Assessment of evolution and value creation within Irish based shared services - how the focus has changed

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Olszak, Ilona
Issue Date
MBA in Finance
Dublin Business School
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Shared Services Organisations (SSOs) emerged in the late eighties as an alternative to the centralisation and decentralisation models. This new concept promised long-term cost savings, high quality service delivery and enabled knowledge sharing. Rising globalisation and advancement in technology were (main contributors to the) or (were catalysts for the) development of SSOs. Today SSOs are one of the most popular organisational forms implemented by businesses in a variety of fields. Most studies concentrate on the benefits and disadvantages of shared services, whereas less insight is given to the evolution and value creation within those. The purpose of this research is to investigate how the debates over the organisational structure influenced development of shared services. The researcher endeavours to prove that shared services are no longer used for transaction processing. The researcher will verify that shared services have evolved since their initial introduction becoming a source of value creation for the business. The first part of this study concentrates on the structural review of the literature underlying the theories on organisational structure, the background on SSOs and the value creation concept. In the second part the researcher will present the design, implementation and the results of primary data collection method chosen for the purpose of this research, semi-structured interviews with five shared services leaders and one representative of Irish Development Agency (IDA). This research aims to give insights and knowledge on how value is created within SSOs. In addition the researcher will provide practical the researcher aims to provide the practical recommendations applicable and useful for SSOs leaders who want to expand the scope of their organisations, while becoming a strategic asset for the corporation. Author keywords: Organisational structure, value creation, strategy management, shared services centres, management, shared services organisations, financial shared services