Chapter 4Good Partnering: Cooperation vs. Competition

The origins of the word "partner" can be traced to the thirteenth century from a variety of languages including Middle English ("parcener"), Old French ("parconier"), and Latin ("partitionem"). The Middle English word seems to borrow most closely from the Old French word "parconier," meaning "associate, joint owner or heir" (Online Etymology Dictionary). What is of particular interest is the definition involving joint ownership. Partners originally were not simply two individuals who had a shared interest in a common activity. Rather the original use of the word seems to be rooted specifically in the activity of a business enterprise. Businesses are ultimately undertaken for one goal – profit. ...

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