11:00 AM to
You are invited to hear from, Craig Smith, Assistant Professor, School of Government & Public Policy, University of Arizona, present, \"Contract Design in the New Governance.\"
Free to attend. This event will take place on Tuesday, February 12 from noon to 1:30 p.m. in the Parrington Forum (Room 309).
The New Governance is characterized by an increasing reliance on hybrid governance arrangements, including long-term contracts for services. To date, much of the public management literature has treated contracts as relatively homogenous governance mechanisms. We argue that heterogeneous contracts are social artifacts from which we can gain a better understanding of how relationships and the nature of the task help determine the levels of control and coordination agreed upon by the exchange parties. We content analyze contracts with Indiana state agencies for legal services. We first examine the variation in accountability provisions (i.e. control) written into the contracts. Not surprisingly, public management has paid considerable attention to accountability concerns related to contracting professional services. Our findings suggest that socially embedded relationships, which develop through repeated interaction, reduce the propensity of formal accountability mechanisms written into the contract. However, unlike accountability and control, less attention has been given to designing contracts for decision-flexibility. Yet, the efficient and effective transfer of knowledge often requires the collocation of decision authority with the knowledge that is valuable to those decisions. We find that contracts characterized by complexity exhibit greater levels of decision flexibility.