A Universal Partnership Model: A Whole that is Greater when Integrating its Parts

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In times of shrinking resources and fragmented societies, partnership is a value-driven social structure that should be theorized in order to be considered for implementation, effectively and sustainably. Recognizing the scarce theoretical perspectives on partnership, this article addresses the lack of an integrated universal model. It delineates the theoretical field through extensive literature review, reaffirming the critical gap in knowledge. Original qualitative research utilized an international case-study of a social partnership, and a historic investigation since its inception three decades ago. A Grounded Theory Methodology guided the systemic analysis of the empirical data, culminating in a proposed universal partnership model. The study finds mutuality to be the heart of a partnership and a differentiating criterion from other social structures. Three pillars that are grounded in mutuality sustain a partnership, and include a common ground, connection, and commitment. Further research is needed to test the proposed model on other diverse partnerships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-451
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Service Organizations Management, Leadership and Governance
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Partnership theory
  • collaboration
  • equality
  • mutuality
  • participation
  • partnership model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Strategy and Management


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