Elliott Jaques and sensemaking : ultimate sensemaker or 20th century relic? Groenewald (MPhil Thesis, 2012)

ELLIOTT JAQUES AND SENSEMAKING : ULTIMATE SENSEMAKER OR 20TH CENTURY RELIC? Groenewald, Henry James (2012-03)

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

Yes.

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 Although undoubtedly influential, his views are generally considered to be either outdated or highly contentious.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.