Bioss International

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A Bioss diagram on the organisation of work

The image on the right is one of Bioss' many diagrams exploring the psychological dimensions of work dominated by a managerialist and Taylorist mind set. A somewhat secretive organisation, Bioss' website states that:

"bioss has been helping to build healthy and successful organisations since 1970. Starting as one of the early self-funded work and research Institutes based on the Brunel University, today it is an international organisation specialising in the following areas:
Organisation development and role design, Identification of individual potential, succession and talent management; Executive Selection and Recruitment; Leadership development and coaching."[1]

Bioss is described by the University of Bedfordshire in 2007[2] as a:

"Top level management consultancy specialising in assessment of top management potential, organisation structure, organisation design organisation culture, reward & incentives, developmental psychometrics and succession planning."
Bioss diagram

The contact address is: Peter Bathmaker c/o 'St Brighid's', 34 Sollershott West, Letchworth GC, SG6 3PX. There is a Peter Bathmaker, Head of TCK Remuneration Practice who was HR Director of Shell Chemicals UK and of Dixons Stores Group and Group HR Director at House of Fraser and Pentland, who moved to PricewaterhouseCoopers where he specialised in executive compensation and incentives, with particular emphasis on the links to business strategy and corporate culture.

33 St James’s Square

Bioss International Europe gives its address as 33 St James’s Square London SW1Y 4JS (pictured left), this has also been the home of Strategic Communication Laboratories. It is what is termed a 'serviced office': fully furnished office space with managed facilities or a 'virtual office', whereby the client gains a prestigious address with a business listing for a specific purpose.


  • Chris Mathias A recent board member of Bioss, Mathias is a board member of Common Purpose. His biography at Common Purpose [3] states he co-founded CMG Partners and Arbor Ventures – both are private investment management companies. Prior to this, he founded Conduit Communications Ltd, an IT consultancy. Previously the CEO of the Harpur Group "the UK's second largest provider of fuel card services" according to his biography at Coutts which also states he has a "strong interest in ‘social investments’". Coutts' 'Philanthropy Services' include Sharon Stearnes also a member of the Charities Aid Foundation whose Grants Advisory Council is run by Adele Blakebrough a CAF trustees since 2005. She is Chief Executive and co-founder of Community Action Network (CAN) and is responsible for the growth and development of the Mezzanine which gathered together social sector organisations in London, and has now grown to become Mezzanine 2. Blakebrough is married to Ian Hargreaves now the Director of Communications, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, responsible for Public Diplomacy, which judging from their 2008 Wilton Park Conference involves Bioss' Gillian Stamp (below) in relation to its 'strategic leadership' aspects, Hargreaves also worked for Bioss.

Mathias is a trustee or board member of: Digital Links International, Impetus Trust and Charity Technology Trust. He also has an involvement in Basic Needs India, Action Aid and Oxfam, the British Asian Trust and the advisory board of Barclays Private Bank.[3]

  • Judy Hoborough is the Managing Director, other directors include Peter Taylor and Gillian Stamp who developed the 'Career Path Appreciation' (CPA) to evaluate individual capacity to make decisions, which is used by Bioss. According to her biography [4] at the Global Society for Science-based Management Inc., CPA was 'modified by Professor Owen Jacobs at National Defense University Washington DC to create MCPA'. This also states that she became director of BIOSS in 1985 following Elliott Jaques and worked with John Isaac at Brunel to develop The Matrix of Working Relationships.
  • Gillian Stamp, according to her website [5] was a director of the Brunel Institute of Organisation and Social Studies (the acronymn of which forms Bioss), founded in the 1960s by Elliott Jaques at Brunel University, and has overseen the organisation’s growth into an "independent global network of consultancy research institutes." Since 2005, she now guides Bioss the Foundation (based at 12 Ullswater Road London, United Kingdom SW13). This also adds:
"Her work with commercial concerns covers a wide spectrum including ICI, BA, BP, BAA, Rio Tinto, Morgan Stanley, Lazard, Schroders, Cisco, Westpac, Huntsman, Unilever, Borsodchem Hungary, the Prudential and Anglo American."

It also states Stamp worked with the Cabinet Office in the UK "in support of the development of high-potential civil servants and Permanent Secretaries." It also adds that she is a member of the board of the National School of Government and a Fellow of the Sunningdale Institute, a "virtual academy of leading academics from the UK, Europe and US, created to advise and advance public service, build capacity in the National School and support the strategic priorities of government."

Stamp’s advisory roles also include" the Archbishops’ Council of the Church of England, the Scottish Executive, the National Defence University in Washington DC, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the Office for National Statistics, the Social Care Institute for Excellence, the Employers’ Forum for Disability, the Community Action Network, and ‘Grow Coffee, Cut Poverty,’ a fair-trade initiative in Africa," and that she was a member for seven years of the Council of St George’s House, Windsor Castle, and currently serves as a Fellow of the Windsor Leadership Trust.

Bioss' work draws on that of the late Elliott Jaques: one of the initiators of the Tavistock Institute in 1948, with an interest in organizational development. Not surprisingly Jaques is credited with inventing the concept of the 'mid-life crisis'. One of the websites [6] devoted to him states:

"During his extensive work with disparate organizations such as the U.S. Army and corporations, Dr. Jaques was first to develop an objective scientific process for testing and measuring human behavior through a numeric and provable methodology. This breakthrough approach has been used for the selection of generals for our armed services, political leaders as well as managers in some of the world's largest businesses."
A mid-life crisis in action

Other more critical articles[7] assert that:

"He has been called rigid, mechanistic, a fascist, and a Taylorist; some business school professors prohibit students from discussing his work in their classes."

This adds that, for Jaques — and somewhat contrary to the work of Weber or Mills — the organizational structure we know as the "hierarchy" or "bureaucracy" is not, by nature, a repressive entity, but evolved as 'a natural vehicle for expressing the capabilities and limits that are innate in each of us as'. Jaques spent 15 years with the mining company CRA, later merged into Rio Tinto Zinc.

Other BIOSS International directors include: Piet Calitz, Gillian Stamp, Robbie Stamp, Stuart Williamson and Judy Hobrough and Ian Hargreaves also involved in the Community Action Network mentioned above.

Bioss also work with EDAC, [8]an Internet-based company who use their psychometric testing methods.

BIOSS Southern Africa emerged in its present form in 1999 when Third Foundation Systems incorporated the BIOSS International-licensed activities of the Anglo American Corporation’s Central Training Unit (as it then was) to form BIOSS Southern Africa. BIOSS International is a holding company based in the UK with a 'global footprint' that includes Australia, Brazil, China, Europe, India, North America, Southern Africa, and Zimbabwe.[9]


  1. Bioss Europe About us
  2. University of Bedfordshire 2007 [1]
  3. 3.0 3.1 [Chris Mathias, accessed 12 July 2011]
  4. Gillian P. Stamp: Global Society for Science-based Management Inc Member Profiles
  6. Elliott Jaques 2000-2003 Requisite Organization International Institute
  7. Art Kleiner (2001) Elliott Jaques Levels With You
  8. Executive Development Assessment Centre Global Associates
  9. Bioss about us