Exploring and Comparing HR Shared Services in Subsidiaries of Multinational Corporations and Indigenous Organisations in The Netherlands: A Strategic Response Analysis

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Human resource shared service centres (HR SSCs) are said to make optimal use of information technologies. Especially for MNCs, utilising HR SSCs supported by information technology increases the pressure to standardise or localise the HR SSC operations within their subsidiaries. In this paper, we explore whether what we call the content of HR SSCs (i.e. their HR activities and governance structures) is different in MNC subsidiaries to that of indigenous organisations. In so doing, we build on neo-institutional theory and the strategic response concept for uncovering how HR SSCs respond to local institutional pressures to become different or similar. As such, we contribute to the standardisation-localisation debate by responding to the call for more research into the response mechanisms that explain why MNC subsidiaries and indigenous organisations are similar or different. Further, by exploring eighteen Dutch HR SSCs in terms of their activities and governance structures, we contribute to the HR shared services literature by empirically illuminating the key characteristics of shared services: the centralisation of activities and the decentralisation of control
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469-492
JournalEuropean journal of international management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013



  • METIS-296690
  • IR-86281

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