Requisite Organization: A Total System for Effective Managerial Organization and Managerial Leadership for the 21st Century: Amended [Elliott Jaques] on. Requisite Organization (RO) is a science-based management theory that I understand it was developed by a Canadian management guru Elliott Jaques. Requisite Organisation: The CEO’s Guide to. Creative Structure and Leadership. by Elliott Jaques. Gower (Aldershot) July Hardback. Page Pairs.

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The implications of RO as an integrative framework is examined in context of business and Integral Leadership practice, along with opportunities for further study. Leadership operates requisit a holarchy of relationships, which Edwards examines from three different lenses: These lenses each operate as holarchies, providing a view into the nature of leadership within the context of the social reality that each lens both serve to define and construct.

Leadership through the developmental lens takes into account the stages of growth of adult development. Researchers Fischer ; Kegan; Torbert ; Commons have put forth various definitions for the stages of adult development beyond organizstion developmental stages initially proposed by Piaget. Regardless of their different descriptors, all of the models recognize development as a multi-level process where subsequent stages inform and transform preceding stages.

Likewise, subsequent stages represent epistemologically more complex ways of operating, which are beyond the capacity of preceding stages to grasp. An example organiztion this dynamic can be jaquss in the reauisite of Robert Kegan For Kegan, the process of adult development is centered on subject-object theory, which both describes the challenge of adult development and explains the epistemological nature of mental organization required for the construction of meaning.

Kegan notes that mental organization:. That which was subject becomes object to the next principle. The subject-object distinction described above reflects both the process of transformation and the constraint that is the challenge of adult development. Therefore, adult development is characterized by the shift jaquew subject-object relationship, where what a person is subject to becomes object and in so doing reframes and transforms the way we make meaning. How experience itself is perceived and constructed changes at each stage of organizaiton.

The governance lens addresses the processes of power and decision-making throughout the organization. It attends to the dynamics of leadership and followership and the interplay in roles at all levels of the organization.

In this regard leadership operates as a dynamic process of communication at various levels in the organization that shapes and makes sense of Weick et al the activity of the organization as it unfolds.

This unfolding takes place elluott the process of the interactions themselves—the basis for Relational Leadership Theory Uhl-Bien Edwards further notes the importance of ecology on the emotional environment within rlliott organization: In Requisite Organization Elliott Jaques considers the dynamics that enable an organization to be successful.

Based on his extensive research, Jaques outlines the structures that enable effective organizing in employment settings. This distinction is a significant one. Participation in an association may be voluntary such as a church or club or involuntary such as citizens of nation-states. The industrial revolution resulted in a radical change in the workforce as employment shifted from farm or trade largely self-employment to wage-based orgajization within companies. It is in this context that Elliort explores the functioning of the Managerial Accountability Hierarchy MAH as the requisite structure to enable work effectiveness.

Jaques emphasizes the importance of the hierarchy in the form of the Managerial Accountability Hierarchy MAH as the means by which work is delegated based on an understanding of work complexity and human capacity to complete the work.

Hierarchy provides the structure for accountability within an organization to complete the tasks required to achieve organizational goals.

Jaques develops an extremely detailed approach to the manager-subordinate relationship and the dynamic chain of command from CEO to front line associate that the MAH provides. The manager-subordinate relationship is the foundation for getting work done. The manager is responsible for orgamization the work requirements and holding the subordinate accountable for the completion of assigned tasks.

Thus the work that a subordinate undertakes is the exercise of judgment and decision-making required to complete assigned tasks. The manager holds the subordinate accountable for completion of tasks. In this way, no matter how long the chain of command, there is a continuous chain of accountability that permeates the organization.


The manager-subordinate relationship fosters bidirectional dialogue. The use of judgment and discretion on the tequisite of a subordinate includes informing the manager of obstacles that may occur in completing an assigned task. Thus manager-subordinate relationship as defined by RO, clearly identifies the accountability of both the manager and subordinate. Adult development is also associated with the ability to resolve tasks with increasing orders of complexity.

Commons in his overview of the Model of Hierarchical Complexity notes that tasks of increasing complexity involve the non-arbitrary coordination of two or more tasks of the next lower order and that by so coordinating them, the lower order tasks are transformed. Commons and Ross further note that a relatively epliott percentage of adults operate at post formal levels of thought Commons and Ross Jaques accounts for these differences in mental processing in the structure of the MAH, by organizing the hierarchy in strata based on the capability of workers to handle tasks with a specific level of complexity.

Jaques noted that there are four primary modes of mental processing: Each of these modes represents increasing complexity.

Requisite Organisation

The modes follow a recursive pattern between the symbolic and conceptual stages, which represent post-formal stages of development. The longer the time span required to complete a task, the more complex thinking is required to achieve it.

Organizational strata are structured based on capacity to do work of a specific level of complexity and requiring specific capabilities in mental processing. The following table orbanization the strata as defined by Jaques. Note that as the time span increases, the function of the work changes, taking on a more strategic and abstract nature, and requiring more complex mental processing.

The various strata also play a key role in the manager-subordinate relationship. This would imply that the manager has the mental capability to assess work at a higher level of complexity than his subordinates.

