Taking the ‘human’ out of human resources in the fourth industrial revolution?
Kumar, Nikhal Aswanth.
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Human resource functions have been revolutionised in recent times because of the emergence of new advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence. However, evidence suggests that artificial intelligence and advanced self-learning machines threaten the global workforce entirely and eliminate human interference. From these perspectives, the current study aimed to examine the impact that AI and technological advancement have on human resource functions. An exploratory research design was adopted to understand the subject matter better. Moreover, mixedmethods research was employed to collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data. The total population of the study was 46, which included the chief executive officer, senior management, and human resources. Given the small size of the population, the entire population (the consensus) was used as the sample. Multiple data collection instruments (questionnaire, interviews, and focus group interviews) were used to collect the data to enable the triangulation of results. Concerning the quantitative research, 40 questionnaires were sent to the respondents. However, only 29 completed and returned the questionnaires. Moreover, there were 6 participants in the interviews and focus group discussion. The quantitative data was analysed using Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences (version 27.0). The validity and reliability of the questionnaire were determined by computing factor analysis and Cronbach’s alpha coefficient respectively. On the other hand, the qualitative data was analysed manually using thematic analysis. The quantitative results indicated that the various constructs measured in the study were significant. The results of the Pearson’s moment correlation suggested no significant relationship between some of the variables, except human function will be transformed by artificial intelligence and the impact of artificial intelligence on skills set/competencies, and impact of artificial intelligence on skills set/competencies and the impact of artificial intelligence on business. In addition, the results of the analysis of variance suggested no significant difference in employees’ perceptions, varying by age, tenure, and race, respectively, regarding the current status of the use of artificial intelligence, advantages and disadvantages of the use of artificial intelligence, attitudes of human resource practitioners towards artificial intelligence, human resource function will be transformed by artificial intelligence, the impact of artificial intelligence on skills set/competencies. However, a significant difference existed in the employees’ perceptions, varying by race regarding the impact iv PUBLIC of artificial intelligence on business. Additionally, the sample t-test indicated a significant difference in the perceptions of male and female employees regarding all the variables measured in the study. On the other hand, the qualitative findings suggested that the adoption of AI in the HR department had impacted most of the human resource functions, including human case management, recruitment, learning, and chatbots. Furthermore, the qualitative findings revealed that the most significant advantage of using artificial intelligence was removing the mundane work and adding value. The study is unique as it sheds more light on how artificial intelligence has transformed most human resource functions. Therefore, the study recommends that organisations continue to invest in artificial intelligence.