Furneaux, Craig W. (2013) Contracts. In Smith, Vicki (Ed.) Sociology of Work : An Encyclopedia. Sage Publications Inc, California, USA, pp. 126-237.

[img] Published Version (PDF 674kB)
Administrators only | Request a copy from author

View at publisher


Contracting essentially involves an agreement between two parties in relation to a particular matter. When defined in this way, contracting has been occurring as a social practice since humans first bartered and conducted trade, and should be understood as both an economic as well as a social transaction. This entry explains key aspects of the sociology

While contracting is commonly understood to be a market based transaction, Polyani famously argued that for most of recorded history commercial transactions were in fact secondary to social relationships. In other words, whenever economic transactions occurred, they were always in the context of reciprocal social relationships.

Historically the primary mode of exchange may well have been based on social exchange and reciprocity, however with the rise of extensive industrialization in the 18th Century, the primary mode of exchange has led to more of a market based mode of exchange in developed countries, with the focus more about the economic transaction. As an agreement between two entities, contracting is an essential element to economic systems as it is the basis of most transactions, whether the agreement is verbal or written, explicit or implied. Contracting is thus a pervasive activity in our society, particularly between organizations, although individuals also engage in contracting.

Typically, when discussing contracting, authors have either focused on the nature of the agreement itself, or on the governance arrangements in place to carry out the agreement.

Impact and interest:

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 63981
Item Type: Reference Entry
Keywords: Contracts, Agreements, Contract arrangements, Governance arrangements
ISBN: 9781452205069
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Sage Publications Inc
Deposited On: 05 Nov 2013 22:59
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2016 22:52

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page