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Trade unions and partnership in the health service

Norma Heaton (School of Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, UK)
Bob Mason (School of Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, UK)
Joe Morgan (School of Management, University of Ulster, Newtownabbey, Co. Antrim, UK)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 1 August 2000

Abstract

Contributes to the social partnership debate by exploring ways in which inter and intra‐union relations influence the development of partnership within a National Health Service Trust, by using observation techniques, focus groups and semi‐structured interviews involving ancillary workgroup members, shop stewards and managers (conducted in 1998). Argues, on an empirical basis, that union relationships may both facilitate and constrain management decision making and, ultimately, the implementation of policy. Views, conceptually, the parties’ understanding of partnership as changing over time, within a context that is contradictory; with management, trade union representatives and employees developing competing perspectives on “social partnership”, in part as a response to, and in turn recreating, a pluralistic workplace environment.

Keywords

Citation

Heaton, N., Mason, B. and Morgan, J. (2000), "Trade unions and partnership in the health service", Employee Relations, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 315-333. https://doi.org/10.1108/01425450010340335

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited