Partnership agreements are based on the concept of social partnership as mentioned earlier. Both parties (management and the trade union) agree to collaborate to their mutual advantage and to achieve a climate of more cooperative and therefore less adversarial industrial relations. Management may offer job security linked to productivity and the union may agree to more flexible working.
The perceived benefits of partnership agreements are that management and unions will work together in a spirit of cooperation and mutuality, which is clearly preferable to an adversarial relationship. Provision is made for change to be introduced through discussion and agreement rather than by coercion or power. Guest and Peccei (2001) found that the balance of advantage in partnership arrangements commonly appears to favour employees. Furthermore, an analysis by Guest et al (2008) of evidence from the 2004 Workshop Employee Relations Survey suggested 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.