Who was Thomas Thomson Paterson?

Schedule EEA 9 to the Employment Equity Act, 1998 mentions equivalent occupational levels and refers to a semantic scale, Paterson, Peromnes, Hay and Castellion.More...We know that Castellion must have had something to do with SA Breweries because 2 of their famous products were Castle and Lion beer.   But who was Paterson?   Some sense of the person and his early background can be gleaned from a paper published by his son, Dr ET Paterson in 2000.  In this paper he refers to the work of his father, also Dr Paterson, who gained his Ph.D. in Cambridge and became a Fellow of Trinity College.

It is stated that “Among his many colleagues were Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Helmut de Terra, the Leakeys (Louis and Mary), Vivian Fuchs, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson and Rheo Fortune.   He took part in many expeditions, to East Africa, India, Greenland and Northern Canada.   As curator of the Museum of Archæology and Anthropology in Cambridge he had the opportunity to immerse himself in details of many human cultures.   During the Second World War he became a trouble-shooter for the Royal Air Force.   Shortly afterwards he embarked on a detailed inquiry into industrial relations in the British National Coal Board”.

The paper goes on to state that when funding for this dried up in “post-war austerity, he returned to academic life in the University of Glasgow in the Department of Social and Economic Research where his multitudinal observations crystallized into a new field which he named “Methectics”.   He applied Methectics, now more appropriately known as “Methexis”, successfully to the turmoil of strife-torn industry in Glasgow, and later to major international industries and even governments”.

It seems that “while this was happening he transferred to the then new University of Strathclyde, whose School of Administration he built up into the largest in Europe rivaling the Harvard School of Business Administration.   In the mid 1950s Paterson began to work with Dr. Humphry Osmond on the concepts upon which this paper is based”.

Dr TT Paterson published 3 Reports of a commission of inquiry into the organization and development of the public service of Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia House, London in 1961, 1962 and 1963.  In 1966 he published a book “Management Theory”, Business Publications Limited, London.

It is known that he spent time and conducted research in Southern Africa before settling in Canada.

He died in 1994 and his son Dr ET Paterson wrote an obituary “Thomas Thomson Paterson (obit.), Yearbook of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1289, 1996″.

Further research is being conducted to examine his considerable contribution to the development of industrial relations in South Africa.

Leave a Reply