University of Twente Student Theses


HR shared service center developments: analysing professional findings

Balen, M.L. van (2008) HR shared service center developments: analysing professional findings.

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Abstract:Within the field of Human Resources there is a significant gap between academic and professional writings. This was also noticeable when we looked at the subject of Human Resources Shared Service Centers (HR SSCs). The lack of academic writings contrasted sharply with the professional attention it got over the last few years. In this research a literature study was conducted to develop an insight into the professional findings about HR SSCs. To conduct this study we used professional writings and thus evaded the gap of academic research. As such, the interrelated research questions were: “What are the lessons learned from the professional HR literature about HR SSC?” “In which way can HR SSCs be modelled on the basis of those lessons?” 34 Articles from professional HR journals were selected out of a sample of 78. These articles were then analyzed with the Grounded Theory (GT) method. With this method we interpreted the articles according to our own insights and developed categories and properties around the mentioned phenomena. By connecting these categories and properties we made a conceptualization of the practitioner findings. The conceptualization led to the following conclusions: ‘Brand development’ or ‘Service Improvement’ motivations for deploying a HR SSC led to more positive impacts and a higher success rate; Solely ‘Economical’ motivations were not enough to achieve positive impacts; Risks anticipated were a good predictor for eventual impacts; HR SSCs had more strong impacts as they grew over time. Thus if organizations wanted to have a better operating HR SSC, the focus should not be on economical motivations. Instead, to leverage the full advantage of a HR SSC, organizations should operate a HR SSC out of a differed motivation. It was mentioned however that all the results were influenced by the interpretations of the author and the articles used. Finally we tried to close the gap between professionals and academics by giving recommendations to academics for future research on the basis of the practitioner writings. The first recommendation was to examine what will actually change when different risks were anticipated. A second recommendation was to research why HR SSCs, which were deployed for economical motives, did not achieve as many positive aspects as HR SSCs which were deployed for different motivations. The third and last recommendation was to research the development of HR SSCs through time. In our research it was perceived that they seemed to have more positive impacts when time passed by. The question was raised if this was truly the case.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration BSc (56627)
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