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After reading this chapter, you should understand the following:
The two fundamental concepts considered the twin cornerstones of business relationships are contract and tort. Although both involve the concept of duty, creation of the duty differs in a manner that is important to business. The parties create contract duties through a bargaining process. The key element in the process is control; individuals are in control of a situation because they have the freedom to decide whether to enter into a contractual relationship. Tort duties, in contrast, are obligations the law imposes. Despite the obvious difficulty in controlling tort liability, an understanding of tort theory is important because it is a critical factor in strategic planning and risk management.