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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2012

Muhammad Mustafa Kamal

The purpose of this paper is primarily to analyse the implementation of shared services models in business enterprises or private sector and the benefits realised…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is primarily to analyse the implementation of shared services models in business enterprises or private sector and the benefits realised, thereafter; to a greater extent, focusing on the lessons learnt from such operations and exploring the potential of applying similar models in the public sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This research attempts to examine whether or not the concepts regarding shared service in the private sector are valid and applicable in the public sector.

Findings

Even though the shared services concept and related models are significantly prevalent across the business enterprises or private sector and government sector, the author argues that the shared services model developed in the private sector may further significantly facilitate governments and public agencies in dealing with the recent changes (i.e. due to global financial crisis) in their environments and to become more effective and efficient.

Originality/value

This paper brings together some of the key discussions from the business and private sector on shared services and discusses their applicability in the public sector context.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Darryl Mead and Steve Homer

This is a case study on the implementation of shared services across back-office functions between the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland…

Abstract

This is a case study on the implementation of shared services across back-office functions between the National Library of Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland in the period 2008 to early 2013. It describes the potential benefits of a Library doing business in a less conventional way, at a time when the public sector is facing challenges of high customer expectations and tight budgets. From 2004 the concept of building shared services in the cultural sector was promoted by the Scottish Government as a means of achieving improved performance and more cost-effective service delivery. The initial four attempts to create shared services in the cultural sector failed. This study looks at the first attempt that succeeded and draws out the factors contributing to that success. Key precursors to progress included finding common ground and developing trust between parties who were initially suspicious of each other, establishing an effective governance framework, obtaining ongoing commitment from senior management, and aligning everyone’s agendas to make them compatible. By 2013 the program had delivered a common Information Systems network, as well as two parallel finance systems sitting on the same server. In March 2013 the HR teams entered a phase of living together for six months to test their integrated operations prior to formally becoming a shared service, treating both the Galleries and the Library as a single client. Building a shared service with another cultural partner has been a useful, though demanding experience. Both organizations are better off for committing to sharing.

Details

Mergers and Alliances: The Operational View and Cases
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-054-3

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Tanya Bondarouk and Christina-Maria Friebe

The purpose of this study is to offer an integrated literature review of shared services’ organizational structures by specifically focusing on centralization…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to offer an integrated literature review of shared services’ organizational structures by specifically focusing on centralization, specialization, control, and formalization mechanisms.

Methodology/approach

A sample consisting of 103 empirical and conceptual articles, identified in a structured literature search in Science Direct and Scopus, was analyzed. The focus was on exploring the structural dimensions of shared services in various fields: Supply Chains, Finance, Human Resource Management, and Information Technologies. Findings from the selected articles were codified alongside the structural dimensions drawn from contingency theory.

Findings

Most of the papers identified were concerned with the Human Resource function or with Accounting and Finance in the private sector. Purchasing was only mentioned in a few general articles and Marketing not represented at all, even though the literature suggests that shared services do exist in this field. This uneven distribution across fields, as well as the reality that many articles fail to make clear divisions between disciplines, is hardly conducive to identifying trends for individual disciplines, and only general trends for each dimension could be identified. Although centralization was one of the most discussed dimensions, there was no consensus as to whether shared services should be centralized or decentralized. Standardization and formalization were both found to be highly important, although a need for customization was also emphasized.

Implications

Future research should be oriented toward the structural dimensions of shared services in a broader range of fields as current findings are dominated by the Human Resource function. Another implication of our findings is that scholars could usefully test empirically the dimensions, especially those where opinions differed the most: centralization and specialization.

Originality/value

Earlier conceptualizations noted that the mixed shared service outcomes stem from the diversity in governance and several contingency factors. This work continues the exploration of the contingency factors and mechanisms that, through integration, allow shared services to respond to the environmental uncertainty. The value of this chapter is in examining the structures of different functional types of shared services that are reported as successful in the literature, thus offering an overview of best practices in organizing shared services.

