Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Diffusion of Shared Service Centers – Based on Rational Arguments or Trends? A Case Study of the Motives and Decision-Making Process at Four Organizations

By David Persson and Philip Göransson


Background and problem: A palpable trend in organizations today is to centralize several finance departments and create a shared service center (SSC). Few previous studies have examined the motives behind this, and those that have often seem to implicitly assume that the motives are based on rational decision-making. As management ideas are known to spread as trends, we question the view that only rational motives are behind organizations adopting an SSC. Aim of study: The aim of this thesis is to investigate the motives behind the implementation of an SSC and understand if the decisions to implement shared services are based solely on rational motives or if trends are a factor as well. Methodology: Our case study is based on data collected at four different organizations that have implemented an SSC. At each organization, we conducted one semi-structured interview with a key person. Conclusions: We conclude that all four organizations have rational motives for implementing shared services. The main motive for all organizations was to save resources, either to use to focus on core activities or as a goal in itself (cost savings). The decision-making process behind the implementation was swift and it seems as though an SSC was seen as an obvious solution that did not require much investigation. To some extent, we believe that this had to do with external factors, such as trends. If SSCs were not a commonly used management idea, we believe that our studied organizations would have spent more time investigating whether to implement it. Thus, this suggests that their decision-making processes are not entirely rational

Topics: Shared Service Center, Centralization, Fad, Fashion, Trends, Efficient-choice, Abrahamson, Motives, Decision-making process
Year: 2012
OAI identifier:
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    1. (2003). Essentials of Shared Services.
    2. (2000). Management Fads and Buzzwords. Critical-Practical Perspectives.London: doi
    3. (2003). Vetenskaplig metod. 3rd ed.
    4. (1992). Samhällsvetenskaplig metod.
    5. (1994). Fallstudien som forskningsmetod.
    6. (2003). Forskningsmetodikens grunder: Att planera, genomföra och rapportera en undersökning. 3rd ed.
    7. (1970). Corporate Control and Economic Behavior.
    8. (1994). Case Study Research: Design and Methods. doi
    9. (1996). Management Fashion”, doi
    10. (1996). To Our Readers”, doi
    11. (1985). The macropolitics of organizational change: A comparative analysis of the spread of small group activities”, doi
    12. (1998). Management redeemed: The Case Against Fads That Harm Management”, doi
    13. (2006). Motives for establishing shared service centers in public administration”. doi
    14. (2008). Emerging shared service organizations and the service- 43 oriented enterprise – Critical management issues”. Strategic outsourcing: An international journal 1:1, doi
    15. (1999). A historical perspective on fad adoption and abandonment”, doi
    16. (2002). The secret of the Winners: Management Ideas That Flow”,
    17. (2006). Improving shared service implementation: adopting lessons from the BPR movement”. doi
    18. (2009). Implementing centers of excellence: a case study” AMCIS
    19. (1979). Explorations of the Usefulness of Case Study Evaluations”, doi
    20. Volvo Business Services.
    21. Svenska Kommunalarbetarförbundet.
    22. (2012). Other sources Accenture.
    23. (2010). Shared-service centers: A marketing approach to drive business value.
    24. (2010). Shared service center- En longitudinell studie av organisering och styrning av en ny kommunal serviceverksamhet,
    25. (2010). Annual Report. doi

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.