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Characteristics of a successful shared services centre in the Australian public sector

Characteristics of a successful shared services centre in the Australian public sector Purpose – Organisations are increasingly looking to establish shared services centres (SSCs) yet there is limited guidance available. The paper aims to propose a structured framework that will form the basis for identifying a series of characteristics associated with a successful SSC. Design/methodology/approach – Based upon Scott‐Morton's organisational framework a series of dimensions were proposed for the analysis of SSCs. A case study was then presented as a starting point for identifying specific characteristics along each dimension associated with a successful SSC. Findings – Based on the framework, a case study highlights characteristics associated with a successful SSC. Specifically, the SSC is given responsibility for demonstrably reducing costs through economies of scale and process improvement of multiple transaction‐oriented tasks. An enterprise resource planning system is seen as key to realising those savings. Use of the SSC is compulsory and charged for. SSC management feels they require a good understanding of each task under their remit and are focused on leading change and developing an appropriate human resource base. Research limitations/implications – The research is exploratory in nature and limited by the empirical work consisting of a single case study. Additional case studies are required to determine if the findings are generalisable. Originality/value – A structured framework for the analysis of successful shared services is provided. A case study illustrates the application of that framework. Together, the theoretical and empirical components of the paper enhance understanding of the requirements for a successful SSC. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy Emerald Publishing

Characteristics of a successful shared services centre in the Australian public sector

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6166
DOI
10.1108/17506161011065208
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Organisations are increasingly looking to establish shared services centres (SSCs) yet there is limited guidance available. The paper aims to propose a structured framework that will form the basis for identifying a series of characteristics associated with a successful SSC. Design/methodology/approach – Based upon Scott‐Morton's organisational framework a series of dimensions were proposed for the analysis of SSCs. A case study was then presented as a starting point for identifying specific characteristics along each dimension associated with a successful SSC. Findings – Based on the framework, a case study highlights characteristics associated with a successful SSC. Specifically, the SSC is given responsibility for demonstrably reducing costs through economies of scale and process improvement of multiple transaction‐oriented tasks. An enterprise resource planning system is seen as key to realising those savings. Use of the SSC is compulsory and charged for. SSC management feels they require a good understanding of each task under their remit and are focused on leading change and developing an appropriate human resource base. Research limitations/implications – The research is exploratory in nature and limited by the empirical work consisting of a single case study. Additional case studies are required to determine if the findings are generalisable. Originality/value – A structured framework for the analysis of successful shared services is provided. A case study illustrates the application of that framework. Together, the theoretical and empirical components of the paper enhance understanding of the requirements for a successful SSC.

Journal

Transforming Government: People, Process and PolicyEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 3, 2010

Keywords: Public sector organizations; Resource sharing; Customer service; Case studies; Australia

References