Application of Structural Abstraction and Component Reuse Design Patterns in the Development of Human Resource Management System


Application of Structural Abstraction and Component Reuse Design Patterns in the Development of Human Resource Management System

ABSTRACT

The study of human resource management has been invigorated by the promise that there is a best‐practice, high‐involvement management that can guarantee superior organizational performance. Nonetheless, there remain concerns that contingency theory still rules, that is, that the fit between the human resource systems and their context, and particularly the organization's business strategy, is all-important and, thus, that Human Resource Management Information Systems (HRMIS) will only outperform other systems in certain circumstances. Be that as it may, the success of an organization relies heavily on having employees with the necessary competencies to help achieve business goals and improve competitive advantage. Existing recruitment systems mostly focus on candidate screening at the time of hire. Human resource (HR) managers or recruitment agents usually gather as much information as possible about potential recruits through interviews and background checks. However, candidates usually come from vast educational and professional backgrounds, making it difficult for recruiters to assess and compare their suitability effectively. This research first introduces the conceptual dimensions of the HRMIS and shows through its literature review that the issues go beyond a simple competition between universalism and contingency theory. There are more complicated hypotheses linking human resource practices beneath the surface of the recent literature. The second aspect of this work presents a design and implements of HRMIS based on effective reuse of process components as units of a software artifact, to provide a design that can be implemented reliably in a structured organization. Effective use is made of deployment units based on structural abstractions of the institution, deployable on separate modules independent of every other deployment entity, to provide a scalable fully functional design using contemporary development technologies.

Table of Contents

APPROVAL PAGE    iii

DEDICATION    vi

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS    vii

ABSTRACT    viii

CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION    1

1.1    Background of the Study    1

1.2    Problem Statement    3

1.3    Research Question    4

1.4    Objective of the Study    5

1.5    Significance of the Study    5

1.6    Scope of the Study    6

1.7    Limitations of the Study    6

1.8    Overview of Research Method    7

1.9    Structure of the Project    8

CHAPTER TWO- LITERATURE REVIEW    9

2.1    Elements of Current Technology in HRM    9

2.2    Alignment of HR Structures and Processes with ICT    10

2.3    Factors Facilitating the Adoption of HRMIS    13

2.3.1     Managing the Organization’s Human Resource    15

2.3.2     Resourcing the organization    15

2.3.3     Developing the Employee    15

2.3.4     Rewarding the Employee    16

2.4    Trends in the Human Resource Technology    16

2.5    Human Resources and Organizational Performance    19

2.6    Trends, Issues and Challenges in Assessing HR Performance   

CHAPTER THREE – DESIGN METHODOLOGY    23

3.1    Theoretically Foundation for Design Methodology    23

3.2    Conceptual Analysis of Methodology    24

3.3    Rational for Proposed Design    26

3.4    Sources of Data Collection    28

3.5    Data Consolidation    29

3.6    Software Development Methodology    31

3.7     Validation of the New System    32

CHAPTER FOUR - DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION    33

4.1    Business Process Analysis for GUFAX    33

4.2     Sources of Data Acquisition    34

4.3     Findings on Current GUFAX HR Policies    34

4.3.1    GUFAX Implementation of Career Development    36

4.3.2    GUFAX Implementation of Performance Appraisals    37

4.3.3    GUFAX Implementation of Training and Development    37

4.3.4    GUFAX Implementation of Performance Reward    38

4.4     Design and Implementation of the New System    38

4.5     Back-End Database Design    39

4.6     Multi Front-End User Interface Design and Implementation  42

4.6.1     User Login Specification    42

4.6.2     Multiple Document Interface Design    44

4.7    Human Resource Reports and Enquiries    62

Chapter 5 – Summary and Conclusion    69

5.1    Summary    69

5.2    Conclusion    70

5.3    Recommendations for Managing HR    70

5.4    Areas for Further Research    71

REFERENCES    72

APPENDIX A – PROGRAM SOURCE CODE    77

CHAPTER ONE - INTRODUCTION

1.1    Background of the Study

Human Resource Management (HRM) is an approach to managing the human resources of organizations, which recognizes the importance of an organization’s human resources for contributing to its goals and objectives and the utilization of several functions and activities to ensure that they are used effectively and fairly for the benefit of the organization, the employees and society. The notion of human resource management indicates that people management can be a key resource to sustain competitive advantage. This belief is based upon four perspectives: People can make difference as human capability and commitment distinguish successful organizations and people need to be treated as assets and not costs; Managing human resource in fact is an important ‘strategic’ matter, Line management showed engage in managing human resources; and The key levers must be in internally integrated with each other and externally integrated with business strategy. Human Resource Management involves acquiring, developing and utilizing people in business. It is the process of acquiring, training, developing, motivating and appraising employees to the activities required for achieving the goals and objectives of the organisation in such a way that employees are satisfied and efficient.

