Elliott Jaques and sensemaking : ultimate sensemaker or 20th century relic?

Groenewald, Henry James (2012-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The thesis considers the work of Elliot Jaques through the most recent interpretivist views of organizations and management. As it stands, Jaques does not form part of mainstream management thinking. Jaques is primarily known in organization and management theory for Stratified Systems Theory through his book Requisite Organization. Although undoubtedly influential, his views are generally considered to be either outdated or highly contentious. This assessment is mostly based on his book Requisite Organization. However, Jaques’ work spans fifty years of research in management science and the thesis explores his entire body of work with a view to understanding the research that Requisite Organization is founded upon. It explains Jaques’ divergence from the current determinisms that dominate our current milieu and links his work in Levels of Abstraction in Logic and Human Action with Maturana and Varella’s concept of autopoiesis and Weick's theory of Organizational Sensemaking. It is shown how the roots of Requisite Organization seeks to address similar concerns to that of Organizational Sensemaking. In conclusion various aspects of Jaques work are mapped to aspects of Weick's work, which at first glance would have seemed incompatible. It is argued that, if considered as a whole, Jaques' theory resonates with much more modern understandings of organization and management theory than is widely assumed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die tesis oorweeg die werk van Elliot Jaques deur die lens van die onlangste interpretatiewe sienings van organisasie en bestuursteorie. Op die oomblik vorm Jaques nie deel van die hoofstroom bestuursdenke nie. Hy is hoofsaaklik bekend vir Gestratifiseerde Sisteemteorie deur sy boek Requisite Organization. Alhoewel hierdie teorie baie invloedryk was, word dit meestal gesien as deel van bestuursgeskiedenis en wat eerder as kontroversieel as relevant beskou word. Hierdie oordeel is gewoonlik gebaseer op sy hoofwerk – Requisite Organization. Sy navorsing is egter op vyftig jaar in bestuurswetenskap gebaseer en die tesis bekyk sy totale bydrae in 'n poging om die navorsing waarop Requisite Organization gebaseer is te probeer verstaan. Dit verduidelik Jaques se afwyking van huidige determinismes wat ons huidige verstaan domineer en haak sy werk in Levels of Abstraction in Logic and Human Action met Maturana en Varella se konsep van autopoiesis en sy totale bydrae met Weick se teorie van Organisatoriese Singewing. Daar word aangedui hoedat die wortels van Requisite Organization dieselfde sake probeer aanspreek as Organisatoriese Singewing. Ten slotte word verskeie aspekte van Jaques se werk in verband gebring met aspekte van Weick se werk wat met die eerste oogopslag teenstrydig skyn te wees. Daar word geargumenteer dat, gesien as 'n geheel, Jaques se teorie baie meer modern voorkom as voorheen aanvaar is.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20092
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