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The Strategic Management of High Technology Contracts

High technology research laboratories are under constant pressure from the governments that support them to generate secondary utilities such as technology transfer and spin-offs. As buyers, such organisations are often used by governments to stimulate innovation by their suppliers, under tight budgetary constraints and within the rigid institutional frameworks applied to public research organisations. This book addresses the design of efficient buyer-supplier contracts within the institutional boundaries faced by the buyer and focuses in particular on vertical buyer-supplier linkages as a source of supplier core competencies in a cost- and technology-driven environment.
Based on a study of manufacturing contracts commissioned by the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the book aims to answer two questions. First, what is the most efficient governance structure for organising buyer-supplier relationships, given the presence of specific institutional boundaries, high technological complexity and environmental uncertainty? Secondly, irrespective of the presence of such an efficient governance structure, what type of impact could technology-oriented government contracts have on supplier core competencies?
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Table of Contents

Background, scope and objectives of the study. Research problem. Structure. Literature Review. Introduction. A transaction cost analysis of buyer-supplier contractual relationships in a complex and uncertain environment. The impact of buyer-supplier linkages on core competencies. Supplier impact of R&D-intensive organisations. Conclusions and Summary. Analysis of the Research Problem - The Case of CERN-Industry Linkages. Introduction. Mission, brief history and structure of CERN. Role of technology at CERN. Purchasing strategy of CERN. The need for a conceptual analysis of CERN purchasing contracts. Conclusions. Conceptual Framework and Research Hypotheses. Introduction. Conceptual Framework. Research Hypotheses and Key Variables. Summary. Empirical Research Methodology. Introduction. Exploratory research phase. Explanatory research phase. Data analysis phase. Description of the sample companies. Definition and measurement of the key variables. Identifying possible hidden variables and minimising their effect. Description of reality and estimation of error limits. Summary. Empirical Results. Introduction. Hypothesis 1: identifying the presence of transaction costs and inefficient contracts. Hypothesis 2: classification of transactions. Hypothesis 3: types of supplier benefits generated. Hypothesis 4: description of transactions by value chain functions. Summary. Implications for CERN. Introduction. Implications for the current CERN purchasing strategies. Improving CERN's goal achievement in the area of industrial policies. Implications for CERN supplier strategies.

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