Employee voice and partnership at work

Johnstone, Stewart and Wilkinson, Adrian; Heyes, Jason and Leschkel, Janine and Newsome, Kirsty and Reich, Michael and Wilkinson, Adrian, eds. (2023) Employee voice and partnership at work. In: Research Handbook on the Future of Work. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham. (In Press)

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Partnership concerns an aspiration to develop more collaborative relationships between unions (or another representative body) and employers in pursuit of mutual gains. It reflects increasing interest in developing more collaborative arrangements where employers and unions work together in support of the overall success of the organisation. It has thus been used as a shorthand to describe a shift from broadly adversarial to more cooperative employment relations. Within the challenging context of a voluntarist liberal market economy like the UK - and without much state support - the partnership path has been challenging, patchy and uneven. Yet while it has fallen out of favour as a public policy goal in many liberal market economies, numerous voluntary workplace partnership projects have proved enduring at the organisational level and continue to of valued to by employers and unions. As such, and despite a broadly inhospitable environment in many liberal market economies, partnership nevertheless retains relevance in the contemporary world of employment relations.