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09-22-2006

Clarkson Professors Publish Report on Managing Professional Service Contracts in the Public Sector

An increasingly common form of outsourcing activity, professional services contracts, is the topic of a recent research report co-authored by Clarkson University School of Business faculty members Sandra L. Fisher and Michael E. Wasserman, and Paige P. Wolf, a management professor at George Mason University. The report titled "Effectively Managing Professional Service Contracts: 12 Best Practices" was published by IBM's Center for the Business of Government. The report is part of a growing stream of cross-disciplinary Supply Chain Management research conducted by Clarkson School of Business faculty.

The main purpose of the report was to identify contract management practices that will allow federal government agencies to maximize the benefits of outsourcing professional services, such as information technology support and human resource management. Outsourcing of professional services is an important trend in both the public and private sectors, but the contracts must be managed effectively to achieve the goals of improved service at a lower cost. The authors conducted a series of interviews with contractors, project managers, and high-level government officials, and developed a five-phase model of best practices that guides project managers through each phase of the contracting relationship.

Fisher, an assistant professor who teaches courses in human resource management and organizational behavior, has over 10 years of experience in the field of human resources. Prior to joining Clarkson, she gained field-based experience as a human resource consultant for a Virginia- based firm. Fisher has published multiple works related to human resources in prestigious journals such as Personnel Psychology and Human Resource Management.

The IBM Center for the Business of Government, located in Washington, D.C., is designed to improve all aspects of the United States government. The Center is committed to providing cutting-edge knowledge and stimulating research by making stipends available to leaders in the field of public management. Over 150 reports have been generated through the Center, focusing on topics such as: e-government, financial management, human capital management, managing for performance and results, market-based government, and innovation, collaboration and transformation.

Clarkson University, located in Potsdam, New York, is a private, nationally ranked university with a reputation for developing innovative leaders in engineering, business, the sciences, health sciences and the humanities. At Clarkson, 3,000 high-ability students excel in an environment where learning is not only positive, friendly and supportive but spans the boundaries of traditional disciplines and knowledge. Faculty achieves international recognition for their research and scholarship and connects students to their leadership potential in the marketplace through dynamic, real-world problem solving.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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