Contract incentives are designed to motivate contractor performance and to provide public managers with a powerful tool to achieve contract accountability. Our knowledge of contract incentives is rooted in contract design, yet as we move beyond contract specification and further into the contract lifecycle, we know little about why and how managers implement incentives. This study assesses public managers’ use of contract incentives in practice and advances theory development. A typology of contract incentives is constructed to capture a comprehensive range of formal and informal incentives, and the factors that influence managerial use of incentives are identified. The findings shed light on the complexities of maintaining accountability in third-party governance structures and the management techniques aimed at improving the performance of public agencies.
Amanda M. Girth. 2017. Incentives in Third-Party Governance: Management Practices and Accountability Implications. Public Administration Review 77(3): 433–444.