Le Principe de Peter
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Le Principe de Peter

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  819 ratings  ·  93 reviews
This bestselling business classic of more than twenty-five years' duration is a dead-on account of why boredom, bungling, and bad management are built into every organization. Through hilarious case histories and cartoons adapted from Punch, Dr. Peter shows how America's corporate career track drives employees relentlessly upward -- until they get promoted into jobs they j...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Livre de Poche (first published 1969)
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Ellen
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The other day, out of nowhere, one of my sons asked me, “What’s the Peter Principle?” I scrambled together something about people tending to get promoted until they reach their level of incompetence. Then, of course, curiosity compelled me to find the book. And I did—quite a feat considering the number of books we own and the lack of any discernable organization. It was, as I remembered, a slim, black hardcover; it was also the 1969 edition, the year it was first published. Even if the book were...more
K
This was (mostly) a cute and charming read with some interesting insights into the inefficiency you often encounter among businesses and individual workers. Basically, Peter says, if workers do well (and especially if they have "pull"), they will keep being promoted until they reach a point where they can no longer do their job well. But once that happens, they usually won't be demoted unless they're exceptionally incompetent. Rather, they will remain in their positions. To compensate for their...more
Michael
Long before Dilbert, there was The Peter Principle.

I hear it referenced every so often, though most quoting it have never actually read it. I decided to at least remedy that for myself.

Published in 1969, it still remains shockingly accurate. Despite it's exaggerated and humorous approach, it's also sobering and serious when you can immediately think of *exact* work scenarios that match his examples.

Definitely a classic. Like the best of Dilbert, prepare to cringe with it's accuracy - and perhaps...more
Rose
The main point of this book can be explained in a single sentence, and doesn't need much elaboration. Nonetheless, the book as a whole doesn't just rehash that one point; it's tongue-in-cheek funny and worth reading to the end.
Virgilio Machado
O Princípio de Peter identifica a situação comum com que todos os gestores seniores têm que lidar mais cedo ou mais tarde. Enuncia que «Numa Hierarquia Todo o Empregado Tende a Ser Promovido até ao seu Nível de Incompetência». Este problema é especialmente difícil de resolver em empresas jovens com crescimento rápido. A medida que uma empresa cresce desde o seu estado de «startup» até ao de organização estabelecida, os empregados são obrigados a desenvolver as suas capacidades de gestão e organi...more
Wiranto Partosudirdjo
Ini buku ke 2 yang merubah hidup saya. Buku ini saya baca atas rekomendasi teman saya Paul Gunadi pada waktu saya dapat assignment pekerjaan di Caltex, Rumbai, Pakanbaru dari tahun 1976 s/d 1980. Saya baca buku ini pinjam di Perpustakaan Caltex, Rumbai, Pekanbaru.

Buku ini adalah hasil survey yang dilakukan oleh Laurence J. Peter pada birokrasi yang ada di pemerintahan USA. Dari survey tersebut dia membuat theory yang terkenal dengan nama: The Peter Principle. Yang saya ingat dari membaca buku in...more
Kelly  Schuknecht
The idea of the Peter Principle is that "In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence." When people tend to do their job well, they are eligible for promotion and that cycle continues until they are promoted into a role for which they are incompetent to perform the duties. At that point they have reached their "final placement." They are no longer eligible for further promotions because they have reached their level of incompetence.

According to Dr. Peter, "work is acc...more
Justin
When Dr. Laurence Peter was born in Vancouver, Canada during the year of 1919, the world was not prepared for his revolutionary doctrine. Today we suffer the consequences because few have heeded his warning, we all think we are the exception to his principle. I’m not talking about a prophet or spiritualist, I’m talking about one of the most brilliant analysts of modern society.

