Thursday, April 8, 2010

Promoting The Incompetent

Jack Dikian
Feburary 2000

Formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle, a humorous essay depicting members in a hierarchy (read organization structure) being promoted so long as they work competently – however, sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent. This being their "level of incompetence". They then remain at this level unable to earn further promotions.

Dr. William R. Corcoran in his work Corrective Action Programs described the more generalized principle that anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails making the Peter Principle as special case.Observations on incompetence can be found in the Dilbert cartoons. Dilbert explains how an incompetent person can still be promoted into positions where he/she continues to remain incompetent.

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