Interorganizational shared services: creating value across organizational boundaries

Paul C. van Fenema, Bianca Keers, Henk Zijm

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)
    18 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose: Sharing services increasingly extends beyond intraorganizational concentration of service delivery. Organizations have started to promote cooperation across their boundaries to deal with strategic tensions in their value ecosystem, moving beyond traditional outsourcing. This chapter addresses two research questions geared to the challenge of interorganizational shared services (ISS): why would organizations want to get and remain involved in ISS? And: what are the implications of ISS for (inter)organizational value creation?

    Design/methodology/approach: The conceptual chapter reviews literature pertaining to ISS from public, commercial, and nongovernmental sectors. ISS is understood as a multistakeholder organizational innovation. In order to analyze ISS and conduct empirical research, we developed a taxonomy and research framework.

    Findings: The chapter shows how ISS can be positioned in value chains, distinguishing vertical, horizontal, and hybrid ISS. It outlines ISS implications for developing business models, structures, and relationships. Success factors and barriers are presented that epitomize the dynamic interplay of organizational autonomy and interorganizational dependence.

    Research limitations/implications: The research framework offers conceptual ideas for theoretical and empirical work. Researchers involved in ISS studies may adopt strategic, strategic innovation, and organizational innovation perspectives.
    Practical implications — ISS phases are distinguished to focus innovation management — initiation, enactment, and evaluation. Furthermore, insights are provided into processes and interventions aimed at making ISS a success for participating organizations.

    Originality/value: Cross-sectoral perspective on ISS; taxonomy of ISS; research
    framework built on organization and strategic management literature.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationShared Services as a New Organizational Form
    EditorsTanya Bondarouk
    Place of PublicationBingley
    ISBN (Print)978-1-78350-535-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Publication series

    NameAdvanced Series in Management
    PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Limited
    ISSN (Print)1877-6361


    • Shared services
    • Interorganizational shared services
    • Interorganizational relationships
    • Value creation
    • Value chains
    • Innovation


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