The manager is likewise able to delegate work of lesser complexity to subordinates who have the capability to complete the tasks at that level. In this way, Requisite Organization provides a systemic model for the deployment of work of varying degrees of complexity to the right level for completion.

The CEO, operating at a 20 year time horizon, can identify tasks that are required to achieve the desired results in 20 years. They may then assess the work and in turn define projects to be completed in 5 requisitr which are delegated to their subordinates.

This creates a top down alignment of work with employees held accountable for tasks of a complexity aligned with their capabilities and at the same time aligned with the strategic direction defined by executive management. Leadership is perceived as a set of practices that are intricately tied to organizatioj within the organizational hierarchy.

These leadership practices are viewed as essential complements to the authority structure established in the MAH. Management the process of holding subordinates accountable for tasks assigned without leadership influence creates the lifeless bureaucracy that has tainted many contemporary perspectives on the validity of top down hierarchical management.

The M-S holon is depicted in Figure 1.

Requisite Organization International Institute – ROII – Official Website

The management-subordinate relationship is developmental in that, by definition, a manager must be operating one stratum i. Since the MAH organizes workers based on their developmental level and ability to deal with work of increasing complexity, the manager-subordinate relationship enables an action-logic Torbert that is inclusive of the developmental capabilities of the workers.

The manager-subordinate relationship addresses governance by clearly defining the manager as the decision maker as it pertains to tasks assigned to the subordinate; and in turn, it is the manager who is held to account for the work results. This accountability passes down flliott the subordinate who in turn may manage others.

requsiite It is important to note that while the manager may have accountability for decision making at a given level, that does not dismiss the role of the subordinate in the decision making process. The subordinate is expected to provide advice and recommendations to the manager based on his experience and judgment.


The manager takes this feedback into account. With this in mind, the manager-subordinate relationship also addresses the ecological lens for Integral Leadership. The manager-subordinate relationship is the primary holon through which the network of organizational relationships is woven—vertically in top-down and bottom-up interactions, and horizontally through collaborative and cross-functional interactions.

As defined by RO, the management-subordinate relationship determines accountability for decisions grounded in the developmentally oriented relationship between manager and subordinate. When integrated in a holarchy of management-subordinate relationships, the requisitd and dynamics of Requisjte becomes more apparent. This dynamic is illustrated resuisite Figure 2, which displays the vertical integration of two M-S holons. Rsquisite manager is now subordinated to the Manager once Removed MoRwho is operating at the next higher developmental stratum.

The MoR is able to conceptualize work of a more complex nature than jawues Manager, and is positioned to make decisions and hold her subordinate accountable for tasks assigned. She is also engaged jaqyes the Eoliott once Removed SoR as part of the assessment of the ongoing growth and development of the employee.

In this regard, the system as a whole is able to continuously assess the lines and stages of development of employees to ensure they are positioned appropriately for best effect within the organization. All along the hierarchical chain tasks are assigned to workers with a capacity level commensurate to the complexity of the task.

While hierarchically oriented, decision-making is distributed throughout the organization with clarity as to who is responsible odganization decisions made and accountable for the outcomes of those elloitt. Jaques also takes great care in elaborating how the requisite organization of the MAH is used to address horizontal accountabilities. An employee may also be in a Task Initiating Role Relationship TIRRrequiring collaboration with another employee operating at the same stratum and with whom the initiating employee has no authority to require action.

Jaques provides guidelines for leveraging the accountability of the MAH to engage the respective managers and coordinate the assignment of tasks horizontally. There remains significant opportunity to expand our understanding of RO and its role in helping to resolve the complex problems that we face today.

RO as described here is focused on working relationships in the context of a business setting, where employees exchange their time and talent to complete tasks for pay. In the employment relationship, Jaques oragnization that work for pay establishes a different accountability between the employer and employee for tasks performed, and RO provides a structure that enables accountability, good decision making and trust.

However, not all organizations are based on employment. Associations, according to Jaques, usually operate based on voluntary participation of its members.

In this context governance is typically by vote or consensus and there is no mechanism to hold members accountable for participation. RO, while dismissing leadership theories that emphasize specific characteristics of the leader, remains focused on leadership administrated through specific roles and relationships, rather than as a dynamic process embedded in the social interactions Marion and Uhl-Bien Yet, RO also represents an integral model for leadership and organizational effectiveness.

By integrating awareness of developmental stages into the organizational structure, Jaques has sought to create a balanced environment that operates as an integrated elloott for the effective organizationn of organizational goals. My intention in this short paper was to suggest Requisite Organization as a metatheoretical framework for integrating the three lenses for Integral Leadership presented by Edwards. RO does integrate these three lenses by structuring work based on a clear understanding of adult development and work complexity, and provides a dynamic process that self organizes governance, and decision making into an ecological network of relationships with clear accountability for results.

The Journal of General Evolution, 64 requiwite, Developmental, Ecological, and Governance. Integral Leadership Review, IX 1.

In Over Our Heads: Leadership in complex organizations. Leadership Quarterly, 12 4 Paradigmatic Influence and Leadership: InComplex Systems Leadership Theory 1. Exploring the social processes of leadership and organizing.

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