Implications of game theory for theoretical underpinning of cooperative relations in workplace partnership


Correspondence should be addressed to Aurora Trif, DCU Business School, Dublin City University, Dublin 9, Ireland; email:


This article clarifies the ongoing debate over the key factors underpinning cooperative relations between management and trade unions by drawing on the once-off and repeated prisoner's dilemma models. It argues that the lower the risk to achieve a ‘win-win’ outcome and the longer the time horizon for workplace partnership, the more likely is for the two parties to cooperate.