What is shared services?

Soalheira, Joseph & Timbrell, Greg (2014) What is shared services? In Bondarouk, Tanya (Ed.) Shared Services as a New Organizational Form. Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 67-84.

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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.


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.


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.

Impact and interest:

0 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 88683
Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 9781783505357
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Deposited On: 20 Oct 2015 05:50
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2017 21:01

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