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Title: Better than nothing? Is non-union partnership a contradiction in terms?
Authors: Johnstone, Stewart
Ackers, Peter
Wilkinson, Adrian
Keywords: Partnership
Non-unionism
Employee voice
Industrial relations
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: © Sage
Citation: JOHNSTONE, S., ACKERS, P. and WILKINSON, A., 2010. Better than nothing? Is non-union partnership a contradiction in terms? Journal of Industrial Relations, 52 (2), pp. 151-168.
Abstract: 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. Firstly, we seek to understand more about the meaning of – and rationale for – partnership in non-union settings. Secondly, we explore the operation of non-union partnership in practice. Finally, we evaluate the effectiveness of non-union partnership from the perspectives of various organisational 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’.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/0022185609359442
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/5401
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0022185609359442
ISSN: 0022-1856
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Business School)

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