What does partnership mean for a manager? The requirement for change is often very similar for managers. Middle managers are usually cited as one of the main reasons why partnership working fails but this is often because they are not engaged in the process. It is natural to feel disenfranchised when this happens. Managers have no reason to feel threatened by partnership working. They have a right to manage and the final decision is theirs; the difference is that the business case is being made available to the union representatives openly, honestly and at the earliest stage possible. A manager must be equipped with the skills to respond positively to challenges and should accept employees’ desire for information, representation and consultation before decisions are taken. Partnership working should help a manager achieve their objectives. Being able to run ideas past a union representative and thus gauge the potential response of the staff, can only help the decision making process. An idea might be modified to take account of this or it might not but, at the very least, the reaction to a decision is known.