With this simple phrase on p.15 of my edition of The Peter Principle he explained nearly every problem the human species...more
MisterFweem
I first read this book a dozen or so years ago -- in college, actually, so more like 20 years ago -- and thought it was pretty funny then. Re-reading it now, well, it was a different experience. Though it calls to us from the year 1969, much of what it says rings true today -- too true, as I recognize that I once hit my level of incompetence as a newspaper editor and then moved on to a different career where my skill set (and I don't mean the writing, I mean other skills that will go unmentioned...more
Don Stanton
Old thinking from an old era and limited by scope and diminished by a time and the resiliency of human nature.
An excellent book to read outdated series of motivation and success, how to name it today I would call it "Puff the Magic Peter Principle"
I have seen too many people in my life who excelled beyond on themselves, in spite of themselves, against all odds of success.
The major 2 things missing from the Peter Principle all are the to determination of self worth and the lack of the human soul...more
Rob
AN extremely enlightening, extremely depressing book. Once you read it, it's all too easy to see it at work in every facet of western society, including the financial crisis of 2008-9.

Every person in getting a management or administration degree ought to be required to read this.
Aletha Dunston
The Peter Principle basically outlines how employees rise to the level of their own incompetence in our current hierarchal structure. Instead of remaining where they are strongest, employees are promoted to jobs, like management, where they might not have a clue.
For example, the best machinist in the factory does not necessarily excel at managing people. So why not pay him more to do what he is good at, instead of making him "climb the ladder" to secure a better financial future?
You can read th...more
Erik
A book has never changed my life before. Sure i knew the tagline, sure i read about it on wikipedia and its relation to the dilbert principle. It was a cheery thought and interesting food for thought but didn't think too much about this. Found this book and the 2 that came after it at a local neighborhood book sale fundraiser for 50 cents each. Im a cog in a huge corporate hierarchy and so the subject was of specific relevance, so i gave the yellow'd book a shot.

What Larry Peter discusses, in a...more
Emily
The Peter Principle is an interesting and provocative little book. While Peter is probably right about a lot of things, it's hard to take him seriously with all the snide, snarky jokes and the ridiculous language he employs. The made-up terms are purposeful, but I found that they actually derailed my understanding at times due to sheer absurdity.

On the whole, the Peter Principle certainly has some truth in it. It is logical that individuals may be promoted due to success in one role to a role t...more
Stephen
READ JUL 2013

A satirical piece that is touted as the seminal work in the science of hierarchiology and the theory of incompetence. Many truisms in this piece that you have to chuckle to keep from crying.

Best quotes: "in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence" (p. 25), "in every hierarchy the cream rises until it sours" (p. 35), "in most hierarchies, super-competence is more objectionable than incompetence" (p. 45), "How can the ability to lead depend on the abili...more
Kamal
Bob Sutton has an insightful review of this book for The Guardian.

I don't know if there's too much more I can add, except the following:

Dr. Peter's approach to the social world is pessimistic, sardonic, and frequently, utterly hilarious. However, the humour only goes so far. The more you read of this famous treatise on social hierarchies, the more you realize that Peter has indeed struck upon a true insight into contemporary culture. At times, Peter is prophetic, as with his section near the end...more
Thom Swennes
This book was first published in 1969, around the time I first read it. Then, as now, it made a dramatic impression on me. I’m sure many people would argue that this book belongs in the fiction section of any bookstore or library but I feel sure it is generally found in the non-fiction. If you need proof that the Peter Principal is based on cold hard facts, you only have to look at the thousands of politicians, presidents and un-elected world leaders to realize that the level of personal incompe...more
Tim Burrington
This is the second time that I've read this book and it's gotten better with age. This is still excusing some of the content that is evidence of when the book was written (women being competent housewives and such).
With very few exceptions the content will strike a chord with anybody in their professional life. There are times where I've considered that the entire book may be a comic piece, but then there are too many concepts that it describes which are readily observable in day to day life.
...more
bkwurm
Disappointing. Although claims of scientific rigor are made, all that the authors produce in support of their hypothesis are anecdotes that are clearly not of general application. While there are certainly some individuals that have reached their level of incompetence, to argue from that that all of us reach our levels of incompetence without anything more than anecdotal evidence is going way too far. More importantly, in support of their claim, the authors, at one point, even quote a poet’s ver...more
John
This is an attempt at humour, largely superseded by later publications. After the first couple of chapters, it gets increasingly irritating with its neologisms, repetition and lack of content.

