Levels in Organisations and Role Clarity

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Conroy Fourie
Coach, South Africa

Levels in Organisations and Role Clarity

Broadly-based on the concept of the Requisite Organisation and Stratified Systems Theory (Elliott Jaques), we can distinguish the following Levels in Organisations:
  1. Level 1: SPECIALIST, time horizon short, e.g. day-to-day, perhaps sometimes week-to-week; competent "hands-on skills" to complete a task or activity.
  2. Level 2: SUPERVISORY, time horizon weekly or perhaps a few months; competent in supporting and co-ordinating workers to achieve set standards.
  3. Level 3: MANAGEMENT, time horizon a year or perhaps 2 years; competent in constructing, connecting and fine-tuning systems to optimal utilisation of resources.
  4. Level 4: STRATEGIC, time horizon 2 5+ years; being competent in a unified work system by understanding the organisation's purpose and integrating new futures, new services and products including positioning the organisation within the market context.
When organizations achieve an appropriate hierarchical organization, when people at each level are cognitively matched to the capabilities required at that level and focus on their roles at each level, clearly aware of the boundaries between levels, organizations and their people both achieve their full potential.
An important role for the CEO is to ensure that each of his/her leadership team members are clear about where in the levels he/she is and has the appropriate level of competence for that level and that he/she is interested in performing at that level.

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@Oluwaseyi Solomon: My experience is indeed that to a greater or lesser extent team members interface with more than one...

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@Conroy Fourie: Agree, I knew Elliot Jaques and discussed "time span of discretion" with him. He would be the first to t...

  Jaap de Jonge
Editor, Netherlands
 

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Thanks Conroy for your excellent contribution. Allow me to add a short overview of Jaques' Stratified Systems Theory (SS...

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@Oluwaseyi Solomon: That's where the "interest" of the individual comes into play. Individual employees will be MOST eff...

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@Conroy Fourie: You write in your last paragraph about an important role that the CEO has within the Levels in Organisat...

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Other 4 Levels in Organisations

It seems to me that the article omits one of the largest levels, that of unskilled workers At an Occam's Razor level th...

  Anton Verwey, South Africa
 

Levels in Organisations and Role Clarity

Hi Conroy. We live very close to each other, and I would love to meet up with you to discuss this topic. Perhaps you can...

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Consultant, India
 

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The levels in an organization chart and clarity about each role become a reality during implementation when the interest...

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@James Partin: Great topic! When selecting people for certain jobs or levels, how (according to Jaques) can one identify...

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This discussion is following the works of Elliott Jaques and his concept of the Requisite Organisation; not a theory tha...

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@Denis Hitchens: Thank you for your great contribution to the dialogue. My original thought-starter article was of neces...

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When we're talking about organizational levels, make sure to differentiate between line and staff functions. Staff do no...

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@Nelson E. Edjan: Thanks for the very thought provoking quote to which I totally agree. However, some more discussion m...

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