Does Partnership at Work Increase Trust? An Analysis Based on the 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey
29 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2008
In the late 1990s, partnership at work was embraced with some enthusiasm by a number of stakeholders in employment relations and incorporated in the 1999 Employment Relations Act. The implementation of the Information and Consultation Regulations has also been extensively signaled. We might therefore expect to see some evidence of partnership-related practices in Britain. The 2004 Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS 2004) provides an opportunity to explore the extent of partnership practice, and also, for the first time, to explore its link to trust relations. This article reports evidence from WERS 2004 suggesting that partnership practice remains relatively undeveloped and that it is only weakly related to trust between management and employee representatives and to employees trust in management. Direct forms of participation generally have a more positive association with trust than representative forms. There is also modest evidence that trust may be associated with certain workplace outcomes. The case for partnership and more particularly representative partnership as a basis for mutuality and trust is not supported by this evidence.
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