Contract relationships are becoming ever more essential to business, non-profit and governmental organizations. Operations formerly thought of as “core”, such as HR or distribution, are rationalized for outsourcing. Information technology has shifted from “build” to “buy”. Purchasers of complex goods and services are often looking to shift whole domains of risk to providers, and providers in turn seek to limit their obligations. Dependencies and risk exposures can extend to counterparties’ contracting partners and beyond (eg, supply chain risk). For many organizations, contract management is a core competency — and one that cannot be contracted away. Management techniques, including information and control structures, that used to reside within an organization have moved outward and become the subject of contract.
\r\nCAROLYN PARIS, London School of Economics
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