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Parkinson's Law

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  323 ratings  ·  53 reviews
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Hardcover, 112 pages
Published July 21st 2003 by Buccaneer Books (first published 1957)
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Parkinson's Law briefly stated is that 'work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.' If it doesn't seem that an entire book could be written about this thesis then you haven't encountered the imaginative genius and the stinging comic wit of C. Northcote Parkinson. He is able to use this little insight as an analytic tool to expose much of what is wrong with organizations and why much in both business and government seems at odds with common sense. For example, why the Briti ...more
This is a very funny book, and a quick read. If you're a little on the cynical side, and ever run into it at a book sale or used book store, you might want to pick it up.

I can't check it out, since the copy I read has been returned to the friend who loaned it to me, but as I recall it was a little hard to decide in some places whether the author was totally serious or was just being humorous. Likewise, whether the "experiences" he was relating had really been experienced. That is, whether the wo
This is a perfect blend of humour and management. Should have been widely-read, perhaps was, but this book is so old, even my copy dates back to 1965. I don't think it is in reprint any more.

Which is kind of sad, for a book that explains how every cocktail party has a spiral in its midst.
David Smith
How are British and French laws dictated largely by the layout of the seats in the legislature? Why can you easily get approval for the ten million dollar nuclear power plant from the same committee that will never approve the five hundred dollar bike shed? Why does an institution lose all relevance by the time it moves into a perfect building?

With great dry whit, Parkinson gives us clear intuitions for the real forces that dictate how large bureaucracies operate. I felt instantly wiser and more
There's a reason those bloggers on time management still invoke Parkinson's Law 55 years after he coined the term. Yet there's more to the law than the version we hear so often in contemporary culture. His other essays are just as insightful, especially when explaining why institutions behave the way they do.
Jim Viscusi
Enjoying! A series of short essays on management theory. Parkinson's Law summarizes to me (at the moment) as work expends to fill the time allotted regardless of importance. It's currently relevant to me as I try to sort out how much time to allocate to a project
Very interesting modelling of social behaviour. Who would have thought there is a mathematical approach to finding the most important person (or group of people) in a party based solely on time and floor-space? But there is. Check the book out.
Love and absolutely agree with the conclusion that work expands to fill the time available, but this is a really old book and contains paragraphs and paragraphs of dry information.
"Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion."
C. Northcote Parkinson observed people in the workplace and has written smartly and a bit tartly about the things we notice without really noticing. Although this was published in 1957 its currency persists. We misinterpret actions, we misstate ideas, we misunderstand words yet somehow we hang in there long enough to beget another generation while our notions of organization somehow fail to keep pace. I've worn out several copies
This guy knows of what he speaks. Should be required reading every year in the business and MBA programs.
Jerry Haigh
Every aspiring bureaucrat should be required to read, and learn, and UNDERSTAND this book
Jack Oughton
Original and best!
Kimball Ungerman
Recommended by Henry Cate. One reviewer: Parkinson's Law briefly stated is that 'work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.' If it doesn't seem that an entire book could be written about this thesis then you haven't encountered the imaginative genius and the stinging comic wit of C. Northcote Parkinson. He is able to use this little insight as an analytic tool to expose much of what is wrong with organizations and why much in both business and government seems at odds with ...more
Maurizio Codogno
Feb 13, 2011 Maurizio Codogno rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maurizio by: Andrea Monti
Shelves: humour, finished
«Il lavoro si espande fino a occupare il tempo a disposizione per completarlo.» Molti adi voi avranno probabilmente letto questa frase e l'avranno associata alle leggi di Murphy: ma essa ha un autore ben preciso, Cyril Northcote Parkinson (nessuna parentela con l'omonimo morbo), uno storico navale inglese che scrisse una sessantina di libri. Questo libro nacque da un articolo umoristico scritto per l'Economist che venne poi espanso sotto forma di libro, che divenne immediatamente un best-seller. ...more
Aug 14, 2007 Supposn added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone I don't dislike.
Different recommended strastegie's for dealig with Western or Asiatic tax collectors.

