UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Personnel management information systems Morrison, Keith Ian


In May of 1967, Dr. L. F. Moore of the Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration at UBC received a grant from the Institute of Industrial Relations, in order to undertake a research study into the "Development of an Integrated Data Bank for Manpower Management and Research." In part, he stated that "It would appear that much of the data obtained on employee record forms may be made suitable for computer storage, retrieval and analysis. In addition, much of this data is usable in multiple areas of analysis and research." This thesis, "Personnel Management Information Systems" closely parallels the work of Dr. Moore, as the writer worked for him during the summer of 1967 in the capacity of a research assistant. The content of the thesis to a very large extent represents the work done for Dr. Moore, and is an attempt to lay much of the groundwork in what is eventually to become a more detailed and comprehensive study. The main problems dealt with in this thesis are fourfold. The initial problem was to ascertain the basic functions of the personnel department in terms of procedures, records and forms employed, information flows etc. and to determine if these functions could be centrally integrated through the use of a manpower data bank. A further area examined was the feasibility or practicability, in terms of advantages and limitations, inherent in the concept of computerizing personnel records. The third problem involved definition of some of the procedures and methods which are prerequisite to the installation of a manpower data bank. The fourth problem was met in ascertaining the extent to which such installations are presently employed by corporations. As the concept of personnel management information systems is relatively new, little information was available from the literature. The investigation therefore was carried out through the following procedures: personal interviews with firms in Vancouver; correspondence with large Canadian and U.S. Corporations and the United States government; a review of recent periodicals covering the Personnel function; and from occasional papers covering this aspect of computer applications. Several conclusions were reached as a result of this study. In view of the many forms, procedures and voluminous amounts of data, it was concluded that the personnel department functions can and should be adapted to computerization through the creation of a manpower data bank. The unlimited potential of such a system is obvious in light of the many functions it can perform. There may be disadvantages for certain firms to implement a system of this nature, but on the whole the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The systems analysis approach to the problem of determining procedures to take in implementing the system was judged the best technique to follow. At the present time, computerized personnel records are being employed by many large corporations, with varying degrees of success. Many systems were initially designed with a limited purpose in mind and do not resemble the integrated manpower data bank as presented in this thesis.

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