ایجاد ترتیبات خدمات مشترک برون سپاری شده: درس هایی از بخش دولتی
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : European Management Journal, Volume 29, Issue 6, December 2011, Pages 448–461
Shared services arrangements have been viewed as a strategy for achieving efficiencies and improved service in back-office functions such as finance and accounting, human resource, and procurement. Organisations have been increasingly turning to vendors to implement and manage outsourced shared services arrangements. Analysing the experiences of a public sector organisation, this paper provides a detailed understanding of the issues involved in creating outsourced shared services arrangements. The findings have the highlighted the importance of strong governance to drive standardisation and performance improvement, and relationship building both internally with the staff affected by the changes and externally with vendors. Failure to implement a standardised approach will hinder an organisation from fully leveraging the specialist capabilities of external vendors.
Shared services arrangements have been increasing in prominence in both the private and public sectors, encompassing a range of back-office functions such as finance and accounting (F&A), human resource (HR), procurement, information technology (IT), and facilities management. Shared services involve consolidating and standardising common tasks associated with a business function across different parts of the organisation into a single services centre (Bergeron, 2003). These services are then provided by the service centre to other parts of the organisation. Shared services centres can be owned and operated by the organisation, or outsourced to independent vendors. Although many services provided by back-office functions are not visible to customers, they have a major impact on service quality, particularly when they are not performing properly. Shared services has been viewed as a strategy for achieving both efficiencies and improved service performance levels, as organisations have strived to reduce costs and enhance performance in back-office functions (Davis, 2005). The Cabinet Office in the UK has estimated that there is scope for saving 20% from the £7 billion expenditure on central and local government F&A and HR services by implementing shared services (Davis, Fawcett, & Dodimead, 2007). Unfortunately, the pace of shared service developments in practice has not been matched by that of academic inquiry, particularly in the case of outsourced shared services (Redman, Snape, Wass, & Hamilton, 2007). Organisations are increasingly turning to vendors to implement and manage shared services, as they lack the necessary internal skills and experience. Although the drivers and motives for outsourced shared services are well established in the literature (Lepak et al., 2005 and Woodall et al., 2009) there are few studies providing detailed insights into the issues involved in planning and implementing such changes. Shared services arrangements involve complex issues such as specifying the shared services delivery model, managing the expectations of stakeholders, redesigning business processes, implementing standard processes, and driving and sustaining change (Lacity & Fox, 2008). The aim of this paper is to develop a detailed understanding of the issues involved in creating outsourced shared services arrangements, and provide lessons for managers considering such arrangements. In particular, the paper highlights the challenges of shared services, and potential strategies for dealing with these challenges. This paper analyses the experiences of a UK public sector organisation (referred to as ‘the organisation’ throughout the paper to ensure anonymity) that established an outsourced HR shared services arrangement. The shared services arrangement involved transforming the HR function across eleven government departments, replacing outdated IT systems, modernising payroll and HR processes, and providing centralised administrative HR services from an outsourced shared services centre. This was a highly complex, large scale outsourced shared services arrangement involving almost 30,000 users of HR services ranging from senior management to clerical officer level. In line with much of the recent writing on the role of the HR function, the underlying philosophy behind the transformation was to create a shared services centre to handle routine queries and transactions which would allow the retained HR function in the departments to focus on more strategic HR activities (Lepak et al., 2005 and Ulrich et al., 2008). Following this brief introduction, a review of the literature on why and how shared services centres have emerged as a potential strategy for the delivery of organisational functional services is presented. In the next section, the case study organisation, which formed the arena for the data collection and research approach taken, is discussed. The findings section, structured around the research questions proposed at the end of the literature review, outlines how the organisation created the outsourced shared services arrangement. In the discussion section the implications for organisations moving towards such shared services arrangements are discussed. Lessons for managers are then proposed. Finally, in the conclusions section the contribution and limitations of the research are outlined.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The research makes a number of important contributions. Although outsourced shared services can offer the benefits of accessing superior vendor capabilities it is unlikely such benefits will be achieved unless the affected function buys into the process. Where the function affected has a high level of autonomy it will be more difficult to standardise processes, therefore diluting the benefits of shared services. Failure to implement a standardised approach will hinder an organisation from fully leveraging the specialist capabilities of external vendors. An organisation should improve its policies prior to implementation, as inconsistencies in policies will hinder standardisation efforts and create confusion between the client and vendor on the responsibility for tasks during the contract. The research findings have the highlighted the importance of strong governance to drive standardisation and performance improvement, and relationship building both internally with the staff affected by the changes and externally with vendors. It is important to build relationships with staff at both senior and lower levels that are impacted by the changes. As authors such as Loup and Koller (2005) have argued, building relationships through involvement in project decision making and communication will help to create greater ownership of the new arrangement and obtain buy-in from staff at lower levels. There has to be a clear and persuasive communications strategy to ensure that there is a full understanding amongst internal stakeholders of the rationale and motives for shared services is achieved. This is even more important in the case of outsourced shared services where the potential for resistance is greater amongst internal staff as a result of job security concerns (Buchanan et al., 2005). Moreover, building strong collaborative relationships with vendors is important in the presence of complex client requirements and the need for performance improvement. There are a number of limitations with research. In adopting a single case study approach, it is difficult to generalise the significance of the research in relation to a wider organisational population. The research in this paper focused on a public sector organisation. Therefore, there is a need to carry out research in shared services across a wider number of organisational settings, which would facilitate the development or testing of research hypotheses or propositions. Also, as is often the case with case study research, when combining much data from a wide variety of sources, and over a long time period, the researchers’ analysis of the findings is often a significant ‘reality’ filter (Gummesson, 1991). Finally, the research focused on the HR function alone, and there is a need to carry out research in other functional areas such as F&A and procurement to enhance our understanding of shared services.