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tripartisma system of cooperation between both sides of industry and the state. Tripartite institutions typically include representatives of TRADE UNIONS, managers and owners, and government on the grounds that each has an interest in and worthwhile contribution to make to economic and industrial policy. Insofar as these organizations become de facto extensions of the state (i.e. they make and implement government policy) the more advanced forms of tripartism are sometimes referred to as corporatism. Tripartism developed in the UK from the 1960s. Examples of tripartite organizations include the now defunct National Economic Development Council and the Manpower Services Commission (see TRAINING). UK governments since 1979 have been hostile to tripartism on the grounds that trade unions have no legitimate role in the formulation and implementation of policy, and the trend since then has been to abolish tripartite bodies or to terminate union involvement. This contrasts with other European countries, such as Germany, Austria and the Scandinavian nations where tripartism continues to be viewed as a valued approach to formulating industrial policy.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson