Better than Nothing? Is Non-union Partnership a Contradiction in Terms?
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Though the notion of union-management partnership commands an extensive body of literature, little is known about non-union partnership arrangements. This article addresses the relatively unexplored issue of non-union partnership through a detailed case study of WebBank, a British Internet bank. Three main themes are explored. First, we seek to understand more about the meaning of - and rationale for - partnership in non-union settings. Second, we explore the operation of non-union partnership in practice. Finally, we evaluate the effectiveness of non-union partnership from the perspectives of various organizational actors. The article suggests that in judging the effectiveness of a partnership arrangement, or indeed any voice regime more generally, there is a need to re-consider the benchmarks for success, and to place them in the context of contemporary employment relations. The evidence suggests that it would be deeply unhelpful and inaccurate to dismiss a non-union partnership a priori as a 'contradiction in terms'.
Journal of Industrial Relations
© 2010 Industrial Relations Society of Australia. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.
Business and Management not elsewhere classified