Work & its Organisation > Work in Organizations QH2 > Structuring Organizations: Overview

Structuring Organizations: Overview

The Original «Levels of Work»

These discoveries were originally developed from observations of managerial roles and the behaviour of managers within large organizations. The hierarchy discovered by Elliot Jaques and Wilfred Brown was referred to regularly as «levels of work».

The Table below offers a summary of the material to be developed in this section. The attempt to be fully general means the language is perhaps slightly strained. Elaboration and examples in the Topics to follow should clarify matters.

Turf disputes associated with Jaques's heritage have bedevilled the field for many years. Labels and specifications of levels have sparked particular controversy: see discussion of alternatives.

L Responsibility Label Need to be Met Response to be Made
WL7 Total
Determination of organizational identity.
Define basic parameters
define the basic nature of needs, services and whatever else is required to deal with this mission; plus anything that must be taken as given by all lower levels.
WL6 Multi-field Coverage Policy formulation and control Frame operational fields
i.e. ►Closed
produce frameworks to bridge the divide between basic definitions and all fields or territories of actual operations.
WL5 Field
Strategy design and implementation Shape overall operations
shape the totality of operations and structure needs and services in a particular field and social territory.
WL4 Comprehensive Provision Management control of developments Develop multiple services
comprehensively balance and develop a range of services to meet the needs of some social territory.
WL3 Systematic Provision Operational control of concrete systems Manage a specific service
 manage available staff, resources and facilities so as to handle presenting demand, taking into account higher level priorities and inevitable fluctuations in workload and staffing.
WL2 Situational Response Resolution of open-ended concrete cases Assess and handle complex situations
 deal immediately with concrete situations by allocating resources and acting or instructing others.
WL-1 Prescribed Output Responses to concrete demands. Take actions whose results are fully specifiable in advance
 perform in a given acceptable style as instructed in the specific case or in accord with general expectations.

A table comparing names for levels in this Framework to similar names for types in the methods of managing-PH'5Q2t and modes in strengthening managing in the face of complexity-PH'5Q2C is provided here, together with the link to using language-PH'5.

Organization Structure & Management of Work

Review the distinction between posts and roles.

Describing the Work-Levels

The next topic offers a basic account of the nature of the output at each level in terms of needs to be met and responses to be made. Examples are provided to illustrate characteristic level-specific tasks, jobs and organizations. The characteristic time-scales, deadlines for task completion, are identified. Common titles given to posts are noted.

Following this exposition, a review is provided and various further implications and perspectives will be explored.

Originally posted: 10-Jan-2014

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
All Rights Reserved.

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