Peter Principle

Peter Principle

noun
any of several satirical “laws” concerning organizational structure, especially one that holds that people tend to be promoted until they reach their level of incompetence.

Origin:
from the title of a book by Laurence J. Peter (born 1919), Canadian educator

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World English Dictionary
Peter Principle
 
n
the Peter Principle the theory, usually taken facetiously, that all members in a hierarchy rise to their own level of incompetence
 
[C20: from the book The Peter Principle (1969) by Dr. Lawrence J. Peter and Raymond Hull, in which the theory was originally propounded]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

Peter Principle
1968, "in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence," named for (and by) Laurence Johnston Peter (1919-1990) Canadian-born U.S. educationalist and author, who described it in his book of the same name (1969).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

Peter Principle definition


A rule of organizations that states, “In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” Formulated by Laurence J. Peter, this rule is supposed to explain occupational incompetence.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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