The potential and precariousness of partnership: the case of the Kaiser Permanente labor management partnership

Human Resource Management International Digest

ISSN: 0967-0734

Article publication date: 18 July 2008

Keywords

Citation

Kochan, T.A. (2008), "The potential and precariousness of partnership: the case of the Kaiser Permanente labor management partnership", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 16 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/hrmid.2008.04416ead.003

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


The potential and precariousness of partnership: the case of the Kaiser Permanente labor management partnership

Article Type: From: Human Resource Management International Digest, Volume 16, Issue 5

Kochan T.A., Adler P.S., McKersie R.B., Eaton A.E., Segal P., Gerhart P. Industrial Relations (USA), January 2008, Vol. 47 No. 1, Start page: 36, No. of pages: 30

Purpose – Studies the labor-management partnership at Kaiser Permanente, the US health care provider, to explore the strategic and organizational challenges it faced and how these were overcome. Design/methodology/approach – Focuses on three strategic challenges – the initiation of the partnership, its governance and its sustainability. Uses observation at meetings and 300 interviews with key players within the partnership to look at these challenges and how they were tackled. Findings – Concludes that the Kaiser Permanente case indicates that labor-management partnerships have the greatest likelihood of success if those who initiate the partnership are driven by a crisis or sense of urgency; if they share definitions of the problems facing the organization and share visions of the solutions, if all parties are held accountable for using partnership principles, if the partners have or develop the skills and resources required for effective partnership, and if the parties in the partnership respect the fact that they may have different priorities but can focus on the common needs to improve the organization. Acknowledges that partnerships are difficult to sustain because the costs and risks are high. See strong leadership as the key to managing this. Research limitations/implications – Describes the research methods. Originality/value – Identifies the key to labor-management partnerships. ISSN: 0019-8676 Reference: 37AF919

Keywords: Trade unions, Employers, Partnering, Kaiser Permanente, Health care, United States of America