Searching for Patterns of Competitive and Relational Contracting over Time: Do Prime and Subcontractor Networks Follow Similar Patterns?
Ponomariov, Branco Leonidov
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This paper explores and compares two sets of contractual relationships over a twelve-year period: the patterns of contracting between a state transportation agency and its prime contractors providing engineering design services, and between the prime- and sub-contractors. We find evidence that patterns of relational and competitive contracting may co-exist in the same contracting context. While the patterns of agency-prime contracting are indicative or relational contracting, the patterns of prime-sub contracting imply relatively more competitive processes. Implications for policy and theory of outsourcing are discussed.