Role of HR analytics in human resource management (HRM)’s pursuit of professional legitimacy.
Professional identity of human resource management practitioners has been subjected to debate in many academic literatures. There have been numerous outcries from HR scholars and HR practitioners for professional legitimacy of HRM function for decades. Numerous HR innovations have been introduced in past with promises of uplifting HRM to strategic level and of gaining acceptance from senior management as a credible profession at workplace. CIPD, a renowned professional body for HR practitioners since 1913, persevered for social acceptability of HRM as a profession. However, HRM function has been unable to achieve the coveted status at workplace, and critics have put forward many reasons for this. Some argue that HRM function has been facing a lack of credibility within organisations due to the difficulties in demonstrating a causal relationship between HR activities and organisational performance outcomes. Some add that HR practitioners lack skills and competencies to link business, technology and HRM together and become a lynchpin for the organisation due to which they fail to have a meaningful role and contribution to the activities of senior management. Some critical literatures have also pointed out at the inability of HRM function to demonstrate economic value of HR activities, their inability to balance employers’ and employees’ interests, their lack of control over critical resources, and their inability to utilise technology to add value to the organisations.
In recent years, HR analytics has emerged as a strong tool that can potentially monitor and improve individual performance, enhance organisational performance, influence business decisions and inform senior management with key insights that helps in developing business strategies. In this research, I aim to use three theoretical frameworks – (i) ‘occupational closure theory’ to explore if HR analytics can become a basis to regulate entry and performance of HR practitioners, (ii) ‘resource-based view of firm’ to explore if HR analytics offers valuable, non-substitutable and imperfectly imitable resources that lead to sustained competitive advantage for the organisation, and (iii) ‘bases of power’ to explore if HR analytics provides expert power and informational power to HR practitioners with the help of which they can influence employers and employees of the organisation. By doing so, I aim to explore if HR analytics helps HR practitioners to achieve professional legitimacy at workplace. I believe that this research would contribute significantly to HR analytics literature and pave a path for future researches in the field.
1st Supervisor: Dr Maria Koumenta
2nd Supervisor: Professor Mike Noon
Subin is a keen researcher in HR analytics at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). He aims to explore the role of HR analytics in human resource management (HRM)’s pursuit of professional legitimacy. Before joining QMUL for PhD, he studied MSc. in Human Resource Management from Lancaster University, with a dissertation on ‘A critical evaluation of HR analytics discussing concerns over its possible detrimental effects on individual and organizational well-being’. Before coming to the UK for education, he had a thriving career in human resource management, wherein he led Human Resource Department of two IT companies consecutively. Before engaging in professional work, he gained an MBA degree in Human Resource Management from Kathmandu University School of Management, Nepal and an undergraduate degree in Computer Engineering from Maulana Azad National Institute of Technology, India. He strongly believes that human resource management is developing as one of the most important assets for organizations and HR analytics is emerging as a complement to people management. He is convinced that his PhD at Queen Mary University of London will develop him further as an HR scholar who can combine management with technology, think beyond the box, and contribute to the literature of HR analytics. After PhD, he aspires to share his research findings and understanding with aspiring HRM students and researchers as an academician at a renowned university in the UK.