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Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business

University of Southampton via FutureLearn

This course may be unavailable.


Investigate the world of business contracts

Struggling to understand business contracts at work? Try our free 3-week online course to understand contract management processes, gain the confidence to develop new contracts and build successful business relationships.

Contracts are fundamental to business activities and relationships are fundamental to all contracts. Learn all about the intricacies of contract management today.

Manage contracts successfully

Over three weeks, you will realise the importance, complexity and challenges of designing and delivering good contracts. You will learn how your objectives and those of your customer/client can be achieved in an effective way to minimise possible threats or failures.

Understand the nuances of business relationships

In this course, we’ll explore relationship fundamentals and complexities that relate to business contracts.

This will involve asking what can go right or wrong in relationships; examining the rules that govern public and private sector procurement, and asking how you can make the right decisions for your customers and clients.

We will look at the complex supply chains and networks that are a feature of many contracts, learning how to manage interdependencies and the needs of multiple stakeholders.

Discover more about business contracts with real-life examples

The final part of the course will bring the above ideas together, using an example scenario (the challenge of building your own house) to put theory into practice.

You can find out how this course helped the career of Laylo, a Contracts Manager at ZTE Investment Foreigner Enterprise, in her learner story.

(Course image: derivative work based on silhouettes © Nevena Radonja/Shutterstock.)

This free online course is designed for anyone who wants to better understand what is involved in commercial business relationships, and the process of managing contractual agreements.

It is suitable for those working in the public, private and third sectors.


  • Commercial relationships
    • Introduction
    • Commercial relationships: things that go wrong or right
    • How can rules and regulation affect behaviour
    • Understanding what customers really want
    • Live webinar discussion
    • Summary activities
  • Connectivity
    • Welcome to week 2
    • Connectivity
    • Successful stakeholder management
    • The role of negotiation
    • Managing risk
    • Live webinar discussion
    • Summary activities
  • Innovation and change
    • Welcome to week 3
    • Judgement, innovation and change
    • The future of contract management?
    • Live webinar discussion
    • Summary activities
    • Thank you and goodbye for the time being

Taught by

Tim Cummins and Douglas Macbeth


4.7 rating at FutureLearn based on 232 ratings

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