In his view, much of the mistrust in hierarchy is “generated by the failure to specify the accountability and the authority people are expected to exercise in their everyday working interactions.” (2)
In particular, managers should be responsible not just for the work of their direct reports but for their results and the quality of work context. In addition Jacques stated manager accountability should include adding value to the work of their direct reports, developing healthy teamwork, and generating authentic enthusiasm for work. To do this, managers also must have authority to make work assignments and make removals if necessary—but even the latter would also be dependent on a process that does not disrupt trust.
Jaques felt that without the clarity of these basic expectations, other interventions will not get very far--like working on morale, individual insight, exercises in group dynamics, incentive planning, leadership development, etc.
(1) From Art Kleiner, Elliot Jaques Levels With You, Strategy+Business, Jan 1 2001, Issue 22
(2) Elliott Jaques, Requisite Organization, Cason Hall and Co, 1989