Employee Engagement in Shared Services Teams in a Regional University Context

Doctorate other than PhD

Davis, Kym. 2022. Employee Engagement in Shared Services Teams in a Regional University Context. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Business Administration. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/w7544

Employee Engagement in Shared Services Teams in a Regional University Context

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorsDavis, Kym
1. FirstDr Kim Southey
2. SecondDr Joe Zhou
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Business Administration
Number of Pages207
PublisherUniversity of Southern Queensland
Place of PublicationAustralia
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/w7544

The purpose of this study was to explore the factors that enhance and inhibit employee engagement (EE) in shared services (SS) teams in a regional university (RU) context. To date, much of the research on SS has focused on IT, HR and Finance business units where the concept of SS first emerged, and has tended to focus on critical success factors, methods of implementation, frameworks, and case studies, with limited attention paid to EE. Additionally, there has been scant research undertaken on the experiences of professional staff in a RU context. This study sought to address this limitation. This research involved a qualitative approach and uses thematic analysis to understand the lived experiences of employees, with data collected via 16 semi-structured interviews, and two focus groups. The findings of this study indicated that the meaning of EE is consistent with the literature and definition used in this thesis. If participants were not sure of what EE was they were sure of what EE was not. The study aligned with Saks (2006, 2019) descriptions of the antecedents of EE, particularly in regard to job characteristics and the use of skills and abilities. The study extends on the Job Demands Resources Model (JD-R) to develop an understanding of those job and personal resources that influence EE in SS teams in a RU context. Discussions, that extended from the extant literature incorporated expectations of self, co-workers and colleagues, and those with institutional power such as supervisors and managers setting the foundation for the rules of engagement (RoE). Perceptions of fairness also influenced EE. People working in SS teams were highly supportive of working in SS environments. However, they also felt the tension of generalised and broad job descriptions associated with SS services. This study recommends a holistic SS design approach with a number of elements that are important to enhance EE. This includes considerations around the physical location of the SS team. Strategies for harnessing the knowledge discovered here are provided, including communicating the shared vision of the SS. Central to the enhancement of EE in SS teams in a RU context is the need to create a sense of connection, between people, place and purpose. This research will inform practitioners, human resource specialists, and policy makers by providing a deeper understanding on EE in SS in a RU context through the development of a greater understanding of the experiences of employees who work in such teams.

KeywordsEmployee engagement; shared services; professional staff; regional university
Contains Sensitive ContentDoes not contain sensitive content
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350503. Human resources management
350507. Workplace wellbeing and quality of working life
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Business
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