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The ternary analysis of work and working organisations

D.J. Stewart (Human Factors Research, Buckinghamshire, UK)


ISSN: 0368-492X

Article publication date: 1 July 2000



The author’s ternality theory provides a ternary, or three‐domain, concept of mechanism, that forms the basis of a new paradigm for purpose and directiveness. A summary is given of this paradigm and of the one‐domain and two‐domain paradigms it replaces. One practical outcome is the technique of ternary analysis. Among other things, this enables any kind of human work to be analysed into one or more of three domains. It clarifies the place of evaluation and judgement in work and suggests the stages to be followed in the design and construction of work and tasks, to arrive at ternary mechanisms to achieve desired results. Ternary analysis also offers a way of designing working organisations divided horizontally into departments, each of which is concerned with a particular evaluative dimension, and shows how a Law of Sum of Intervention Ratios operates in the vertical structure of such a working organisation.



Stewart, D.J. (2000), "The ternary analysis of work and working organisations", Kybernetes, Vol. 29 No. 5/6, pp. 689-701.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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