Trends in Employment and HRM Practices: The Influence of New Technologies

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal 18 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Maria MARQUES, Polytechnic Institute of Setubal - College of Business and Administration, Portugal
Jose REBELO DOS SANTOS, Institute Polytechnic of Setubal- College of Business and Administration, Portugal
Organisational flexibility and innovation have become ubiquitous in post-modern societies. Rapid technology change and, more specifically the use of new information and communication technologies, have had a strong influence on social and organisational change. Although technology itself is not the only factor of change, the adoption of new technologies has had a relevant on different levels, both macro and micro. For example, the adoption of new technologies and/or the increase of automation has led to a reduction of jobs in more traditional fields and to the emergence of new professional jobs. At the organizational level it has led to the adoption of new work organization models as well as to the introduction of more advanced and/or strategic HRM practices.

Based on the assumption that the organisational changes are shaped by different socioeconomic and cultural factors, the aims of this presentation were to identify and discuss the internal and external factors that shape organizational changes in firms in Portugal, and the influence of these changes in HRM practices. Centering our discussion on two levels of analysis - macro and micro – our aims were carried out using documentary analysis and case study methodology. The former mostly to analyse the demographic changes on employment and the latter to analyse HRM practices in firms linked to technology-intensive sectors.

Our main findings show a tendency to reduce job posts, but on the other hand, the demographic pressure makes the workers hard to replace, which has reflections in the employment/unemployment rate. At an organisational level there is a tendency to adopt more flexible organisational structures combined with more advanced in HRM practices Some of this practices can include factors as flexible work forms, functional flexibility, education and training, and organisational policies.