خدمات به اشتراک گذاشته شده به عنوان یک شکل جدید سازمانی : برخی مفاهیم حسابداری مدیریت
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|10309||2012||15 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : The British Accounting Review, Volume 44, Issue 2, June 2012, Pages 83–97
As an alternative approach to outsourcing, the Shared Service Organisation (SSO) model retains support services in-house. By re-locating in specialised sites, and by incorporating characteristics from business divisions, head office and outsourcing, the SSO is a new organisational form that combines a market-style, customer-centred, outlook with in-house management direction and control. Consultants claim that the SSO can reduce costs and improve support service quality, with the additional benefit that both control and knowledge remains located within the hierarchy of the firm. In order to critically review these claims and examine the specific novelty of the SSO, the paper interprets data from a longitudinal case study through the lens of institutional theory. Some implications for management accounting and management accountants are noted.
In a recent paper, Gospel and Sako (2010) distinguish between the unbundling of corporate support services and the vertical disintegration of primary activities ( Ezzamel et al., 2005, Gospel and Sako, 2010 and Porter, 1985). The research in this paper is focused on the unbundling of corporate and divisional support services and additionally distinguishes between the use of outsourcing as a key mode of delivery for support service activities ( Adler, 2003 and Barnes, 2004, p. 20) and the in-house re-organisation of service activities through the establishment of a shared service organisation (SSO).1 Although the SSO retains service activities in-house, many of the same strategic criteria that are used in an outsourcing decision, are applied to the SSO – the search to reduce costs, to re-engineer processes and to delineate core from peripheral activities. The focus in this paper is the impact of the SSO on the finance function, although other support services such as human resources have also been subjected to in-house re-organisation ( Cooke, 2006 and Farndale et al., 2009). The practitioner and consultant literature emphasises the potentially positive impact of the SSO as a mode of corporate unbundling. By concentrating service activities in a specialist business unit located at a carefully chosen site, possibly off-shore, it has been claimed that the SSO can substantially reduce the cost of support service provision. For example, Quinn, Cooke, and Kris (2000) suggested that an ‘easy’ 25–30% reduction in costs is possible; with the promise of further improvement as the SSO itself may be threatened by relocation to an even lower cost site or contracted out to third-party providers. It is also argued that the SSO should provide better service than the old functional service departments (Davis, 2005 and Ulrich, 1995). As SSOs are often linked to other organisational changes such as the introduction of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, advocates argue that the SSO offers the critical mass to re-engineer and standardise business processes using the best technology (Oliveira, 2010 and Ulbrich, 2006). The consolidation of workers within an SSO facilitates the use of the types of technologies developed in call-centre style operations which link voice, video and data interaction capability (Leach, 2004, p. 31; Schulman, Dunleavy, Harmer, & Lusk, 1999). The pertinent feature being that the resolution of a query or transaction will not be the exclusive responsibility of any one individual worker. Customers may speak to a different worker each time, yet continuity is maintained through a central, real-time, customer database. Standardisation of systems and technology may allow the SSO to employ cheaper junior staff but, conversely, the scale and new focus of the SSO should also enable it to recruit and concentrate top experts and professionals. Over time, this creates new core competencies to support and enhance the overall organisation. The list of benefits produced in the consultancy literature might suggest that the case for SSOs is compelling (for example, Accenture, 2005). Yet, academic research suggests a more mixed verdict. For example, Janssen and Joha (2006, p. 109) found that in a public service in the Netherlands several primary motives for the SSO model, such as cost reduction, access to higher skills, reduction of complexity, higher service levels, and so on, were not achieved although, some unanticipated benefits, such as sharing best practice and better security were realised serendipitously. Cooke (2006) tested the realisation of Reilly’s (2000) schedule of benefits in a sample of Human Resources SSOs, concluding that poor change management in practice had led to reduced ‘quantity and quality’ of service (Cooke, 2006, p. 221). Even some consultants have questioned the business case for the SSO. For example, Seddon, 2005 and Seddon, 2008 argues that the SSO embeds a ‘command and control’ culture which focuses too much on managing activity within the SSO. In terms of organisational transformation and changes in management accounting practices, the SSO appears to lack the radical impact of outsourcing. For example, Smith, Morris, and Ezzamel (2005)2 found that outsourcing caused organisational change and that ‘the more outsourcing is used, the more likely is the organisation to have made major changes in its management accounting systems’ (2005, p. 437). But, can similar claims be made for the SSO? For example, it could be argued that the SSO approach represents just another head-office driven, centralisation, project (ACCA, 2009); simply a variation on the traditional hierarchical, multi-divisional corporation (Chandler, 1962) in which a ‘button-downed’ management (Thrift, 2005) is reluctant to commit to genuinely new ways of organising support functions. This paper draws on institutional theory and, specifically, the models of organisational and management accounting change developed by Burns and Scapens (2000) and Dillard, Rigsby, and Goodman (2004). These theoretical models are used to interpret a longitudinal case study of an organisation that introduced an SSO model. The specific contributions of the paper are to understand the significance of the SSO and its role in the development of wider organisational processes including management accounting. To this end, the research questions addressed in this paper are as follows; Research Question 1: To what extent does the SSO constitute a new organisational form, and does it represent a conceptual change in the way that corporations are managed? Research Question 2: What are the implications of the SSO for the management accounting function? The paper proceeds in the next section by explaining how institutional theory, might be used to guide the interpretation of field data in terms of the nature and extent of organisational change caused by the introduction of the SSO model. In the third section, data from a case SSO are presented. The fourth section examines the extent to which the SSO model may be interpreted as a new organisational form with implications for the management accounting function. Finally, some tentative conclusions are advanced together with some suggestions for further research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Applying institutional theory to a longitudinal case study, the paper has analysed the establishment and development of an SSO model. The new organisational form was shown to be distinct from third-party outsourcing, and was both conceptually and operationally different from traditional centralisation projects, because it adopted hybrid practices combining a market orientation with ongoing hierarchical control. The paper contributes to the discourse about the evolving roles of management accounting by arguing that the SSO model generated new rules and routines across the whole corporation that had direct and indirect implications for the roles of management accountants. Whilst, the SSO was ostensibly premised on the cost cutting motivations of senior managers within a competitive industry, mimetic influences from the organisational fields together with specific pressure from the industry regulator also had a significant impact on the initial SSO project and its subsequent development. Once established, managers in the SSO developed their own agendas, organisational culture and espirit de couer which distinguished them from the traditional head-office mentality. With activities that were based on end-to-end processes that cut across individual roles, departments and functions, the establishment of the SSO resulted in the hybridisation of practice and expertise. The hybridisation of practice and expertise with the adoption of the SSO model was noted in the changed nature of management accounting. Released from the tedium of the transaction processing that was moved to the SSO, management accountants in the business units are now able to focus on providing support for management decision making, the so-called notion of ‘business partnering’. Furthermore, there are new roles for management accountants in managing the relationship between the SSO and the divisions and those management accountants in the SSO who have become specialists in systems design and process management. 5.1. Some suggestions for further research Overall, the SSO model holds significant implications for both organisational design and the nature of professional functions such as management accounting. Yet, the SSO field is still a relatively novel development and covers a wide variety of motivations, organisational forms, functional areas and implementation patterns. Given the emergent nature of the academic literature, particularly in the finance area, further research on the SSO is called for. In particular, there is much potential for surveying the views of ‘internal customers’ of the SSO model and the notion of ‘trust’ in a hybrid arrangement vis-à-vis outsourcing. It might also be of interest to consider further the implications of the SSO model in terms of threats and opportunities for individual accountants and their professional bodies.