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Peter Principle

noun
1.
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Peter Principle

Peter Principle

noun
1.
the Peter Principle, the theory, usually taken facetiously, that all members in a hierarchy rise to their own level of incompetence
Word Origin
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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for 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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Peter Principle in Culture

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.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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