virtual Teams : A Review of Current Literature and Directions for Future. The DATA BASE for Advances in Information Systems, 35(1), 6-36.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(5), 1-6.

Riemer, K., Steinfield, C., & Vogel, D. (2009). eCollaboration: On the nature and emergence of communication and collaboration technologies, Electronic Markets, 19(4), 181-188.

Ruël, H. J. M., Bondarouk, T., & Looise, J. C. (2004). E-HRM: Innovation or irritation. An explorative empirical study in five large companies on web-based HRM. Management Revue, 15(3), 364−381.

Stanford-Smith, B., Chiozza, E., & Edin, M. (2002). Challenges and Achievements in E-business and E-work, Part 1 and Part 2. Amsterdam: IOS Press.

Strohmeier, S. (2007). Research in e-HRM: Review and implications. Human Resource Management Review, 17(1), 19-37.

Strohmeier, S. (2009). Concepts of e-HRM consequences: a categorisation, review and suggestion. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20(3), 528-543.