Establishing a body of knowledge and research agenda for commercial management

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This paper compares and contrasts the role of commercial managers from a range of organisations and across industry sectors within the UK, as a first step in developing a body of knowledge for commercial management. It contends that there are persuasive arguments for considering commercial management, not solely as a task undertaken by commercial managers, but as a discipline in itself: a discipline that bridges traditional project management and organisational theories. While finding differences in approach and application both between and within industry sectors, it establishes sufficient similarity and synergy in practice to identify a specific role of commercial management in project-based organisations. These similarities encompass contract management and dispute resolution; the divergences include a greater involvement in financial and value management in construction and in bid management in defence/aerospace. It advocates the utilisation of the Internet to establish loosely based ‘communities of practice’ as a vehicle to disseminate good practice and cutting edge research pertinent to commercial managers. Also, the development of a body of knowledge for commercial management is recommended and key areas for targeted research to underpin the discipline proposed. These areas include: relationship management, value and value management, risk and uncertainty management, performance measurement, procurement and supply chain management, contract management, dispute resolution and conflict management, cost management, organisational learning and knowledge management, and bidding.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings IACCM International Academic Symposium on Commercial Management 2006
EditorsDavid J. Lowe
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherManchester School of Management, UMIST
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)0954791827
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Commercial management
  • commercial manager
  • management of projects


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