Ex Post Contract Market Structure\Implications for Performance Over Time

Source: Julia L. Carboni, American Review of Public Administration, October 2015

Abstract: Government increasingly relies on complex arrangements of providers to deliver public services. There is burgeoning public administration literature on contract management and performance. This literature emphasizes contract management strategies such as contract design and ex post monitoring and relationship building to promote contractor performance. The literature does not examine effects of structural variables on contract performance in ex post contract markets, though work on interorganizational networks has long established that structural factors influence individual performance. This study examines the influence of structural variables on publicly funded contract performance in networked structures of exchange using 5 years of state-level contract data. Network concepts are used to develop contracts as networked exchange structures and develop measures of structural embeddedness for individual programs. Findings include that the structural embeddedness of individual programs influences individual contract performance on quality and cost dimensions over time.