Digital Human Resource Management: An Approach to Creating Organizational Agility in the Public Sector in the Digital Economy Era (A Study on the Public Sector Banking Network in Iran)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant Prof. Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Kish, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Kish, Iran.

3 MSc. Student, Department of Business Administration, Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Khajeh Nasir Toosi University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Assistant Prof., Department of Public Administration, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran.


Objective: Digitalization and agility are the dominant features of the gig economy. Therefore, it is crucial to consider digital transformation and organizational agility in both the public and private sectors. The level of preparedness of the public sector for the digital transformation as a new approach to employee management and enhancement of the capabilities of public sector organizations is also of high significance. This relatively new concept includes the use of web-based technologies to optimize processes and create better results in human resource management (HRM). The purpose of the present qualitative research was to present a model for digital HRM in the public sector to fit in the digital era.
Methods: Qualitative research method was used to conduct the present study. To achieve the research objective, data was collected through semi-structured interviews with 36 human resource experts in the public banking network (including 8 banks), who were selected using the purposive sampling method.
Results: The findings of this study consisted of 4 comprehensive themes, 15 organizing themes, and 58 basic themes, which were obtained in three stages of coding. The comprehensive themes were digital architecture, digital ecosystem, the drivers of digital HRM, and the digital HRM outcomes.
Conclusion: The obtained results indicated that the public sector requires digital HRM to create agility in the gig economy. As an innovative and inevitable strategy, public sector organizations need digital HRM to improve their agility of the public sector banking network and facilitate the transformation and the transition to the digital economy. Unfortunately, there is currently a major weakness in the knowledge and practice of digital HRM in the public sector. The present study considered this issue and some new concepts that have not been mentioned in the existing literature.


Ageev A.I., Averyanov, M., Evtushenko, S.N., & Kochetova, E.Yu. (2017). Digital society: architecture, principles, vision. Economic Strategies, 1, 114 - 125.
Amladi, P (2017) HR’s guide to the digital transformation: ten digital economy use cases for transforming human resources in manufacturing. Strategic HR Review 16(2): 66–70.
Attride-Stirling, J. (2001). Thematic networks: An analytic tool for qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 1(3), 385-405.
Biankina, A.O. (2017). Digital technologies and their role in the modern economy. Economy and Society: Modern Models of Development, 16, 15-25.
Boudlaie, H., Behrouz Keshavarz Nik, & Mohammadhosein Kenarroodi. (2020). Identification and ranking of compensation strategies for oil distribution companies. Technium Social Sciences Journal, 3(1), 112–140.
Boudlaie, H., kenarroodi, M. (2020). a Qualitative study of Gamification based recruitment process in start ups. Management Studies in Development and Evolution, 29(96), 121-148. (in perian)
Boudlaie, H., Mahdiraji, H.A., Shamsi, S., Jafari-Sadeghi, V., & Garcia-Perez, A. (2020). Designing a human resource scorecard: An empirical stakeholder-based study with a company culture perspective. Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Innovation, 16(4), 113-147.
Boudlaie, H., Mohammadhosein Kenarroodi, & Behrouz Keshavarz Nik. (2020). Studying the content characteristics of New Technology-Based Firms. Technium Social Sciences Journal, 3(1), 94–111.
Boudlaie, Hasan, Nargesian, Abbas, & Keshavarz Nik, Behrooz. (2019). Digital footprint in Web 3.0: Social Media Usage in Recruitment. AD-minister, (34), 139-156.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
Chytiri, Alexandra-Paraskevi. (2019). Human Resource Managers' Role in the Digital Era. 69. 62-72.
Cutolo, D.; Kenney, M. (2021), Platform-Dependent Entrepreneurs: Power Asymmetries, Risks, and Strategies in the Platform Economy. Acad. Manag. Perspect. ahead-of-print.
Galve-Górriz, C., & Gargallo Castel, A. (2010). The relationship between human resources and information and communication technologies: Spanish firm-level evidence. Journal of theoretical and applied electronic commerce research, 5(1).
Gandini, A. (2019). Labor process theory and the gig economy. Hum. Rel., 72, 1039–1056
Ghemawat, P. (2010), Finding your strategy in the new landscape, Harvard Business Review. 88(3), 54-60.
Horney. N, (2016), The Gig Economy: A Disruptor Requiring HR Agility, People + Strategy Journal, 39(3), 20-27.
Kane, G., Palmer, D., Phillips, A., Kiron, D. and Buckley, N. (2016), Aligning the Organization for Its Digital Future, Research report, 5(81). 14-76.
Kelchevskaya, N.R. & Shirinkina, E.V. (2020). Institutional Model of Drivers of Digital Development of Human Capital in the Strategic Perspective. 10.2991/aebmr.k.200502.082.
Lappi, Teemu & Aaltonen, Kirsi. (2017). Project governance in public sector agile software projects. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. 10. 263-294. 10.1108/IJMPB-04-2016-0031.
Lena, U., HYGRYNi, Leksandra, K., I., ARINTSEVAii, Iana, K., D., OZLOVAiii, Nastasiya, K., V., & OVALEVAiv (2019). HR Management in the Digital Age: the Main Trends Assessment and Stakeholders.
Mitrofanova, Elena. (2019). Opportunities, Problems And Limitations Of Digital Transformation Of Hr Management. 1717-1727.
Powner, D. (2012) “Software Development: Effective Practices and Federal Challenges in Applying Agile Methods.” United States Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
Ribeiro, A. and L. Domingues. (2018) “Acceptance of an agile methodology in the public sector.” Procedia Computer Science 138 (2018): 621-629.
Ritz, A., and C. Waldner. (2011). “Competing for Future Leaders: a Study Of Attractiveness Of Public Sector Organizations to Potential Job Applicants.” Review Of Public Personnel Administration, 31 (3): 291–316.
Sima, V.; Gheorghe, I.G.; Subić, J.; Nancu, D. (2020), Influences of the Industry 4.0 Revolution on the Human Capital Development and Consumer Behavior: A Systematic Review. Sustainability, 12, 4035.
Sivakami, R. (2018). Role of employer branding in talent management in today‟s digital era. Journal of Modern Management & Entrepreneurship, 8(1), 117-122.
Strohmeier, S. (2020). Digital human resource management: A conceptual clarification. German Journal of Human Resource Management, 34(3), 345–365
Vial, G. (2019) Understanding digital transformation: a review and a research agenda. The Journal of Strategic Information Systems 28(2): 118–144.
Vilaplana, F.; Stein, G. (2020). Digitalización y personas. Rev. Empresa Humanismo, 113–137.
Westerman, G. and D. Bonnet. (2015). “Revamping your business through digital transformation.” MIT Sloan Management Review 26, 10-13.
World Economic Forum,(2019),HR4.0: Shaping People Strategies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.