Human Resource Management Information Systems are generally large and complex. Such systems can require many reusable components applied throughout the software development process. The architectures of large software application or enterprise wide systems are usually defined in terms of components and how these components fit together in the design for a successful implementation. This is a very important aspect in particular for Human Resource Management as many functions and activities within institutions centre on staffing, skills and performance. Human resources are the most valuable assets of any organization. The success of an organization relies heavily on having employees with the necessary competencies to help achieve business goals and improve competitive advantage. It is therefore important that people with the right knowledge, skill and temperament be recruited, trained, retained and promoted. Existing recruitment systems mostly focus on candidate screening at the time of hire. Human resource (HR) managers or recruitment agents usually gather as much information as possible about potential recruits through interviews and background checks. However, candidates usually come from vast educational and professional backgrounds, making it difficult for recruiters to assess and compare their suitability effectively. Even when hired after a rigorous selection process, a policy must be in put place to help employees develop in their roles, and to identify future roles that they can progress into.

Similarly, many individuals also need assistance finding a suitable career path outside the structure of an organization. This can be true of graduates who do not have a great deal of work experience, unemployed individuals who have found it hard to find employment in a particular area, or even employed individuals who are not satisfied with their current career choice. These individuals often find that they need assistance to see how well they suit their job preferences as well as locate other suitable career options that they might not have considered before. Human resources management (HRM) plays a key role in determining the survival, effectiveness, and competitiveness of businesses as well as individual career growth. Effective HRM practices support business goals and objectives. Extensive research shows that effective HRM practices can enhance company performance by contributing to employee and customer satisfaction, creativity, innovation, productivity, and development of a favorable reputation in the firm’s community. HRM practices include analyzing and designing work, determining human resource needs (HR planning), attracting potential employees (recruiting), choosing employees (selection), teaching employees how to perform their jobs and preparing them for the future (training and development), rewarding employees (compensation), evaluating their performance (performance management), and creating a positive work environment (employee relations).

This research designs and implements in its specification effective use of process components as units of software reuse, to provide a design that can be implemented reliably in a Human Resource Management System. Effective use is made of deployment units based on structural abstractions of the institution, deployable on separate modules independent of every other deployment entity, to provide a scalable design. Service interfaces of the process components define a pair-wise interaction between pairs of process components that are in different deployment units in a scalable way. Process components are modular and context-independent. Context-independent implies that a process component is not specific to any specific application and is reusable. The process component is the smallest most granular element of reuse in the architecture. The architectural elements also include the operation. An operation belongs to exactly one process component. A process component generally has multiple operations. Operations can be synchronous or asynchronous, corresponding to synchronous or asynchronous process agents. An operation is the smallest, separately-callable function, described by a set of data types used as input, output, and fault parameters, or some combination of them, serving as a signature. In supporting the use of the operations supported by a system implementing elements of the design, a system optionally include a repository of service descriptions that includes a standards-based description of each of the reuse components.

1.2    Problem Statement

The successful implementation of new technologies is dependent on many factors including the efficient management of human resources. Recent research indicates that intellectual assets and resources can be utilized much more efficiently and effectively if organizations apply knowledge management techniques for leveraging their human resources and enhancing their personnel management. The human resources departments are well-positioned to ensure the success of knowledge management programs, which are directed at capturing, using, and re‐using employees’ knowledge. Through human resources management, a culture that encourages the free flow of knowledge for meeting organizational goals can be created. The strategic role of the human resources department in identifying strategic and knowledge gaps using knowledge mapping has continued to be a problem. Despite the apparent attractions of HRM to managements, there is very little evidence of any quality about its impact. Positive and significant effects on labor productivity are found for organizations that utilize more sophisticated human resource planning, recruitment, and selection strategies.

In the case of GUFAX Microfinance Bank Limited, Uyo, the organization recognizes the growing importance of their human resources, but the institution is not conceptualizing them in strategic terms and ways to gain a competitive advantage. As a result, the company foregoes the opportunity to seize a competitive advantage through human resource practice initiatives. This results in significant implications for corporate strategy, personnel, and human resource management of the institution. This research explores the strategic benefits of an HRMS and abstracts the Structural patterns of GUFAX Microfinance Bank Limited to design a reusable component-based system that allows enquiries, administration, implementation, and maintenance of a Human Resource Management System in that institution and many other small, medium, or large corporations with the same organizational pattern. The patterns that are considered in the design of reusable components include grades, levels, skill sets, performance indices, duration in the institution, locations, qualifications and numerous other functional and navigational components deployed in the design to fulfill the requirements of the project.

1.3    Research Question

Today, managers and employees are assuming activities that once were considered the domain of human resource professionals and administrative personnel. This represents a significant break with the past, but one that has the potential to improve overall organizational effectiveness. Both managers and employees can respond more quickly to changes when they have relevant information that is accessible and when they are empowered to make decisions using that information. Thus the main research question for this work is;

“Can the implementation of a Human Resource Management Information system (HRMIS) increase administrative efficiency and produce reports that have the potential to improve decision making?”

