Original Research

Data driven human resource management in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)

Tasneem Majam, Dawchund B. Jarbandhan
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 10, No 1 | a588 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v10i1.588 | © 2022 Tasneem Majam, Dawchund B. Jarbandhan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 August 2021 | Published: 26 September 2022

About the author(s)

Tasneem Majam, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy (SPMGPP), College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
Dawchund B. Jarbandhan, School of Public Management, Governance and Public Policy (SPMGPP), College of Business and Economics, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has brought with it opportunities to improve government services. Amongst the services that have benefited from the 4IR is policy-making and organisational design. However, recent studies have indicated that the 4IR and big data can improve public resources, especially human resources (HR) for instance in managing employee performance, promotions, retention and talent management by using data analytical tools to improve service delivery.

Aim: To analyse how big data can be used to optimise public service human resource management (HRM).

Setting: The South African Public Service.

Methods: This study is based on a theoretical and conceptual analysis in order to explore the complex nature of HR data analytics for the South Africa Public Service. This will be supported through a literature review in order to draw rich information to support the underlining assumptions and implications of the concepts under this study.

Results: The literature indicates that big data usage within the South African Public Service is limited. Moreover, this article found that it is important for HR specialists to use forecasting and data applications to anticipate where the supply and demand for skills would be needed in order to capacitate and improve service delivery.

Conclusion: It was concluded that big data is primarily used in the private sector with the public sector latching onto its utility in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. The opportunity is ripe for the South African Public Service to investigate the use of big data to improve public services.


Keywords

big data; Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR); public service; developmental state; human resource management

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