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.

  Bayissa Milkessa
Business Consultant, Ethiopia

Proposed Modern Organizational Structure

There are organic, mechanistic and team-based organizational structures. It is said that the organic structure works wel...

  Oluwaseyi Solomon
Partner, Singapore

Levels in Organization

What happens in an organization when one or more organization leadership team members tend to possess more than one comp...

  Conroy Fourie
Coach, South Africa

Some People are Equipped for Several Levels in Organization

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

  James Partin
Management Consultant, United States

Stratified Systems Theory is a Model of Reality

@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

Summary Stratified Systems Theory

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

  Steven Cooke, Philippines

Placing Highly Talented Individuals

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

Financial Consultant, Netherlands

Team Members Shoulder Responsibility, not the CEO

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

  Denis Hitchens
Business Consultant, Australia

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...

Consultant, India

Matching Organizational Roles to Employee Interests

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

  Oluwaseyi Solomon
Partner, Singapore

How to Assess the Level of Individuals?

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

  Paul Steele
Consultant, Australia

Requisite Organisation most Popular in Canada

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

  Conroy Fourie
Coach, South Africa

Levels in Organisation is a Complex Issue

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

  Amos S. Calda
Mechanical Engineer, Philippines

Foreced Localizing makes Assuming Levels even more Complex

What happens when people are "forced" to assume key middle management roles beyond their capabilities mainly because of ...

  Romy Sson
Management Consultant, Philippines

Line and Staff Functions and Organizational Levels

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

Coach, Madagascar

Whatever the Number of Levels, the Cascading is What's Important

The problem of the CEO role is to mastermind the cascading of his vision and strategy down the hierarchy unto the little...

  Nelson E. Edjan
Student (MBA), Philippines

Job Matching Process as Described by Jim Collins

In every facet of organization there must be a job matching process that fits the job or role to the capabilities and co...

  Rajesh Sharma
Manager, India

Levels in Organizations and Role Clarity

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

  Uduakobong Sunday
Management Consultant, Nigeria

Organisational Need Takes Precedence over Employee's Interest

Where an employee possesses more than one skill, the organisational need might override employee's interest in terms of ...

  Conroy Fourie
Coach, South Africa

Organizational Needs versus Employee Interest

@Uduakobong Sunday: As long as the employee's heart is in the (re)assignment and the essence of the psychological contra...

Business Consultant, Malaysia

Influence of Generations on Stratified Systems Theory

When you own a company, you normally look further into the horizon... Today's employment scene is dominated by the Y-gen...

  Charles P. Keith
Management Consultant, United States

Requisite Organizational Theory - Applied

@Jaap de Jonge: Elliot Jacques was one of my mentors in the Organizational Design Forum (US Org Design Group) and we fre...

  Javier Elenes
Business Consultant, Mexico

In the Organization There are Only 2 Roles

My view is in an organization there are only 2 kinds of people (roles): - Those who serve the customer and - Those who...

  Hy Sek
Project Manager, Cote Divoire (Ivory Coast)

Levels in Matrix Organisations and Role Clarity

In a matrix organization, levels may cause confusion. Because more than one leader or manager have access to the same ...

  Gandhi Heryanto
Management Consultant, Indonesia

Stratified System Theory: Structure is the Cause of Organizational Dysfunction

According to STRATIFIED SYSTEM THEORY, Elliot Jacques, organization is the root cause of organizational dysfunction, not...

  Maurice Hogarth
Consultant, United Kingdom

Hierarchy and Role Orientation-Divides Model

Many of the postings in this discussion relate to STRUCTURE, seeming to confuse it with HIERARCHY. Although related they...


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