Date of Award

Fall 12-6-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Richard Welke

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Wesley Johnston

Fourth Advisor

Jeanne Ross


IT services are increasingly being offered via a shared service model. This model promises the benefits of centralization and consolidation, as well as an increased customer satisfaction. Adopting shared services is not easy as it necessitates a major organizational change, with few documented exemplars to guide managers. This research explores a public IT unit’s realization of shared services with the intent to improve the transparency of its value proposition to their stakeholders. An ethnographic field study enabled in-situ data collection over a 24-month period. We analyzed the resulting, rich process data using the Punctuated Socio-Technical IS Change (PSIC) model. This resulted in several contributions: an explanatory account of shared services realization, an empirically grounded punctuated process model with seventeen critical incidents, and twelve key lessons for practitioners. Several extensions to extant process research methods are developed. These contributions combine to form a detailed and nuanced understanding of the process of realizing IT shared services at a large public university over a multi-year period.