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Corporate Headquarters

The latest study by Braxton reveals four trends:

1. Centralization is on the rise
The proportion of employees who work at corporate centers averaged 2.8% in 2009 and is thus more or less back up to the level of 2002 (3%). Three years ago, the figure had dropped sharply to just 2.3%. Around 73% of respondents expect the trend toward more centralized corporate structures to continue in future. This marks a significant change since 2005, when only 37% identified such a trend.

2. The importance of outsourcing is waning
The practice of farming out services remains limited to a few areas that are not part of management’s mandate. On the whole, the outsourcing trend is clearly in reverse. Only 44% of respondent companies outsource any staff functions at all, down from 53% three years ago.

3. More companies are using shared services
Support functions are increasingly being bundled in shared service centers. The proportion of companies that operate shared service constellations has risen from 38% in 2005 to 49% today.

4. Confusion often reigns regarding the roles played by different functions
Processes and roles are often split in ways that leave overlaps – and potential for conflict. Interfaces are not clearly defined. The roles of centralized and decentralized units are unclear.