About the Academic ForumThe 2013 joint Academic Forum organized by the Proactive ThinkTank, the Nordic School of Proactive Law and the International Association of Contract and Commercial Managers (IACCM) brings together contract and project management professionals and academics from a variety of legal and management disciplines. They explored and shared their insights and experience with the processes, skills, tools and techniques that help organizations merge proactive/preventive law with good contract, project, quality and risk management practices to achieve strategic, organizational goals through strategic contracting and their smooth, flexible implementation.The forum aims to provide a platform for the exchange of knowledge, open up possibilities for research collaboration and form closer ties between professionals and scholarly academics. This year's theme explores proactive and strategic approaches to the integration of law and contract management.Lawyers are often accused of hindering rather than enabling the design, delivery and success of strategic projects at the private, public and third sector levels. Legal regulation and contracts may be seen as potential sources of breach, conflict, and cost related to 'traditional' if not outdated modes of organizing and contracts. Globally there is an increasing focus on effective inter-organizational relationships ranging from innovative supply chain relationships through to temporary project based organizations made up of public, private and/or third sector entities bound together by psychological and relational based contracts.Savvy organizations use contracts and the law strategically to gain competitive advantage, or to turn compliance requirements into effective processes. That is not done by spending hours drafting and negotiating legal clauses dealing with breach and remedies. Rather it is done through terms that enhance communication, clarify tasks, and help secure successful performance. Enter proactive/preventive law and strategic, collaborative approaches to contracting and the law - focusing on how to secure success and continuity across supply chains, and how to improve policy and processes for effective, socially responsible contract and project management.Proactive contract and legal professionals know how to work together in cross-functional teams to clarify requirements, avoid negative surprises, and prevent legal disputes. More could be done, however, with a stronger development of best practices, case studies, legal and organizational frameworks, theory, and most importantly through empirical research that can be used to develop good theory and good practice.The Forum took place on October 8, 2013 at the Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort in Phoenix, Arizona as part of the IACCM 2013 Americas conference. It continues a series of bi-annually proactive law conferences that have been previously held in Finland, Sweden, France and Denmark.
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