HR Shared Service Centers: From Brand Management Towards Success

HR Shared Service Centers: From Brand Management Towards Success

Mitchell van Balen (University of Twente, The Netherlands) and Tanya Bondarouk (University of Twente, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-304-3.ch025
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In this chapter the authors consider articles in professional literature regarding Human Resource Centers, with the goal to explore issues raised by practice: motivation, risk analysis, structure and implementation. Using Grounded Theory approach, they analysed 34 articles, and through open and axial coding, we have modeled the HR SSC’s.
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Introduction And Research Questions

A SSC can be viewed as a particular kind of sourcing arrangement having a long-term and strategic impact (Bergeron, 2003). The popularity of SSC’s originate in a combination of advantages, including efficiency gains and an increase in service quality without giving up the control of the organizational and technical arrangements and expertise (Janssen and Joha, 2006).

Bergeron (2003) states that SSC’s are designed to promote efficiency, value generation, cost savings, and improved service for internal customers of the parent corporation.

Given the hybridisation of centralized and decentralized models in SSC’s, their promises reflect that structural dilemma:

  • By centralizing HR activities, the basic promise is that HR services are provided by a local unit with relatively low costs (broadening the scope and scale of services, elimination of redundant HR functions, clarification of communication lines, minimizing response time for remote clients);

  • By decentralizing HR activities, the basic premise is that HR services become more flexible (alignment with the corporate needs, synergy of HR services, increase of mutual learning).

Definitions of HR SSC abound, with little consistency or agreement in sight. Why do we need to know those definitions? The answer is rather simple: even minor variants in terminology may result in the study of different phenomenon, or of various subsets of the possible sourcing population (Willcocks et al, 2006).

We follow Janssen and Joha (2006) and define SSC as … a separate and accountable semi-autonomous unit within an (inter)organizational entity, used to bundle activities and provide specific pre-defined services to the operational units within that (inter)organizational entity, on the basis of agreed conditions (ibid, p. 102).

SSCs thus are regarded to enable companies to maintain control of core support functions, avoid duplications, and offer services more efficiently and at lower cost (Cooke, 2000).

Several reasons pushed an HRM field into the Shared Service arrangements. We claim that those reasons are:

  • Growth of the HRM function in size and costs that requested new efficient structures;

  • Diversity of HR processes and practices that called for unification especially within global and international organizations;

  • Emerging of ERP packages that offered enabling technological structures for HR outsourcing;

  • Globalization that put a high pressure on organizations when global alliances, acquisitions, joint ventures, and competitors resulted in situations that companies were simultaneously customers, vendors, competitors and distributors. This requested HR to experiment with new organizational forms to increase the speed and accuracy of organizational diagnoses, and to facilitate the allocation of resources to areas where they were most needed (Wright et al., 1999);

  • Inflexibility of organizational structure called for SSC’s that were viewed to give organizations a greater degree of structural flexibility to respond to business changes (Cooke, 2006).

It is not surprising, therefore, that HR SSC’s are popular in organizational life. And it is also true that the first knowledge about HR SSC was accumulated within so-called professional literature since end of 1990’s. In our research we were interested in the knowledge developed by practitioners about HR SSC. It is fairly much agreed upon in the HR world that a gap exists between research and practitioner writings (Dipboye, 2005; Deadrick and Gibson, 2007). The practitioner writings on the subject grew significantly, however the academic literature seemed to be lacking behind (Cooke 2006). Therefore, in this chapter we aim to study professional literature in order to gain insights into HR SSCs from practice, and to model the concept of HR SSC’s based on the findings from this literature.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Implementation Phase: of HR SSC is the level of development of the HR SSC(s)

Success of HR SSC: is the perceived attitude towards HR SSCs

Impact on HR: is the reported consequences/outcomes within an organization when an HR SSC was deployed

Risk: is the anticipated troubles while or before adopting an HR SSC

HR SSC: is a result responsible unit, internally positioned, that works on the basis of agreements for organizational departments on a client-contractor basis (adapted from Jansen and Joha, 2006)

Motivation: is the motives used to choose for adopting the SSC form for HR

Form Chosen: is the factual or planned set-up of an HR SSC within an organization

