Sarah Ryer

Thesis title:

eHRM and (Post) Human Perfectibility


A dominant discourse in the present era is the assertion and promotion of an individual’s capacity for constant (and limitless) development and improvement. This is especially prominent within the managerial context, particularly in regard to Human Resource Management (HRM), a discipline founded upon a theorisation of the employee as a human resource — an asset — which needs to be made to grow, adapt, and supply a continual return on investment. Moreover, the increased application of information technology to the HRM field — giving rise to a new subfield of ‘electronic’ HRM (eHRM) — assures an expansion of HRM’s capacities to collect, monitor, and measure employee ‘human capital’ metrics. An overarching research aim is thus a problematisation of this notion of human perfectibility, exploring its role in the production of power and subjectivity, at the site of HR e-Learning software. Adopting a critical posthuman perspective (e.g. Braidotti, 2013), alongside the philosophy and techniques of software studies (e.g. Fuller, 2003, 2008; Kitchin & Dodge, 2011; Manovich, 2013), the focus is aimed at the organisational software infrastructure, in which the ‘human’ subject is immersed, fragmented, and re/constructed within the datafied organisation.

First supervisor:

Gerard Hanlon


5 – Work, Organisations & Business Management