For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"Gambling Partners? The Risky Outcomes of Workplace Partnerships"

by Jenkins, Jean (2007)


This article analyses the motivations and dynamics of union—management partnership at two manufacturing plants located in the industrial region of South Wales in the UK. Each plant was a subsidiary of an international parent corporation: one in the aluminium sector and one in autocomponents manufacture. For meaningful partnership to be achieved, it is assumed that both union and management partners engage in reciprocal elements of risk in the hope — or gamble — that mutually beneficial outcomes will be forthcoming. But this article will argue that the causal association between partnership and substantive outcomes is contested. It suggests that analysis of partnership should focus on the context in which it is found, the motivations of key actors, and the nature of reciprocal risk for labour and management, in order to gain optimum insight into modern industrial relations and illuminate the political implications for the collective representation of labour's interests in contemporary capitalist society.


Automation, Machines, Technology, Computer, Computerisation, Gambling, British Context, Capitalism, Empirical Study


Sociology of Work

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