Using Artificial Intelligence for Human Resources Management

Prof. Neha Tripathi

Seeds of human resources management (HRM) were planted in industrial and occupational psychology as early as the early 1900s. It was the time when scientific management theories evolved, adapted and were widely accepted, treating "humans as machines". The basic idea then was to break down human creativity (of often blue-collar workers) into focused, centralised and assigned tasks where less human intelligence was needed. Such early scientific management models treated humans as part of a machine, the organisation. It was at that time unrealised that humans were humans and would, indeed, remain humans. Scientific management models fell flat for not accounting for the humane characteristics of individuals, which gave rise to the second wave of HRM, called "humans-as-humans" models. In this era, human motivation remained at the centre. We were still understanding humans and their behaviours at work in the second wave. But suddenly, a new species-AI-was introduced at work. It started the third wave of HRM evolution, introducing "machines-as-humans" models.

The course AIHRM is focused on the workplace ecology created by two species: humans and AI. Ironically, in the present HRM models, humans are dehumanised and AI is anthropomorphised. Anthropomorphised AI looks more humanlike; it is capable of both "agency", the ability to think, and "experience", the ability to feel. This sets the stage for very intriguing interactions with working agents and AI. Paradoxically, more than two-thirds of C-suite decision-makers showed high confidence to deploy AI solutions when they were asked to deploy AI-based HRM tools. However, when they were asked to trust AI for making hiring decisions, the coin flipped and not many opted to conduct AI-led interviews. The course digs deeper into understanding AI dilemmas in various aspects, including recruitment and selection, performance evaluation and management, ethics and leadership.

Recently, AI deployment at work-particularly in HRM-has attracted tremendous interest from strategic leaders and executives. Accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic, integrating AI and HRM entails reconstructing the core HRM concepts from a machine-human interaction perspective. In this course, the students attempt to gain novel insights into AI deployment in HRM in organisations. The course draws on both core and advanced topics, including intelligent recruiting and performance tools, leadership by algorithms and ethical issues in deploying fair AI at the workplaces. The course provides intriguing insights into the challenges involved in the seamless integration of AI and HRM. It also offers lessons to effectively manage such challenges, which can provide a competitive advantage to an organisation.

Artificial intelligence is arguably today's most disruptive technology having a profound impact on the economy, labour markets and society as a whole. The pervasiveness of AI integration is reshaping organisations and broadening the outreach of management to understand the development and deployment of AI from mechanical AI to cognitive AI systems. In this course, the students learn in an interactive environment enriched by candid class discussions, activities (physical and virtual), presentations, live exercises and debates. The course hosts thought-leaders from the industry to share their knowledge, experiences and opinions on the cutting-edge economic and moral issues on AI and its deployment in HRM.

The course was developed in 2020 to provide an interactive platform integrating classroom teaching and research. My research focuses on understanding the socio-cognitive emotion patterns of humans when combined with AI at the workplace. Such interactive ecology of AI propels two-way learning and adaptation. While AI learns from humans (the data its decisions are based on), AI contributes to changes in human behaviour, cognition and decision-making. The intertwined nature of humans and AI at work sets the stage for conscious AI. However, it also puts human's free will at risk.

The course is offered every year to the PGP students in the sixth (VI) term.

About The Author

Prof. Neha Tripathi

Prof. Neha Tripathi

Professor Neha Tripathi ( is a faculty in the Human Resource Management area.