Shared Service Center

Shared Service Center is an organizational unit (= business unit) that delivers services to other business units. It is mostly established in international companies, usually with a yearly revenues above €500 million. International companies spread their business units around the globe. This leads to highly decentralized services in each of the business units which often is accompanied with the duplication of processes. Therefore, Shared Service Centers are intended to bundle services to gain higher effectiveness. Because Shared Service Centers specialize in processes in accounting, finance, personnel management etc. they should achieve a higher quality of these processes.


There are roughly estimates that 5.000 Shared Service Center are established worldwide. Most of them are located in countries with lower labour costs than the home countries of the corporation. However, multinational corporations spread their business units over the globe. Thus it is reasonable that shared services centers follow the same route. 

Research on Shared Service Centers is still in its infancy. We lack studies which inform us about the effects of Shared Service Centers on the overall effectiveness of the corporation. Until now, we only have anecdotal evidence of success  stories which lack research rigour.


In a first publication, Richter and Brühl (2017) screened the literature on Shared Service Centers, organized it and showed future potentials for this reseach stream. Additionally, the Arbeitskreis of the Schmalenbach Association publishes general recommendations for the implementation of a variety of management tools (see list below).   

Research partner: Philipp Richter, M.Sc.


Philipp Richter und Rolf Brühl: Shared service implementation in multidivisional or-ganizations: a meta-synthesis study, in: Journal of General Management, Volume 46, Issue 2, 2021, 73-90 (to the article). 


Rolf Brühl, Daniel Dornbusch, Karsten Hoyer, Konstanze Hölker, Thomas Laux, Robert Lieglein, Claus Peter Schründer, Stefan Troßbach: Human Resource Management in digitalisierten SSOs, in: Erfolgreiche digitale Transformation von Shared Services, hrsg. v. Thomas M. Fischer und Kai-Eberhard Lueg, Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, Jahrgang 71, Sonderheft 74, 2020, S. 75-125 (zum Artikel). 

Richter, Philipp, Brühl, Rolf: Ahead of the game: Antecedents for the success of shared service centers, in: European Management Journal, 38(3), 2020, 477-488  (link to the article).



Arbeiskreis Shared Services (2017) Digitale Transformation und Leadership in Shared Service Organisationen, in: Betriebswirtschaftliche Implikationen der digitalen Transformation, hrsg. v. Stefan Krause, Bernhard Pellens, Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 69(Sonderheft 72), 2017, S. 29 - 48 (to the article). 


Brühl, Rolf, Kajüter, Peter, Fischer, Thomas M., Hirsch, Stefan, Dornbusch, Daniel, Hoff-mann, Jörg, Vollmer, Marcell: Shared Services – Relevanz, Ziele und Entwicklungs-stand, in: Erfolgreiche Führung von Shared Services, hrsg. v. Fischer, Thomas M., Voll-mer, Marcell, Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 69(Sonderheft 70), 2017, S. 3-23 (to the article).


Kajüter, Peter, Brühl, Rolf, Finken, Thorben, Steuernagel, Martin, Troßbach, Stefan, Vollmer, Marcell: Konstitutive Entscheidungen zur Vorbereitung der SSC-Implementierung, in: Erfolgreiche Führung von Shared Services, hrsg. v. Fischer, Thomas M., Vollmer, Mar-cell, Zeitschrift für betriebswirtschaftliche Forschung, 69(Sonderheft 70), 2017, S. 25-59 (to the article).


Richter, Philipp, Brühl, Rolf: Shared service center research: A review of the past, present, and future, in: European Management Journal, 35(1), 2017, S. 26-38
(to the article).


Further Activities

I am member of Arbeitskreis Shared Service Center of Schmalenbach-Association which is composed of practioners of corporations and scholars interested in this field.