A must read. Many of our everyday decisions are (or should have been) based upon Parkinson's insights.

For example, he wrote "Work expands to fill the time allotted for it". If you schedule more time, you'll create more tasks to accomplish a particular goal.

The many corollaries derived from this law are significant.
“Junk expands to fill the space allotted for it”. Regardless of how much storage space we create,
Krishna Kumar
The law "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion" has wide-ranging applications. The examples are funny. However the writing is not very easy to read. Some of the examples are also outdated - you cannot blame the author for it, but it may take some effort to understand some situations mentioned in the book.
Tyson Brown
This is a really short and very funny book. There are some things i didn't quite understand but the principal still remains the same and that: work expands as to fill the time that is available for the allotted tasks. This book is full of examples where it comes into place everyday and you don't realise how relative this law is
Jun 23, 2013 Hadrian marked it as to-read
"One unclassifiable work which was extremely popular in Communist Europe was C. Northcote Parkinson's Parkinson's Law (John Murray, London, 1957). Among the appreciative readers of the Russian edition of Parkinson's Law, published in Moscow in 100,000 copies in the mid-1970s, was the first secretary of the Communist Party in the Stavropol region, Mikhail Gorbachev [...] I recall a Hungarian socialist, who visited Glasgow University in the late 1960s, saying that he did not understand why Parkins ...more
Luis Uribe
Parkinson's Law: "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". The various permutations, expansions and auxiliaries are both interesting and amusing. They certainly fill the 100+ pages and are as relevant today as they were in 1955.
A very funny book, the author's vehicle is satire of the 'stuffy old britsh dude' variety.
The first half of the book is very engaging after which it falls flat but is still very readable.
It is very surprising to see how very much 'management' hasn't changed since the book was written in '57.
Dated, inevitably, but really very funny and still pretty valid. Sometimes he lapses into facetiousness but for the most part this is real wit you're getting.
And only 120pp. Short is good too.
We all know about Parkinsons Law. So you may wonder why the original book deserves your attention. After all if you already use it, why waste your time reading redundant information.

Well that's because you've never read a text like this.

C Northcote Parkinson is a brilliant writer. Knowing that the issues he touches upon (he not only talks about Parkinsons Law but other BS that exists in bureaucracies and why counterintuitively they exist) are sensitive and will cause an uproar he instead chose
Tandava Brahmachari
Apr 17, 2015 Tandava Brahmachari rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tandava by: Asha
It may be 50-some years old and British, but the cultural differences are slight compared to the satire that is still pretty relatable. Pretty fun.
Rick Munoz
One of the best business books to read. A Must read for anyone working in large corporations, which are very much like large government agencies.
Adam Gravano
Organizations and bureaucracy are facts of modern life, inescapable as taxation or death; but that doesn't mean they must be inefficient, unpleasant, and self negating. Parkinson's Laws describe, in commonsense terms, life inside bureaucratic organizations and how it moves. Recommended for any student of public policy.
barring moments of cute 1950s racism, a v sarcastic lil british manual on management consulting
This was a good satire of administrative office work, if you could get beyond the 1950s sexism.
Danijel Brestovac

Lahko, da je res. Res je potegavščina. Leta 1957 je to bila potegavščina, ampak danes, ko to berem, se mi zdi, da je bil genij oz. futurist, ki je videl globoko v prihodnost.

Nihče mi ne more reči, da si ob branju ni pridobil vzporednice, ki se danes dogajajo. Enostavno je komično, genijajom in resnično oz. futuristično napisano.

Zame ste, g. Parkinson, genij, ki je napisal kratko, ampak jedrnato zgodbo krute realnosti današnjega dne.

Predvsem ste zadeli z boleznijo današnje oz. moderne dobe, ki se
Первые несколько законов прикольные, дальше можно пролистать
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Cyril Northcote Parkinson was a naval historian and author of some sixty books. He was educated at Cambridge, and went on to teach in Malaya, and in the United States at Harvard and in Illinois.

He was an important scholar in the field of public administration.

His most famous work is Parkinson’s Law, or The Pursuit of Progress.
More about C. Northcote Parkinson...
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