However, I enjoyed one or two bits, particularly this one, when talking about sideways promotions:-

"A case of levitation - The entire 82-man staff was moved away to another department leaving the director with nothing to do and nobody to supervise. Here we see the rare phenomenon of a hierachal (sic) pyram...more
Jeff Brateman
This was an excellent (and quick) read on the hierarchy of society, and how people rise to their level of incompetence. Despite being written more than 40 years ago, it is very relevant. The only irrelevant part is the direct relationship with Darwin, explaining about building good mass transit systems, rather than costly 'moonships' which provide no good to humanity. Those pesky moonships have done nothing for me... nothing! Ha!

I took meticulous notes on the topics covered in this book, and dis...more
Brian Berrett
The Peter Principle is that people will rise to their level of incompetence. While I've seen that happen, I do not believe it always happens. The book seems to indicate unless you actively create an incompetence it will happen to you. I agree it can and does happen, but I disagree with many of the premises in the book. I don't believe we as humans could accomplish what we do if his premises are true.

The author also tends to "make up" a lot of terms for his observations. While I can appreciate h...more
Rhonda
I remember reading this book my first year in a corporation, given to me as a Christmas present. I was horrified by what I was seeing after having been in college: everyone seemed to have the wrong job, but the higher up you went, the more each of them wanted you to be conscious that he or she, at least, were above you.
I don't rate the book any higher for two reasons. First, despite it being reasonably accurate, it made me even more depressed to understand how the "good-old-boy" network functio...more
Alberto Jacobo Baruqui
Una estupenda teoría sobre el comportamiento humano en terrenos laborales.
Es digna esta teoria de discusiones largas y necias sobre los limites laborales y la felicidad del trabajo bien realizado. Se aplica a todas las áreas incluyendo la política y la iglesia. En realidad es sorprendente como embona tan bien en tantas y tantas empresas y casos.
Lo dramático llega al aplicarlo en uno mismo.. No hay como mejor voltear a otro lado y sonreír para después aplicarlo en los demás, si duda es muchísimo...more
Edward H. Busse, III
YOU'VE GOT TO READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!! The Peter Principle is an outstanding treatise on, not just the workplace, but life. The primary focus was on the dynamics of the workplace and the overwhelming inject called incompetence. I don't want to spoil you on the language, philosophies or outcomes, but suffice it to say that all your questions will be answered by reading The Peter Principle. I learned a tremendous amount about my workplace and workplaces in general and I now have a fresh, undisturbe...more
Doug
Forgotten what a fun, tongue in cheek book this is. A little dated to be sure, but still far too accurate! Should be a gift to anyone who gets a promotion or better job.
Mark Boyd
Should be required reading for all politicians.
Tori
I found this book both edifying and horribly depressing. I can't refute Peter's conclusions, which means that, unless we employ some creative stupidity to prevent rising above our means, we will all eventually be found completely incompetent at something that matters. As for the book itself, Peter has the same rabid tendency of Thomas Friedman (who has probably read this book) to label absolutely every fricking concept with a new, cutesy turn of phrase. But at least Friedman doesn't name everyth...more
Erez Schatz
for understanding the Peter Principle itself, this book is a must.
Kelly
I read this book in the mid 1980's for a college course. Just read it again for book club. The book was written in 1969, but it's still accurate today. If you want to learn why so many incompetent people are in high level positions in jobs and if you want to laugh as well then read this book. It is dated with some sexist comments (and one homosexual comment that bothered me), but the book is worth reading. You'll be comparing the descriptions to people you know at work. And, you'll wonder where...more
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182617
Dr. Laurence J. Peter was an educator and "hierarchiologist," best known to the general public for the formulation of the Peter Principle.
More about Laurence J. Peter...
The Peter Prescription; How to Be Creative, Confident and Competent Peter's Quotations: Ideas for Our Times Why Things Go Wrong, Or, the Peter Principle Revisited The Peter Plan Formulas de Peter, Las (Spanish Edition)

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“I have noticed that, with few exceptions, men bungle their affairs. Everywhere I see incompetence rampant, incompetence triumphant...I have accepted the universality of incompetence.” 2 likes
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.” 1 likes
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