|dc.description.abstract||This master thesis builds on previous research by Argyres and Mayer (2007).
They argue that a firm´s ability and capacity to perform tasks related to
contractual work can be defined as contracting capabilities. These capabilities
are a competitive advantage for firms and can enhance their performance.
To my knowledge, no empirical studies on contracting capabilities are conducted
with an attempt to measure a firm’s contracting capabilities. Research on how
contracting capabilities can be developed is also limited. I therefore aim to fill
this gap by investigating how contracting capabilities can be measured and
developed. I also seek to examine the impact firm characteristics have on
companies level of contracting capabilities. Additionally, I will investigate how
contracting capabilities influence firm performance.
This study has a quantitative approach in which key respondents were located by
phone. The key respondents received an online questionnaire. Out of 147
Norwegian based export companies that agreed to participate in the study, I
received 76 responses.
The results show that contracting capabilities can be measured along four
dimensions; term specification and writing, contract adaptation, internal
organizing and relationship development and maintenance. Experience is
positively associated with firms’ contracting capabilities. Contrary to my
predictions, resource slack, age of firm, size of firm, internal consult, external
consult and training shows no significant relationship with contracting
Out of the four identified dimensions of contracting capabilities, the results show
a positive relationship between internal organizing and firm performance. The
other dimensions do not receive support. Depending on the way firms adapt their
contractual activities to their organization and allocate human resources,
contracting capabilities can be developed and enhance companies´ performance||no_NO