Requisite Organization Glossary of Terms

Glossary – Key Terms and Concepts for Requisite Organization, Talent Assessment, Organization Design, and Managerial Leadership


A situation where an individual can be called to account for his or her actions by another individual or body authorized both to do so and to give recognition to the individual for those actions.


The activities associated with clarifying the accountabilities and authorities of roles in an organization where the roles are interdependent (i.e. in a common process).


The power vested in a person by virtue of his or her role to expend resources: financial, human and technical, in order to meet the accountabilities of the role.


An individual’s ability to succeed in role, comprising:

• CIP (Level of Work ability)

• Knowledge, skills and experience

• Valuing the work in the role sufficiently to commit one’s CIP fully to it

Complexity of Information Processing (CIP)

The level of complexity of issue one is able to exercise judgment about.  The way one organizes, groups and extrapolates information in order to solve problems.

Cross Functional Working Relationships

Relationships in which one role (A) has the authority to initiate specified types of tasks with the other role (B).

Relationships in which A has the authority to get B to do something.

Advising: A has authority and accountability to give B unsolicited advice about a particular issue. B is accountable to listen to the advice but need not take it.

Service getting: A has the authority to request a specified type of help from B and to request a time by which that help would be provided. B is accountable for giving the help but may specify a different time if s/he cannot provide the service when requested.

Prescribing: A can tell B what to do. (Prescribing is restricted to issues where health and safety are at risk.)

Relationships in which A has the authority to get B to not do something

Monitoring: A has authority and accountability to see that B’s work is consistent with a specified plan or strategy and may request B to stop work that is inconsistent. If B does not comply, A may escalate the matter to his/her own manager.

Auditing: A has authority and accountability to see that B’s work is consistent with a specified plan or strategy and may instruct B to stop work that is not consistent. B must comply, but may escalate the matter to his/her own manager.

Coordinating: A has the authority to call B1, B2, B3, B4, etc. together to coordinate plans and to monitor their work for compliance with a specified plan.

Current Applied Capability

The level of effectiveness an employee currently works at. Determined by CIP, skilled knowledge, values and absence of personal dysfunction.

Current Potential Capability

The level of effectiveness an employee could currently work at had s/he the necessary skills, knowledge, values and absence of personal dysfunction. Determined by CIP.


The exercise of judgment in making choices in carrying out a task.  The interplay between judgment and discretion is the essence of work.


How well an employee works on assigned tasks. Effectiveness is an assessment of the employee’s work on a task, not a measure of output.


Someone who accepts compensation for accountability for:

• working effectively on tasks assigned

• giving their manager their best advice including informing their manager when their

• outputs will differ from those assigned.

• making decisions with team members according to context set by manager

• working within the organization’s policies.


Being in a work environment that allows one to do one’s best work, achieved through:

• role aligned with capability

• tasks aligned with the role

• resources aligned with accountability

• manager who provides context/value


The accountability of a manager to make whole by combining in systemic order the different parts; e.g. to integrate the work of a team member or teams within a work system(s) or process(es) so that the work flows smoothly as designed.


Evaluation of factors in a problem; interplaying verbalizable knowledge and data and non-verbalized mental processing in relation to each other when making a decision.


The ability to set purpose or direction for others and then get them to move in that direction with competence and full commitment.

Level of work (generic)

The weight of responsibility felt in roles is a result of the complexity of the work in the role.

Level (in the organization structure)

A specific layer within an organization structure; the work is characterized by a given range of levels of complexity.


A person in a role with people reporting to him or her, and for which he or she is accountable for

• Their own effectiveness

• The output of their team members;

• Building and leading an effective team so that each team member is fully committed to and capable of moving in the direction set; and

• Continuous improvement of work processes and methods.  All managers enable business objectives and strategies through their managerial authority. A manager is also required to lead team members so that they may achieve immediate objectives and continue to achieve objectives over time.

Manager-one-Removed (MoR)

The manager of a subordinate’s manager.

Mental Bandwidth

See complexity of information processing.

Organizational culture

Often known as ‘the way we do things around here’, this includes the policies, procedures, systems, rules and regulations, belief systems, custom and practice, shared values, economics and traditions and assumptions.


The result of the employee’s work.  Determined by what the manager assigns, the employee’s effectiveness, the resources provided and the opportunity in the environment.

Problem Solving Capability

See complexity of information processing.

Raw Talent

See complexity of information processing.

Requisite Organization

A science-based, total-system model for organizational structure and managerial leadership developed over the course of 50 years by the late Dr. Elliott Jaques.


A feeling of obligation; what an individual demands of himself or herself. It relates to one’s own standards, conscience, values and aspirations.


A position authorized by the company to perform a defined purpose that contributes to delivering the company’s objectives.


A level of complexity of work such that an employee suited for a role in one stratum will be best managed by a manager suitable for a role at the next higher stratum. The stratum of a role can be measured by time span.

Stratum Typical Role Time Span Range

-Str. I Bank teller up to 3 months

-Str. II Small Branch Manager 3 months – 12 months

-Str. III Regional Director 1 year – 2 years

-Str. IV Area General Manager 2 years – 5 years

-Str. V President Retail Branches 5 years – 10 years

-Str. VI EVP Retail Banking 10 years – 20 years

-Str. VII CEO 20 years – 50 years

-Str. VIII CEO (only in the largest corporations) 50 years – 100 years


A person for whose output a manger is held accountable.


The subordinate of a manager’s immediate subordinate.


A framework for a replicable set of events to achieve a specific and known purpose.


A task is a specific assignment

-To achieve an output in terms of quantity and quality

-Within a given time and

-Within given resource limits

Task Assigning Role Relationships TARRS

These are the managerial roles in which A is not only authorized to get B to do something, but is also held accountable by his/her own manager for B’s output (and its quantity, quality, and delivery time, within resources and procedures).

Task Initiating Role Relationships TIRRS

These are non-managerial, cross-team and cross-functional relationships. In these roles A is authorized to initiate B’s doing something but it is B’s manager and not A who is held accountable for whether or not B does it and for B’s outputs. TIRRs are specialist support roles, service giving roles and audit and control roles.


A group of people with a shared purpose who must interact with each other in order to achieve a productive purpose.

Team member

A person occupying a role reporting to a manager.

Time span of a Role

The intended length of the longest task in the role.

• The longest task may be:

– a project, e.g. “Install the new IT system in 18 months.”

– a rolling target, e.g. “Always be working on the product line we will need in 3 years.”

– work within monitoring, e.g. “Answer the phones efficiently and politely. I’ll be monitoring your work and will know within one week if you are not working up to my standard.”

• The longest task may not the most important task or most obvious.

• There will likely be shorter tasks within the role as well.

• Time span indicates the longest the incumbent could possibly work marginally below standard before the manager would find out.

Note: time span measures the complexity of a role. Length of a task does not measure task complexity.


The individual exercise of judgment in making decisions and acting on them within prescribed limits in order to achieve a productive purpose within a given timeframe.


The drive to engage in a type of work or to have a type of experience.

*Most of these definitions were developed by Dr. Elliott Jaques. Contributions were also made by Herb Koplowitz, Barry Deane, and Shelia Deane.

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