Recent developments in technology have made it possible to create a real-time, information-based, self-service, interactive work environment which was not available in the past. For the human resources function, HRMIS has the potential to affect both efficiency and effectiveness. Efficiency can be affected by reducing cycle times for processing paperwork, increasing data accuracy, and reducing human resource staff. Effectiveness can be affected by improving the capabilities of both managers and employees to make better, more timely decisions, HRMIS can also provide the HR function the opportunity to create new avenues for contributing to organizational effectiveness through such means as knowledge management and the creation of intellectual and social capital.

1.4    Objective of the Study

The objective of this study is to design a Human Resource Information Management System based on defined organizational structural abstractions and re-useable information technology patterns to facilitate the company’s effective application of key principles and concepts of Human Resources Management (HRM). By so doing, it will develop the company’s awareness of the skills and capabilities of the staff needed for effective decisions making. The system will also provide the institution with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills related to HRM to understand the contributions of stafftowards organizational effectiveness. Ultimately, the statistical intelligence abstracted from the analysis provided from the system would enable the organization to applyin a targeted way the key principles, concepts, and tools of managing HRMto solve real-life problems.

1.5    Significance of the Study

Drawing on the theoretical insights from the resource-based view of strategic management, this research explores the potential of human resource systems to facilitate the development and utilization of organizational competencies. These competencies which include managerial, input-based, transformational, and output-based are generally presumed to yield sustained competitive advantage for a firm. The competency-based perspective, by focusing attention on the HRMIS activities, analytical functionalities provided by the system and processes that enhance or impede competency accumulation and exploitation, complements the behavioral perspective and, thus, potentially enhances the understanding of strategic human resource management. HRMIS decisions are likely to have significant and unique influence on organizational performance. This study comprehensively evaluates the links between systems of high performance work practices and firm performance and develops a fully functional system based on structural abstraction and component reuse design Patterns.

Architectural styles, object-oriented design and design patterns all hold promise as approaches that simplify software design and reuse by capturing and exploiting system design knowledge. This work explores the capabilities and roles of the various approaches, their strengths and their limitations. The research is also significant in that it explore identification and qualification of reusable software based on software models and metrics. Software metrics provide a way to automate the extraction of reusable software components from existing systems, reducing the amount of code that experts must analyze. Also, models and metrics permit feedback and improvement to make the extraction process fit a variety of environments.

1.6    Scope of the Study

Support for predictions that impact onhigh performance work practices on firm performance is in part contingent on their interrelationships and links with competitive strategy thus was limited in this work.Therefore, this project aims at providing an enterprise solution system that can assist in the management of human resourceusing the GUFAX Microfinance Bank Limited, Uyo as case study to describe and validate the experimental approach. The work deals extensively with the requirement specification phase and use simple models of reusable code component to show that automated techniques can reduce the amount of code that a domain expert needs in order to evaluate to identify reusable parts. Though this work is easily scalable to interface with many other ERM systems such as payroll management system and pension information management system, the study is focused primarily on Human Resource and my areas of further research would also adhere to this scope.

1.7    Limitations of the Study

This project and the solution developed are limited to and can be applied in only an organization with a structured pattern and policy for human resource management. This limitation is of borne of the fact that the models produced and other artefacts need to conform to patterns that can permit reusable design specifications. Thus an organization that does not have in place grading standards for its employees, levels specifications, job descriptions and skills that match responsibilities may not be able to meaningfully apply or adopt this system. It is for this reason a bank was selected for this case study. Therefore this solution would work well in financial institutions that maintain organization structures and possibly public academic institutions.

1.8    Overview of Research Method

The research methodology that will be adopted in this work is Design Science Research (DSR). Researchers apply the DSR approach to build Information Technology artifacts for business requirements by identifying a problem and proffering a solution (Hevner et al., 2007). Thus, DSR is a research approach that allows practically relevant problems to be solved (McKay and Marshall, 2005) using a process that distinguishes the two basic elements of building and evaluation of IT artifact.

Image

Figure 1.1: Schematic diagram of the research method

This will be performed using an outcome-based information technology research methodology, which offers specific guidelines for evaluation and iteration within research projects. This is explained further using the diagram in Figure 1.1.DSR is most suitable for this project because the method adopts design activities central to most applied disciplines. The design science research paradigm is highly relevant to information systems (IS) research because it supports a pragmatic research paradigm that calls for the creation of innovative artifacts to solve real-world problems. Thus, design science research combines a focus on the IT artifact with a high priority on relevance in the application domain.

1.9    Structure of the Project

This project work is organized into five chapters. The first chapter of the research presents problem statement, a schematic introduction to some of the problems with HRMIS, and discussion of how model driven taxonomies can be applied in design of reusable components for the proposed solution. The chapter also presents the importance of the research, the research questions, the research process and an overview of the research method. The second chapter delves into the literature review of former work carried out on the topic. The third chapter describes the methodological approach, and software design methodology used in the development of the Human Resource Management Information System. Chapter four presents the proposed system design, interfaces, decision-making capability of the system, solving of complex problems by reasoning through bodies of knowledge, represented mainly through the program logic and data repositories. Finally chapter five presents the summary, conclusion and areas for further research.

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Application of Structural Abstraction and Component Reuse Design Patterns in the Development of Human Resource Management System



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