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Using contracts to manage services: A study of contracts in public transport
Karlstad University, Faculty of Economic Sciences, Communication and IT, Department of Business Administration.
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Contracts play a key role in many business to business relationships. Service organisations are no exception. Despite a growing interest of services and how services are managed, research on how to use contracts to manage services has been surprisingly sparse in service research. The overall aim of this thesis is to contribute to a deeper understanding of using contracts to manage services in business-to-business relationships. Contract theories together with concepts from service research are used to enrich and understand how contracts are used to manage services and thus make contributions to service research. The thesis will give an empirically grounded understanding of managing services through contracts.

The thesis consists of six separate papers, all based on data gathered from contractual relationships between contractors and service providers. The results are based on studies of authentic contracts which are not the case in most previous studies. The methods used for gathering and analysing data involve case studies, content analysis of authentic contracts, interviews and document studies of the public transport sector in Sweden which is an empirically rich area for studying contracts.

The three main contributions of this dissertation are; firstly, an extended understanding of how contracts are used to manage the prerequisites for service quality for the parties involved. It was found that the concept service quality is brought forward on three interdependent managerial levels; from a detailed operational level, to a systemic oriented strategic level, and also a visionary rhetorical level each specifying the prerequisite for the services. To manage the prerequisites, the contracts rely on three identified means; laws and regulations, standards and measurements and economical incentives. Secondly, the detailed contents and rigidity of the contracts bring forward an inflexible and asymmetric relationship, where the parties are restricted in their activities. Here the contracts become a substitute for trust and commitment instead of supporting the development of trust and commitment. Finally, the thesis deepen the understanding of the role of contracts in governing services, from being a static abbreviator to a dyadic market based relationship, to becoming a dynamic tool for developing and sustaining a value creating and value driven collaborative network.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Karlstad: Karlstad University , 2011. , 99 p.
Series
Karlstad University Studies, ISSN 1403-8099 ; 2011:20
Keyword [en]
Contracts, services, service quality, business-to-business relationship, public transport
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7236ISBN: 978-91-7063-352-2OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-7236DiVA: diva2:405880
Public defence
2011-04-29, 11D 227, Erlandersalen, Karlstads universitet, Karlstad, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-03-23 Last updated: 2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Service quality on three management levels: a study of service quality in public tendering contracts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Service quality on three management levels: a study of service quality in public tendering contracts
2010 (English)In: International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, ISSN 1756-669X, Vol. 2, no 3, 317-334 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7285 (URN)10.1108/17566691011090053 (DOI)
Note
An earlier version of the paper was presented at the 12th QMOD/ICQSS and Toulon-Verona Conference, Verona, Italy in 2009 where it was awarded best PhD paper.Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
2. Contracting for service quality: managing the prerequisite for service
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contracting for service quality: managing the prerequisite for service
2011 (English)In: Managing Service Quality, ISSN 0960-4529Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7286 (URN)
Note

An earlier version of the paper was presented at the 13th QMOD/ICQSS Conference in Cottbus, Germany 2010.

Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2013-05-15Bibliographically approved
3. Contract partner relationships: a study of managing relationships in public transport
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contract partner relationships: a study of managing relationships in public transport
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7287 (URN)
Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
4. To trust or not to trust: formal contracts and the building of long-term relationships
Open this publication in new window or tab >>To trust or not to trust: formal contracts and the building of long-term relationships
2011 (English)In: Management Decision, ISSN 0025-1747, E-ISSN 1758-6070, Vol. 49, no 3, 365-383 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7288 (URN)10.1108/00251741111120752 (DOI)000290929800004 ()
Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2011-10-18Bibliographically approved
5. Contractual Governance for Sustainable Service
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contractual Governance for Sustainable Service
2005 (English)In: Qualitative Research in Accounting and Management, ISSN 1176-6093, Vol. 2, no 1, 29-53 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7289 (URN)10.1108/11766090510635370 (DOI)
Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved
6. Contractual Governance for Public Service Value Networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contractual Governance for Public Service Value Networks
2011 (English)In: Journal of Service Management, ISSN 1757-5818, Vol. 22, no 2Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-7290 (URN)10.1108/09564231111124235 (DOI)000290921200005 ()
Available from: 2011-04-06 Created: 2011-04-06 Last updated: 2011-10-24Bibliographically approved

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