Managing electronic communications: a new challenge for human resource managers

Bernadine Van Gramberg, Julian Teicher, Anne Helena O'Rourke

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Advances in information and communication technology are not only changing the way work is conducted but also influencing the development of human resource management (HRM) as a field of practice. In order to understand how HR managers are grappling with this issue we review the misuse of electronic communication in the workplace through the international literature and also recent court and tribunal cases in Australia. In particular, we consider the impact of new communication technologies in blurring of the boundaries between home and work and the way in which this is being dealt with by HR managers. In this paper we draw out the challenge of balancing the interests of employees and organisations, and outline the tension between HR as a strategic partner and employee champion. While not advancing a dystopian view, we argue that in many workplaces new surveillance technologies are being routinely utilised to increase employer control and that such low-trust practices are likely to be counterproductive and may undermine the profession of human resources management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2234 - 2252
Number of pages19
JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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