The aim of this article is to interpret partnership as a social phenomenon and socio logical category in operational and conceptual aspects. The author provides a defini tion of partnership, its characteristics, results, ways of identification and its measuring as well as empirically verifies hypotheses of partnership’s manifestation. Partnership is regarded as a universal social and structural phenomenon existing on different levels of social relations. The matter of partnership is explained by means of comparison between two ideal models of adherence to standards and rules. The first model is based on fear of sanctions that may be applied in case of norms violation, whereas the second provides for appreciation of the observance of standards and rules. Also the author gives conceptualization and operationalization of the “sound confidence” notion as an attribute of partnership.