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Service Unbounded: A Contract Management Dilemma

John Barczak, Elizabeth H. Jones, Scott Shindledecker
January 1, 2015
North America
Ethics & Social Justice, Strategy & General Management
4 pages
Project management, contract management, ethics, government contracting, outsourcing
Student Price: 
$4.00 (€3.82)
Average rating: 

Nathan O’Rourke’s simple service contract became complicated when the contractor he was responsible for chose to work beyond the scope of the contract. Although he knew the contractor worked at risk with the best of intentions, there was a mess to clean up because the contractor continued to perform contractual duties beyond the period of performance outlined in the contract. O’Rouke had to decide the best course of action to take with his superior and with the contractor under his supervision. The incident had ethical and legal implication, considered the situation from both sides of the contract, and offered a glimpse of how challenging contract management can be. This decision critical incident is representative of a common ethical challenge faced by contract managers throughout all branches of government.

Learning Outcomes: 
  1. Examine ethical issues associated with contract management.
  2. Predict how customer/contractor relationships may change over time.
  3. Distinguish when outsourcing may or may not be appropriate.
  4. Assemble best practices for project outsourcing.