An exploratory study of Alpha contracting: antecedents, processes, issues, success factors and consequences
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Alpha contracting is a collaborative effort between a buyer and supplier during contract formation to maximize efficiency and effectiveness. Although several benefits of Alpha contracting are espoused in the literature, the concept is not ubiquitous, nor is it well understood. The purpose of this Joint Applied Project is to evaluate current Department of Defense (DoD) procedures for the use of Alpha contracting. Specifically, we plan to explore Alpha contracting to define what constitutes successful/unsuccessful Alpha contracting, as well as the contributing factors to both outcomes. Additionally, we will identify antecedents for and consequences of use, and variations of the processes employed. This research will identify the utility of Alpha contracting, and explain its narrow usage to date. Using a case study methodology, we will interview experienced Alpha contracting teams, to include contracting officers, DCAA, DCMA, end users/customers, program managers and acquisition directors to better understand the Alpha contracting phenomenon. We will use interview results and research to develop recommendations to address the factors that lead to successful Alpha contracting, as well as the barriers that arise once used.
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