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The 2012 Top Negotiated Terms continue to point to opportunities for change. They confirm that the volume of negotiation is increasing and that contention arising from contracts is growing. These factors give increased urgency to a new approach. Many are calling for 'greater collaboration', but this appears to be a naïve aspiration given the volatility of markets and relationships. Intrinsically, contract negotiators are well aware of the changes that are needed; they are to focus more strongly on the principles of governance and contract administration - to make the contract a framework for business management.

This message was also apparent in IACCM's recent study, 'The Future of Contracting'. However, its realization is frustrated by the tactical nature of contract and negotiation support in today's business organization. The contracting models reflect the priorities of a management and measurement system that rewards nominal savings or revenues, increasingly at the expense of eventual outcomes. The Top Negotiated Terms study offers valuable insights to the contracts and negotiations community, but more importantly it calls for a more radical approach by senior management to re-think the way that key trading relationships are formed and managed.

Appendix 1; Survey's geographic

Respondents by Industry

Respondents by Region

Tim Cummins Picture
In his role as President/CEO of the International Association for Contract and Commercial Management (IACCM), Tim Cummins works with leading corporations, public and academic bodies, supporting executive awareness and understanding of the role that procurement, contracting and relationship management increasingly play in 21st century business performance and public policy.

Prior to IACCM, Tim's business career included executive roles at IBM and a period on the Chairman's staff, leading studies on the impacts of globalization and the reengineering of IBM's global contracting processes. His earlier career involved the banking, automotive and aerospace industries, initially in Corporate Finance and later in commercial and business development. He led negotiations up to $1.5bn in value and his work has taken him to over 40 countries.

Tim's writing is extensively published and he has acted in an advisory capacity to government bodies in countries that include the US, UK, Australia, Canada and Japan, as well as regular briefings to senior managers at many of the world's largest companies. Tim Cummins can be reached by e-mail at

2012 Top Terms in Negotiation, By Tim Cummins


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The Negotiator Magazine  (February, 2013)