Details

Shared Services as a New Organizational Form
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-536-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Peter Reilly

This chapter seeks to optimize HR shared services performance by highlighting the potential for service fragmentation that can arise out of in the so-called Ulrich…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter seeks to optimize HR shared services performance by highlighting the potential for service fragmentation that can arise out of in the so-called Ulrich (structure or service delivery) model.

Design/methodology/approach

The evidence used in this chapter principally comes from the author’s own work, especially research for the UK’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), and draws upon academic literature where possible.

Findings

This chapter argues that HR directors should guard against three sets of fragmentation risks. Firstly, HR shared services should be properly connected to the rest of HR to offer customers an integrated service to avoid the structure’s division of labor inducing incoherence. Second, to guard against this risk, HR directors should exercise care in outsourcing/offshoring beyond individual, discrete services because contractually or spatially separating services risks exacerbating this tendency to fragmentation. Outsourcing/offshoring may focus too much on cost savings and insufficiently on quality. So, third, HR should argue for the distinctiveness of its activities and fight commoditization that is also implied in the creation of cross-functional shared service centers.

Research limitations/implications

The arguments in this chapter could be better supported by academic research. In-depth case studies of management decision making and shared services operation would help support or challenge the chapter’s conclusion, as could quantitative evidence on the benefits/disbenefits of outsourcing/offshoring/cross-functional shared services centers.

Practical implications

We have highlighted a number of reported problems with HR shared services operation, besides the three principal risks noted above, but we have suggested possible solutions that could be adopted by practitioners.

Originality/value

HR managers may find this chapter helpful in designing new HR structures or in assessing the effectiveness of shared services that goes beyond the typical key performance indicator measures.

Details

Shared Services as a New Organizational Form
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-536-4

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Joseph Soalheira and Greg Timbrell

This chapter discusses the constitution of Shared Services and the value of a consensual agreement of a definition for academe and practice. It explores the operating…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter discusses the constitution of Shared Services and the value of a consensual agreement of a definition for academe and practice. It explores the operating principles and services, the concepts of internal customer and internal service, and their importance for the practitioner and research communities.

Methodology/approach

This chapter employed a broad review of the literature to examine Shared Services. The research team used NVivo as a tool to create a database of key articles and books to analyze the key concepts and topics.

Findings

There is a lack of consensus on the definition of Shared Services in the research and practitioner community. Additionally, the concept of internal customer requires greater exploration and understanding within the context of Shared Services. How Shared Services provides competitive advantage to organizations is also not well understood.

Research limitations/implications

This discussion provides a challenge to the research community to focus on the contributions of shared services to business management theory. This requires a consensus that is currently nonexistent, to ensure the correct use of the terminology and model.

Practical implications

By establishing a clearer understanding of what is Shared Services, the academic and the practitioner community, in particular, will gain greater competencies on Shared Services to support change management programs during the implementation phases and minimize implementation costs by lowering organizational and people resistance. The variants in shared services terminology create confusion which is likely to result in ambiguity during implementation and have practical implications on governance, customers and service, benefits realization and performance.

Originality/value of chapter

This chapter addresses the lack of agreed definition of the term Shared Services and the role of the internal customer and consequent internal service delivery.

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Book part
Publication date: 13 August 2014

Jeroen Meijerink, Joost ten Kattelaar and Michel Ehrenhard

The purpose of this study is to explore the use of shared services by end-users and why this may conflict with the use as intended by the shared service center (SSC) management.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the use of shared services by end-users and why this may conflict with the use as intended by the shared service center (SSC) management.

Methodology/approach

By applying structuration theory, this empirical study draws on qualitative data obtained from semi-structured interviews with managers and end-users of an SSC. This SSC is part of a Dutch subsidiary of a multinational corporation that produces professional electronics for the defense and security market.

Findings

We find two main types of shared services usage by end-users which were not intended by the SSC management: avoidance and window-dressing. These forms of unintended usage were the result of contradictions in social structures related to the centralization and decentralization models as appropriated by end-users and management.

Implications

Our findings show that the benefits of shared services depends on how well contradictions in managers’ and end-users’ interpretive schemes, resources, and norms associated with centralization and decentralization models are resolved.

