Managing Organizations vs. Managing by Contract


Project Summary:

Over the last twenty-five years there has been a major shift within many states towards a series of delivery models generically described as “alternative service delivery”. This includes contracting-out service delivery to private for-profit firms, as well as hybrid solutions such creating internal markets, partnerships to deliver services with community organizations and also public-private partnerships (where private for-profit firms partner with the state in a collaborative venture) to name just a few. What all of these approaches have in common is that the traditional approach to the delivery of services, the deployment of resources via an organization arranged in a bureaucratic hierarchy is suspended. Instead a contract is entered into between the state organization acting as a purchaser and another party, with the services being delivered according to the terms of this contract. Using the existing literature, as well as interviews with current public managers in local government, the Ontario public service and the public service of Canada, this research seeks to uncover the different skills, tools and preparation needed to manage by contracts as opposed to managing organizations. Ultimately, this information will be used to assess and advocate for improvements in the curriculum of public administration programs so as to better prepare graduates for management positions in a world where managing by contract will be an everyday part of their work.

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Self-Funded

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P.I.

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