October 3, 2008, Newsletter Issue #73: The Human Resource Management System Defined

Tip of the Week

The original definition of human resources (HR) emanates from economic usage where it represented labor, a component of industrial production. It eventually came to be associated with the functions and individuals within a business enterprise that administer the organizationís personnel system and practices. This distinction evolved due to increasing sophistication and the aggressive regulatory environment experienced in the late 20th century.

A variety of systems, of differing nomenclature but similar functionality, have emerged to provide an intersection between human resource management (HRM) and information technology. These systems are collectively called Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS) and alternately, Enterprise HRMS (EHRMS), Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS), HR Technology or HR modules. Established as a functional business area, HR activities and processes were efficiently enhanced by information technology and, eventually, business intelligence. Manual data processing planning and reporting systems evolved into standardized routines and packages sometimes called enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. As with other components of modern BI software tools, these ERP systems have the capability to access, manipulate, report and analyze diverse information from multiple databases.

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