Assessing the feasibility of using system dynamics in the evaluation of shared service centres
AuthorsAsante, Gregory Nathaniel Sekyi
Subjectsshared services and system dynamics
shared services critical success factors
shared services implementation
N100 Business studies
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractIn order to make businesses more effective and efficient, various approaches have been proposed to improve business structures and processes so as to better support corporate objectives. From the 1990’s onwards, enabled by advances in computer technology, one popular approach has been to develop a Shared Service Centre (SSC), whereby various (mostly back office) activities previously organised and attached to separate business units (often) on a national / regional basis, have been consolidated into a single SSC. In common with other business process improvement / re-engineering projects, the success of these transformations have been varied with both successes and failures reported. From the available literature, it was determined that the SSC transformation process especially with regards to the use of a decision support system such as System Dynamics (SD), that will allow for experimentation by SSC implementers has not been rigorously researched or published and thus this is the gap in knowledge that this research seeks to address. This research uses a multiple paradigm / mixed method (exploratory sequential) research approach (Case Study and System Dynamics). This research contends that, given the patchy outcomes, significant cost implications and the adverse impact on organisations when the SSC Transition / Transformation process fails, the current SSC Transition approaches (methodology) have not been effective. Given that the objective of the SSC Transition approach is to ensure a smooth implementation of the proposed Shared Service Centre, this research argues that a simulation approach, grounded in systems thinking, is a credible way of examining the transformation process and evaluating both the transition methodology and the potential outcomes from that process. This research therefore proposes the use of a decision support system (System Dynamics / Simulation) perspective as a credible way of evaluating Shared Service Centres prior to designing and building them and to enhance the project management methodology for SSCs. Furthermore, the research depicts the cause / effect relationship among the SSC Critical Success Factors. Policy intervention tools can then be generated to mitigate against any adverse findings. The research findings showed that, the proposed Shared Service Centre is impacted by three main factors, the selection of a service delivery model, SSC Critical Success Factors and the SSC Phases; and that there is a cause / effect relationship among the SSC Critical Success Factors. In addition, the motives and critical success factors for organisational change were also found to be applicable to SSCs; and that during the SSC Transition phase, SSC Critical Success Factors, Staff Management and the Management of Transactional Activities were found to be important for a successful transition. A further contribution to knowledge is that the use of SD enables the testing of the SSC phenomenon in a new setting. For future research, the constructed SD model can be used as a basis for future organisational SSC Transitions and policy development.
CitationAsante, G.N.S. (2019) 'Assessing the feasibility of using system dynamics in the evaluation of shared service centres'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of doctor of Philosophy.
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