In a competitive environment, companies continuously innovate to offer superior services at lower costs. 'Shared Services' have been extensively adopted in practice as a means for improving organizational performance. Shared Services are considered most appropriate for support functions and are widely adopted in human resource management, finance and accounting, and more recently employed as an information systems (IS) function. As computer-based corporate information systems have become de facto and the backbone of administrative systems, the technical impediments to sharing have come down dramatically. As this trend continues, ClOs and IT professionals need a deeper understanding of the Shared Services phenomenon. Yet, analysis of IS academic literature reveals that Shared Services, though mentioned in more than 100 articles, has received little in depth attention. This paper investigates the current status of Shared Services in IS literature. The authors present a detailed review of literature from main IS journals and conferences. The paper concludes with a tentative operational definition, a list of perceived main objectives of Shared Services, and an agenda for related future research.
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