Date of Conferral







Carol Wells


Leaders in the Federal Government of the United States have a problem ensuring the contract management resources used to administer and monitor contracts meet organizational performance goals. Contracting officer's representatives (CORs) are members of the acquisition workforce responsible for contract management. This study explored the ways in which resource-based strategies can improve the quality of CORs' performance in contract management by exploring an organizational framework based on strategic management approaches. Interview data were collected from 41 CORs from the 10 Federal Government agencies that represented 85% of the fiscal year 2014 expenditures. These CORs had all managed contracts with successful outcomes. Data analysis utilizing descriptive and magnitude coding resulted in several findings: (a) a recognition of the influence the COR's environment has on the contract outcomes, (b) an understanding of the CORs' processes within the various organizational structures, and (c) the importance of organizational support for the COR. These findings resulted in elements of a potential resource-based management model framework that link the identified attributes of the CORs' resource management to organizational performance. The social contribution from this emergent framework is the recognition of the CORs' value in ensuring optimal contract driven organizational performance. Positive social change can result from Federal Government leaders' use of this resource-based framework to improve the quality of management of CORs' functions and processes. This framework and its implication for the acquisition workforce may facilitate superior performance and enhance organizational capital.