Originality/value

A popular argument in existing studies is that the benefit of shared services follows from the design of the SSC’s organizational structure. These studies overlook the fact that shared services are not always used as their designers intended and, therefore, that success depends on how the SSC’s organizational structure is appropriated by end-users. As such, the originality of this study is our focus on the way shared services are used by their end-users in order to explain why SSCs succeed or fail in reaping their promised benefits.

Details

Shared Services as a New Organizational Form
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-536-4

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2007

Mark Goh, Satya Prakash and Roland Yeo

Driven by cost reduction and improved quality of service, some firms have adopted shared services as a governance model to manage their staff functions. This paper seeks…

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2608

Abstract

Purpose

Driven by cost reduction and improved quality of service, some firms have adopted shared services as a governance model to manage their staff functions. This paper seeks to explore this behavior using the resource‐based view.

Design/methodology/approach

The case of an information technology (IT) unit of a multinational manufacturing firm is presented to provide insight into the issues involved when adopting and migrating an IT resource system to a shared services model. The analysis is extended using conceptual models of the relevant sub‐systems developed through the soft systems methodology (SSM), using a set of root level definitions that are intended to express the transformation to a shared services model.

Findings

The results suggest that the major changes involved when transitioning to shared services are process and communication related. Aligning the team members and gaining their commitment are necessary for success.

Practical implications

The case analysis and SSM models provide some insight into the important issues to be considered when moving to a shared services model.

Originality/value

With the growing practice of shared services, it is important to understand how a shared services model fits successfully into the overall business strategy of the firm. This study will spawn further research into the evaluation and control techniques for the different types of IT capabilities under a shared services model.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 107 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2014

Anton Joha and Marijn Janssen

Shared services are often viewed as a single type of business model but in reality, shared services can be organized in different ways. The goal of this research is to…

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2445

Abstract

Purpose

Shared services are often viewed as a single type of business model but in reality, shared services can be organized in different ways. The goal of this research is to understand the factors influencing the shaping of shared services business models.

Design/methodology/approach

Inductive case oriented research is conducted by investigating three different types of shared services arrangements using Al-Debei and Avison's unified framework for business models.

Findings

A total of 12 different factors were identified that influence the shape of shared services business models including the path dependency, legal/regulatory driver, customer orientation, target segment, strategic importance, ICT/business orientation, IT governance structure, change strategy, degree of outsourcing, integration potential, economic rationale and the business value.

Research limitations/implications

The level of customization and standardization can influence the potential benefits that can be gained from bundling services and it is important to understand the factors that influence this dimension.

Practical implications

The appropriate configuration of these factors can be helpful to design shared services arrangements with a balanced degree of standardization and customization. The choices regarding the configuration of these factors could result in a more or less effective functioning business model and could influence the governance processes and mechanisms that need to be put in place.

Originality/value

There is no prior research that addresses the shared services business model from a holistic perspective and this research provides a first conceptual model for shared services business models.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Frank Ulbrich and Veit Schulz

The purpose of this study is to empirically explore management challenges that management must overcome in the early phase of adopting IT-shared services. Organizations to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to empirically explore management challenges that management must overcome in the early phase of adopting IT-shared services. Organizations to an increasing extent adopt IT-shared services as a means to providing organization-wide IT services.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data from 20 case studies were analysed. The data were originally collected in a variety of predominantly large-size organizations from the public and private sectors in six different countries. The data used were collected between 2002 and 2010.

Findings

Our research identifies seven reoccurring themes in the collected data, all being common management challenges. These challenges are evident within the whole organization – including their service-consuming business units – as well as their service-providing IT units. The seven challenges are related to the ability to deliver IT services, communication between IT and non-IT staff, IT-service portfolios, nature of IT services, power and control, pricing and service-level agreements.

Research limitations/implications

Gaining a deeper understanding of the seven common challenges is essential for further research on how to manage the successful transition towards organization-wide shared-services arrangements.

Originality/value

This study provides fundamental insights into the complex endeavour of adopting IT-shared services in organizations. It furthers the understanding of common management challenges, which management needs to consider in the early stage of an organization-wide adoption of IT-shared services.

Details

Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8297

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Abstract

Details

Local Government Shared Services Centers: Management and Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-258-2

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