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The Peter Principle
  • In the late sixties the Canadian psychologist Laurence J. Peter advanced an appar- ently paradoxical principle, named since then after him, which can be summarized as follows: //Every new member in a hierarchical organization climbs the hierarchy until he reaches his level of maximum incompetence//

    If you do not have Peter's books, get them and read.
    They contain much more than only this principle.
    They are about fundamental things - monkeys natural habit to form hierarchies and are very useful in life.

    Our computational study of the Peter principle process applied to a prototypical organization with pyramidal hierarchical structure shows that the strategy of promoting the best members in the PH case induces a rapid decrease of efficiency, while it works well only if members would ide- ally maintain their competence at each level, an hypothesis that, although in agreement with common sense, seems in practice very unrealistic in the major- ity of the real situations. On the other hand we obtained the counterintuitive result that the best strategies for improving, or at least for not diminishing, the efficiency of an organization, when one ignores the actual mechanism of competence transmission, are those of promoting an agent at random or of randomly alternating the promotion of the best and the worst members. We think that these results could be useful to guide the management of large real hierarchical systems of different natures and in different fields.


    Slightly more fun math.

    Knowledge is Power. Time is Money.

    Work/Time = Power

    Now make substitution:

    Work/Money = Knowledge


    Work/Knowledge = Money

    The less you know, the more you get :-)

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  • Every new member in a hierarchical organization climbs the hierarchy until he reaches his level of maximum incompetence

    jajajjajajaja aja ajajaj -- ayayay I see this more frequently that I would like, specially when working with big institutionalized organizations... it has always amazed me the capacity of the stablished incopetents to slow down things to... 1 frame per year, which then get always carried out at the last possible moment with the minimum effort necessary. If this Peter guy would come here... he would probably call this a perfectly balanced idiocracy. All good Vitaliy, thanks for the thoughts