Document Type

Theses, Masters


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


5.2 ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS, Business and Management.

Publication Details

Successfully submitted for the award of Master of Philosophy (M.Phil.) to the Technological University Dublin, July, 2006.


The research follows the strategic choice of Partnership and seeks to gain an understanding of the processes and practices which define this concept and the political, economic and historical influences which have shaped it's evolution. The primary focus of this study is to explore the factors which have shaped the decision of private sector einployers to engage with or to reject Partnership as an appropriate model. The literature and the surveys consulted suggest that Partnership has not become an established or mainstream activity and reflects singularly low levels of uptake despite being actively promoted by Government and it's social partners. The findings suggest that Partnership is not a model of choice for employers but is often imposed by adverse circumstances, sometimes embraced opportunistically as a solution to intractable industrial relations problems and sometimes engaged in nominally without the spiritual cominitment to true Partnership values. The study gleans data from private sector organisations, where enterprise level partnership as defined by the Partnership 2000 Agreement, is an optional choice for employers. Working within the interpretive paradigm, qualitative in-depth interviews are the chosen means of enquiry. The findings, in addition to highlighting sometimes reluctant engagement by organisations also identify significant ideological opposition in other organisations to Partnership as a model which extends trade union voice. A well developed commitment to HRM process and values was evident in organisations rejecting the Partnership option. This appeared as vindicating the organisation's choice not to engage on the basis that many of the common principles shared in the Partnership model are actively promoted and reflected in an affirmative HR based employee culture created by the organisation. The study confirms that enterprise level Partnership, conceived by the Partnership 2000 Agreement, underpinned by a persuasive rhetoric, promoted by Government through the National Centre for Partnership and subsequently the National Centre for Partnership and Performance, has not become an established model largely due to resistance by organisations to sharing power and influence in strategic decision making.