48: Stratified Systems Theory - Elliott Jaques (Part 1)


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As bureaucracies became more prevalent as a feature of organizations post-WWII, questions surfaced as to how they could be improved. Was there an optimal way to design them? What was the best role of individual members within a bureaucracy? Could individuals be developed to handle higher level roles? Among those asking such questions was Elliott Jaques, co-founder of the Tavistock Institute and later the author of the renowned book Requisite Organization that combined social theories with theories of organization. As a scientific approach to organizational design, the "stratified systems theory" of requisite organization sought to optimize the hierarchical structure based on the time-span of decisions at echelon. Then, using methods for measuring individual capabilities and capacity for decision making, members could be assigned posts within the organization based on best fit. Stratified systems theory (SST) established a common schema for using time-span that could be applied to any organization. Please join us for Episode 48 as we discuss this controversial yet fascinating approach to organizational design!

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