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Tanya Bondarouk, Huub Ruel, Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
Tanya Bondarouk, Huub Ruel, Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
Chapter 1
Steve Foster
Several organisations have adopted e-HRM technology as a platform for achieving transformational change, improving HR operational processes... Sample PDF
Making Sense of e-HRM: Transformation, Technology and Power Relations
Chapter 2
Cataldo Dino Ruta
Intellectual capital is today considered a key issue in analyzing the critical determinants of company performance. Companies design more and more... Sample PDF
HR Portal: A Tool for Contingent and Individualized HRM
Chapter 3
Barbara Imperatori, Marco De Marco
The evolution of the managerial discourse is the result of fashion lifecycles that sometimes have no rational or technical foundations and find no... Sample PDF
E-Work and Labor Processes Transformation
Chapter 4
Gerwin Koopman, Ronald Batenburg
This chapter theoretically and empirically addresses the notion that user participation and involvement is one of the important factors for IS... Sample PDF
Early User Involvement and Participation in Employee Self-Service Application Deployment: Theory and Evidence from Four Dutch Governmental Cases
Chapter 5
Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain, Ewan Oiry
In organizations, researchers as well as professionals have generally observed insufficient use of computer technologies when compared to their... Sample PDF
Does User Centered Design, Coherent with Global Corporate Strategy, Encourage Development of Human Resource Intranet Use?
Chapter 6
Nawaf Al-Ibraheem, Huub Ruël
Companies new to the e-HRM technologies are overwhelmed by the dilemma of choosing either the ready-made, off-the-shelf e-HRM systems, or develop... Sample PDF
In-House vs. Off-the-Shelf e-HRM Applications
Chapter 7
Pieternel Kuiper, Betsy van Dijk
Adaptation of electronic forms (e-forms) seems to be a step forward to reduce the burden for people who fill in forms. Municipalities more and more... Sample PDF
Adaptive Municipal Electronic Forms
Chapter 8
Hazel Williams, Carole Tansley, Carley Foster
Global, enterprise-wide, information systems (GEIS) projects are often delayed with budget over-runs often due to a lack of understanding of the key... Sample PDF
HRIS Project Teams Skills and Knowledge: A Human Capital Analysis
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Adam Smale, Jukka-Pekka Heikkilä
The design and implementation of a globally integrated e-HRM system within a multinational corporation (MNC) requires different parties to reach... Sample PDF
IT-Based Integration of HRM in a Foreign MNC Subsidiary: A Micro-Political Perspective
Chapter 10
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Research on Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) implementation lacks theoretical depth and richness. For that reason this paper applies a... Sample PDF
Studying Human Resource Information Systems Implementation using Adaptive Structuration Theory: The Case of an HRIS Implementation at Dow Chemical Company
Chapter 11
Jonas F. Puck, Dirk Holtbrügge, Alexander T. Mohr
This chapter empirically analyses the influence of the cultural context on the comprehensiveness to which companies in different countries make use... Sample PDF
Applicant Information and Selection Strategies in Corporate Web Site Recruiting: The Role of National Culture
Chapter 12
Emma Parry, Shaun Tyson
HR practitioners are often expected to be both efficient administrators of the employment relationship and to act as a strategic partner to the... Sample PDF
What is the Potential of E-Recruitment to Transform the Recruitment Process and the Role of the Resourcing Team?
Chapter 13
Pramilla Rao
This chapter will address the role of national culture on e-recruitment practices in India and Mexico. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and... Sample PDF
The Role of National Culture on E-Recruitment in India and Mexico
Chapter 14
Marielba Zacarias, Rodrigo Magalhães, José Tribolet
This chapter will address the role of national culture on e-recruitment practices in India and Mexico. The GLOBE (Global Leadership and... Sample PDF
Modeling Human Resources in the Emergent Organization
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Utilizing the Lead User Method for Promoting Innovation in E-Recruiting
Chapter 16
Sven Laumer, Andreas Eckhardt
In 2007 Erickson and Gratton asked “What it means to work here” and discussed the need for a structured approach to establishing an employer image... Sample PDF
What Makes the Difference? Introducing an Integrated Information System Architecture for Employer Branding and Recruiting
Chapter 17
Karine Guiderdoni-Jourdain
The subject of our communication will be a better understanding of how the regulation between the on line HR designers and HR experts is built, and... Sample PDF
The Enrichment of the HR Intranet Linked to the Regulation's Process Between HR Actors
Chapter 18
Tanya Bondarouk, Vincent ter Horst, Sander Engbers
This research focuses on acceptance of Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) in medium sized organizations. We look at general SME’s in The... Sample PDF
Exploring Perceptions about the Use of e-HRM Tools in Medium Sized Organizations
Chapter 19
Loubna Tahssain, Mouna Zgheib
The changing business environment and increasing technology is redefining the role of the human resources function. Nowadays, corporations have to... Sample PDF
Perceived Performance of the Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) and Perceived Performance of the Management of Human Resources (HRM)
Chapter 20
Leon Welicki, Javier Piqueres Juan, Fernando Llorente Martin, Victor de Vega Hernandez
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Employee Life-Cycle Process Management Improvement with Web-Enabled Workflow Systems
Chapter 21
Manel Guechtouli, Widad Guechtouli
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Information Technologies' Impact on Individual Learning Process: The Case of a Community of Practice
Chapter 22
Valéry Michaux
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What are the Main Impacts of Internet and Information and Communication Technology on Unions and Trade Unionism? An Exploratory Research in Europe and North America
Chapter 23
Isabelle Parot
In this communication, the author attempts to answer the question of coordination in virtual teams (or remote teams). Virtual teams can result from... Sample PDF
Coordination of Virtual Teams: From Trust to Control
Chapter 24
Jeroen ter Heerdt, Tanya Bondarouk
In this chapter the authors present a revision of the information overload concept elaborated by Eppler and Mengis (2004). The main elements of our... Sample PDF
Information Overload in the New World of Work: Qualitative Study into the Reasons
Chapter 25
Mitchell van Balen, Tanya Bondarouk
In this chapter the authors consider articles in professional literature regarding Human Resource Centers, with the goal to explore issues raised by... Sample PDF
HR Shared Service Centers: From Brand Management Towards Success
About the Contributors