Workplace Partnership and the Balance of Advantage: A Critical Case Analysis


  • John Geary is at the School of Business, University College Dublin. Aurora Trif is at Dublin City University Business School.


Whether all parties to the employment relationship benefit from workplace partnership and with what consequences is one of the most persistent research questions in industrial relations scholarship. Three dominant theoretical frameworks are identified. They are the mutual gains, pessimistic and constrained mutuality perspectives. Using both quantitative and qualitative case study data, the article queries the prevailing view that it is possible to categorize partnership outcomes as fitting neatly into one of these three theoretical perspectives. The article investigates the critical role of employees' perceptions of the distribution of partnership gains for their orientation to their employer and union, and in regard to their support for a continuation of a partnership approach.