Psychology Professor Co-Wrote Book on Collaborative Workplace Partnerships
Dr. Timothy Franz, professor and chair of the Department of Psychology, is the co-author of Meaningful Partnership at Work: How the Workplace Covenant Ensures Mutual Accountability and Success between Leaders and Teams.
The book’s first author, Dr. Seth Silver, previously served as an assistant professor at Fisher. Franz and Silver worked together when the College offered a degree in human resource development, and they both have shared experiences as principles of their respective organizational consultant businesses.
The book discusses in-depth the idea of a “workplace covenant,” a relationship-building process developed by Silver with the help of Franz. According to the authors, a workplace covenant is an agreed-upon set of behavioral commitments that a manager makes to his/her team, and a corresponding set of behavioral commitments that the team then makes to the manager and to one another.
“The meaningful partnership is the end goal; not the covenant. The covenant is the tool to get there – so that both managers and team members feel supported at work,” he said. “As an academic, I was very excited about Seth’s work, because I could see the theory behind it; there is a lot of research to support why this works.”
Franz and Silver collaborated on the book throughout the pandemic, penning their own covenant as they navigated writing a book in a remote atmosphere.
In an article Franz wrote for TalentCulture about the concept, he explained that the workplace covenant begins with the exchange of obligations and expectations, with the focus being on: “What can I do for you, so that you’ll feel supported and can be successful?”
Franz said that the concept works well across many different groups, and he puts that philosophy into action as a professor; his classes make their own workplace covenant at the start of each semester.
The book also proposes a system to enable transparent, collaborative, and mutually beneficial partnerships between managers and their teams. Franz and Silver help answer several questions, including what partnerships in the workplace really mean; why work partnerships matter so profoundly to individual wellbeing and success, regardless of level or role. They describe a model, ERTAP, or empathy, respect, trust, alignment, and partnership, which they say is the foundation for meaningful partnerships.
Meaningful Partnership at Work has garnered positive reviews from a number of news outlets, including on HR.com and The Magic Pen, and was highly reviewed on Kirkusreviews.com. The book is available at Barnes and Noble, where Franz and Silver gave a talk earlier this fall, as well as Amazon and other booksellers.
This article was written by Leslie Noble ’21, a marketing major and PR Writing Intern with the Office of Marketing and Communications.