Shared service centres (SSCs) are an organisational arrangement to deliver services. During SSC development organisations encounter a variety of challenges affecting its success or failure. Yet in this embryonic research field a systematic insight into management challenges is absent. Drawing on literature a taxonomy of 15 challenges is suggested that are illustrated with three case studies. Resource dependence, efficiency, population and knowledge perspectives are used as complementary views to provide a deeper understanding. Based on these four perspectives change management has to deal with resource dependencies and power struggles, achieving efficiency by minimising and managing costs, achieving survival in the long run within turbulent organisational environments and finally coordinating knowledge integration. Our results show that the (degree of importance of the) challenges encountered vary per situation. We argue that it is imperative to combine the theoretical perspectives to attain a richer understanding of the situation at hand. Our findings can be used as a solid basis for attaining an elaborate theory for the development of SSCs to mitigate implementation risks by managers. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.