Published on 24/08/2023
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ChatGPT Chat with AI or Artificial Intelligence technology. Businessman using a laptop computer chatting with an intelligent artificial intelligence asks for the answers he wants.
  • Researchers found while generative AI is a valuable complementary tool, it cannot replace the nuanced judgment of experienced researchers
  • They say limitations were largely due to constrained training data
  • The study was carried out by Aston University, in collaboration with leading scholars in the UK, Europe, Canada and USA.

Aston University, in collaboration with leading scholars in the UK, Europe, Canada and USA, has undertaken a comprehensive assessment of the potential implications of generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Human Resource Management (HRM) and how it can shape the field. 

The study found Generative AI, such as Chat GPT, showcases valuable capabilities that can revolutionise practice, research and methodologies linked to HRM. 

Researchers say the rapid developments in AI mean it is very good at generating disruptive ideas, opening avenues for developing new theories and research designs, measures and data analysis methods and offering guidance on ethical research, amongst others. 

However, they also found limitations due to constrained training data. At times, the AI generated too many, too few or ambiguous recommendations. Additionally, it can inadvertently repeat past methodological errors and provide overly broad ethical recommendations.

Professor Pawan Budhwar, Associate Deputy Vice Chancellor International at Aston Business School and co-author of the report, said:

“We found that while generative AI is a valuable complementary tool, it cannot replace the nuanced judgment of experienced researchers. 

“The researchers emphasise the need to “trust, but verify”, echoing the words of former US President Ronald Reagan.

Professor Prasanta Dey, professor in Operations and Information Management at Aston Business School and co-author of the report, said:

“In a world increasingly influenced by AI technologies, the study underscores the importance of responsible integration of generative AI in HRM practices and research. 

“While the AI offers promising capabilities, it is crucial to balance its potential with ethical considerations, transparency, and human expertise.”

You can see the full report, Human resource management in the age of generative artificial intelligence: Perspectives and research directions on ChatGPT, here.
 

Notes to Editors

More about the research team

Pawan Budhwar, Aston University, Birmingham

Prasanta Kumar Dey, Aston University, Birmingham

Soumyadeb Chowdhury, Toulouse Business School

Geoffrey Wood, University of Buckingham

Herman Aguinis, Indiana University

Greg J. Bamber, Monash University

Jose R. Beltran, Iowa State University

Shuang Ren, Queen’s University Belfast

Steven Rogelberg, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Mark N. K. Saunders, University of Birmingham

Rosalie L. Tung, Simon Fraser University (Canada)

Arup Varma, Loyola University Chicago

Paul Boselie, Utrecht University

Fang Lee Cooke, Monash University

Stephanie Decker, University of Birmingham

Angelo DeNisi, Tulane University

David Guest, King’s College London

Andrew J. Knoblich, Belk College of Business

Ashish Malik, University of Newcastle, Australia

Jaap Paauwe, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Savvas Papagiannidis, Newcastle University Business School

Charmi Patel, University of Reading

Vijay Pereira, Neoma Business School

 

More about the study

The study explores five key themes related to the integration of generative AI in HRM:

Work, Skills, and Education: Redefining the Meaning of Work highlights generative AI's potential impact on HRM extends to reshaping the nature of work itself. While it may automate routine tasks and streamline administrative processes, concerns arise about the loss of independent strategic thinking and the creation of potentially meaningless work. The study raises questions about AI's intelligence and its potential consequences on job displacement and skill requirements.

Business Productivity: Navigating Hype and Reality showed that despite the promises of increased productivity through generative AI, caution is advised due to potential uncertainties around returns, data requirements, human skills, reliability, security, and unforeseen consequences. The study draws parallels to past technological hypes, emphasizing the importance of well-informed adoption.

Sustainable HRM and Productivity: Balancing Progress and Responsibility looked at generative AI's potential to enhance sustainable HRM practices presents both opportunities and environmental challenges. While the AI can drive efficiency, the study highlights the need for responsible resource consumption. Integrating generative AI to support green HRM practices requires careful consideration.

Bias, Ethical, and Moral Judgments: Navigating Complex Ethical Terrain saw the researchers discuss the ethical dilemmas posed by generative AI's opacity, bias amplification, and potential privacy violations. They emphasize the role of HR professionals in mitigating risks and promoting ethical use of AI, acknowledging the necessity of human oversight.

Research Methods: Transforming Academic Research Paradigms highlighted generative AI's potential impact on research methods raises intriguing questions. The AI's ability to process and analyse research articles sparks debates about the future of review articles. The study also delves into the challenge of maintaining research integrity and ethical considerations in an AI-assisted landscape.

 

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a university since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiary groups – students, business and the professions, and the West Midlands region and wider society. Located in Birmingham at the heart of a vibrant city, the campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Aleks Subic is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University is ranked 22nd in the UK in the Guardian University Guide, based on measures including entry standards, student satisfaction, research quality and graduate prospects. The Aston Business School MBA programme was ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)7446 910063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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