A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of factors influencing successful shared service center implementation

Albert Plugge, Shahrokh Nikou, Marijn Janssen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    23 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose – Organizations nowadays require services supplied by Shared Service Centers (SSCs) to achieve organizational responsiveness. Previous contributions focused on distinct qualitative explorative factors for explaining successful Shared Service Centre (SSC) implementation but failed to consider the interdependencies and combined effects between factors.

    Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on complexity and configuration theories, this research employed a fuzzy-sets Qualitative Comparative Analysis. A unique dataset of 121 international firms was obtained to examine the combined effects of five conditions (factors), namely, modularization, standardization, decision-rights, portfolio, and customer-orientation.

    Findings – The findings show that multiple configurations of conditions (or solutions) can lead into successful SSC implementation. The fsQCA results indicated that portfolio and standardization are perceived as core conditions in all configurations. Firms that focus on portfolio and continuous evaluate customer-orientation are more likely to be successful. Furthermore, in some configurations the size of the firm size matters.

    Research limitations/implications – The cross-sectional survey data might be a potential limitation. In future research a more extensive survey can be collected to help generalize the results.

    Practical implications – Success factors are dependent on the SSC configuration. Standardization, portfolio management and regular evaluations of changing customer services by executive management are needed.

    Originality/value – To the best of the authors’ knowledge, there is no academic study that examines SSC implementation based on salient conditions using a configurational thinking approach. As such, the findings of the research allow us to better understand the causal complexity and interdependencies between essential SSC factors.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number4
    Pages (from-to)920-941
    JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2022
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Shared service center
    • configurational analysis
    • Plural Sourcing
    • portfolio
    • Standardisation
    • fsQCA


    Dive into the research topics of 'A fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis of factors influencing successful shared service center implementation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this