Exploring the benefits of human resources information systems at Ethekwini Municipality.
Gwambe, Primrose Sinazo.
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Organisations, including municipalities, are gradually adopting and using human resources information systems (HRIS) to evolve and modernise their Human Resources (HR) departments. HRIS should lead to valuable outcomes for organisations. However, an observation had been made that eThekwini Municipality’s human resources department had different perceptions about the key benefits of using HRIS. Employees’ perceptions have led to either resistance or acceptance of the change. The main purpose of this study was to explore the benefits of the Human Resources Information System at eThekwini municipality. By exploring these benefits, the study should contribute to municipal policy and practice on how employees could be attracted to adopt and adapt to HRIS to enhance their job performance and subsequently contribute to positive organisational performance and productivity. The study explored these benefits by employing the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) theoretical framework which analyses the perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use of technology by individuals in an organisation. The study employed a qualitative research methodology, which involved a purposive sampling strategy, in-depth interviews and focus group discussions as a means to collect data. Themes and sub-themes have been developed through thematic analysis. The study found various HRIS benefits that are enjoyed by end-users in eThekwini Municipality. These benefits included time-saving, real-time information, accurate reporting, self-service options, paperless system, and strategic decision making. On the perceived usefulness, the study found that some employees perceived the system as useful. In contrast, others faced challenges with some modules of HRIS, citing that they have received complaints from other end-users which have not been addressed. The perceived ease of use of the system revealed that some end-users found HIRS user-friendly, while others found some platforms, such as e-Recruitment module e-Careers, not user friendly to both municipal employees and the public. There were some technical challenges found by the study, such as system complexity issues. Also, the lack of system adaptivity remained a major HRIS implementation issue that posed a potential implementation threat. Several findings in this study carried significant human resources-related policy and practice implications. Some recommendations included improving the current HRIS to be more user-friendly, increase training interventions and phase out manual paper-based systems.