Contracting out road maintenance. A study on quality, transaction costs and learning organization

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Infrastruktur

Sammanfattning: This report studies the effect the opening up of routineroad maintenance in Sweden, traditionally carried out by theSwedish National Road Administration (SNRA). The main aim is tostudy the effect contracting out has had on work quality,transaction costs and the learning organization year 2001. Theresearch is built upon three hypotheses: Hypotheses 1: The SNRAcannot determine if the quality of the work is as contracted.Hypotheses 2: Transaction costs are less than 5% of theproduction costs. Hypotheses 3: The lack of cooperation ofSNRA's regional offices with each other and with the headoffice makes it difficult for SNRA to function as a learningorganization. The main research methods used were interviews, aquestionnaire, and participation in various meetings, such assite meetings and quality audits. Great emphasis has been puton the detailed questionnaire, which was sent to clientrepresentatives. The report includes a description of thebackground, definition and use of three theoretical concepts;quality, transaction costs and learning organization. Theresults show that client representatives at the regional levelcan determine that the SNRA receives the contracted quality,but at the central level it is not possible to determinequality fulfillment due to lack of complete and comparabledata. The study also concludes that it is not possible tocompletely separate transaction costs from the other productioncosts, mainly because man-hours spent per task is not accountedfor at the regional level. The questionnaire results show thatthe largest single transaction costs are those associated withreviewing the contracted work. This study shows that the clientrepresentatives think that the SNRA receives the contractedquality. The client representatives believe that the reviewprocess plays an important role in assuring the quality of theentrepreneurs' work. This study also shows that the client'swork is carried out differently in the different SNRA regionsstudied. This lack of administrative control by a centralauthority has lead to the main offices in the regions becoming"head offices" for the offices at the local level. The freedomallowed each regional office affords its employees theopportunity to develop new methods and organizationalstructures. At the same time substantial differences betweenthe regions and the lack of cooperation between the regionaloffices and the regional offices with the head office makes itdifficult for the SNRA to function as a learningorganization.