Skip to comments.Peter Principle Particulars: Pluchino Paper Perused
Posted on 10/12/2010 4:25:53 AM PDT by mattstat
One summary of the Peter Principle, named after psychologist Laurence J. Peters, is that in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence. Three Italian physicistsPluchino, Rapisarda, and Garofaloclaim to have put proof to this puzzling problem. Today, we examine their paper, which is making the rounds, and has even won an Ig Nobel!
Peters perplexing promotional principal runs like this: a vacancy in an organization appears, and somebody in that organization who had heretofore labored somewhere in the lower ranks is elevated to a new eminence.
Peter assumes that when people are promoted they will not be as good at their new jobs as they were at their old jobs. This presumes two conditions. One, as is reasonable, new jobs are different; and two, that just because somebody was efficient at their old job it does not imply that they will be efficient at their new job. It isnt necessary that the new job be harder on some mysterious global scale, just different from the old one.
It is difficult to discuss the Peter Principal (PP) because one has to be careful to make testable statements that can be shown to have been derived from the PP. In one reading, the PP does not imply that every boss is incompetent: not every boss is promoted from below within an organization, for example. But in a global reading, the PP can be used to imply that everybody is at least somewhat incompetent. After all, everybody at whatever level was promoted from below at some point! (Consider also the people who are line workers, who are never promoted.) That everybody works at their level of incompetence is obviously false, and it shows that the PP, if true, cannot be a global phenomenon...
(Excerpt) Read more at wmbriggs.com ...
My first acquaintance with The Peter Principle goes back to the early 60s.
I frequently reference The Peter Principle in my FR post.
Barack Hussein Obambie is a classic example of one who is
a perfect example.
Perfect example of Academic’s failure to understand the real world. Did these guy’s work on global warming?
Laurence Peter was literate. He never wrote “...their level of competence.”
The original author.