Assessing the potential of inter-organisational shared services

Yee, Hon Weng (Jonathan) (2009) Assessing the potential of inter-organisational shared services. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


Shared Services (SS) involves the convergence and streamlining of an organisation’s functions to ensure timely service delivery as effectively and efficiently as possible. As a management structure designed to promote value generation, cost savings and improved service delivery by leveraging on economies of scale, the idea of SS is driven by cost reduction and improvements in quality levels of service and efficiency. Current conventional wisdom is that the potential for SS is increasing due to the increasing costs of changing systems and business requirements for organisations and in implementing and running information systems. In addition, due to commoditisation of large information systems such as enterprise systems, many common, supporting functions across organisations are becoming more similar than not, leading to an increasing overlap in processes and fuelling the notion that it is possible for organisations to derive benefits from collaborating and sharing their common services through an inter-organisational shared services (IOSS) arrangement. While there is some research on traditional SS, very little research has been done on IOSS. In particular, it is unclear what are the potential drivers and inhibitors of IOSS. As the concepts of IOSS and SS are closely related to that of Outsourcing, and their distinction is sometimes blurred, this research has the first objective of seeking a clear conceptual understanding of the differences between SS and Outsourcing (in motivators, arrangements, benefits, disadvantages, etc) and based on this conceptual understanding, the second objective of this research is to develop a decision model (Shared Services Potential model) which would aid organisations in deciding which arrangement would be more appropriate for them to adopt in pursuit of process improvements for their operations. As the context of the study is on universities in higher education sharing administrative services common to or across them and with the assumption that such services were homogenous in nature, this thesis also reports on a case study. The case study involved face to face interviews from representatives of an Australian university to explore the potential for IOSS. Our key findings suggest that it is possible for universities to share services common across them as most of them were currently using the same systems although independently.

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ID Code: 26040
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Chan, Taizan & Gable, Guy
Keywords: shared services potential, outsourcing, inter-organisational shared services, financials, business process re-engineering, organisational design
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 30 Jun 2009 00:02
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:53

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