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The Dilbert Principle: A Cubicle's-Eye View of Bosses, Meetings, Management Fads & Other Workplace Afflictions (Dilbert: Business #1)

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  7,142 Ratings  ·  279 Reviews
The creator of Dilbert, the fastest-growing comic strip in the nation (syndicated in nearly 1000 newspapers), takes a look at corporate America in all its glorious lunacy. Lavishly illustrated with Dilbert strips, these hilarious essays on incompetent bosses, management fads, bewildering technological changes and so much more, will make anyone who has ever worked in an off ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 19th 1997 by Boxtree (first published April 18th 1996)
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Community Reviews

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Riku Sayuj
Feb 22, 2012 Riku Sayuj rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Puneet Raheja
Shelves: mba-stuff, r-r-rs

The Dilbert Principle: A Q & A

This is not really a review. It is more of a collection of notes I made from the book while I got some respite from laughing my head off or scratching my head at the thought that some of this sarcasm is slung at me too.

To those of you who are unfortunate enough to be 'bosses', I would suggest that you give this book a miss: You might end up in chronic depression.

To get into the nuances of the book, here is a Q&A with my notes from the book and a few Dilber
Nandakishore Varma
I have worked in Engineering Consultancy organisations since 1993. Now I will let Dilbert speak for me.

And finally, with apologies to the memory of Dian Fossey.

There are two kinds of people in the world, those who believe that the world of business is rational and those who have experience of it.

Or as Scott Adams puts it in the first chapter of this loose collection of comic strips and emails from people about their jobs "No matter how absurd I try to make the comic strip I can't stay ahead of what people are experiencing in their own workplaces."

The downside of this book is that the emails would be funnier if they weren't true.
Apr 13, 2017 Shadowdenizen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I never appreciated Dilbert until I actually got a "cubicle" job...
May 12, 2016 Stacy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nicholas Nash
Dec 28, 2016 Nicholas Nash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book when I first started working. I've been cynical since and try to see through all the workplace madness right away. This book is incredibly funny and, I must say, every bit true. If you're slogging away in a cubicle, don't feel bad. This book will make you feel better. Know that you are not alone!
Doc Opp
May 18, 2008 Doc Opp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From about 2002-2007, I believe the Daily Show gave the most hard hitting and reliable news on TV. The reason was because the mainstream media was afraid to go against the zeitgeist of the patriotic anti-terror hawkish government policies. The Daily Show, being a humor show, could say whatever the heck it felt like safe behind the armor of freedom of expression and comedy. So, John Stewart poked holes in ridiculous policy, and was one of the few places with reasonable analysis of global affairs. ...more
Aug 11, 2007 Rob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: jaded tech and/or office workers
Shelves: own, humor
I got into the Dilbert comics sometime during high school. I was working part-time in the head office of a construction company, alphabetizing invoices and de-stapling paperwork. Gimpy stuff. "Office bitch" type stuff. The hours and pay were good though and my boss looked almost exactly like the Dilbert Boss -- but with a mustache and without being an idiot. Just the same, everyday's three panel strip clearly illustrated some incident that had recently occurred.

This book was given to me somewher
May 28, 2013 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, humor
Writing comedic prose is tough. Even professional comedians fail at it most of the time. And I would imagine that writing comic strips is even tougher, based on the fact that DILBERT, THE FAR SIDE and CALVIN AND HOBBES are the only good ones that immediately spring to mind. In THE DILBERT PRINCIPLE, Scott Adams succeeds admirably at both. Yes, the DILBERT comic strips are funnier than his prose--but not by so great a margin as you'd naturally expect. Adams obviously put a lot of thought into thi ...more
Dilbert was a favorite of my late husband, and I read this book in small portions over the course of a year. It brought me back to my days in the work force, for example United Way campaigns, downsizing and leaders that compare employees making mistakes with doctors dropping babies on their heads (employees at the insurance company I worked for actually got a memo from upper management on that!).

The book includes both cartoons, text and real-life anecdotes that readers sent Scott Adams. Adams i
Feb 12, 2011 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who's been an employee and has a sense of humor.
This is the second time I've read this book. The first time, I went through it very fast. This time I savored its wisdom.

Anyone who has ever worked in a corporation will relate to both the essays and the unforgettable cartoons. I particularly enjoy Dogbert, the heartless H.R. manager. Having worked in H.R. for a number of years, I have stories similar to Adams' comic strips.

The hypocrisy of a great percentage of managers is illuminated in the chapter on "Great Lies of Management". I'm sure most
Jan 14, 2015 Felicia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, read-in-2015
"When companies try to encourage creativity it's like a bear dancing with an ant. Sooner or later the ant will realize it's a bad idea, although the bear may not."

As usual, Scott Adams is spot on about business life. It's bizarre that this book is almost 20 years old and the same old management fads, catch phrases and general b.s. are still in play today. It's amazing that any businesses manage to be successful.
بسام عبد العزيز
Pretty hilarious! i couldn't erase the smile on my face during reading such a hilarious book.. even sometimes i burst into laughter and people around me was wandering whether i'm crazy or something!

the book contains the management deficiencies that scott has experienced himself during his career as an employee in big companies.
even though it may seem exaggerated sometimes for some people but for people working in the engineering field it'll definitely be their "day-to-day" routine! so if you'r
Feb 12, 2017 Swati rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Funny exaggeration of the corporate life. I liked the chapter about Marketing. One thing is clear, the author really hates cubicles.
Mary JL
Dec 25, 2009 Mary JL rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who works or will work in a large company
Shelves: non-fiction
I really enjoyed this book. It is non-fiction, although Scott Adams uses some of his comic strips to make a point.

He points out all the pointless, timewasting bureaucratic hassles that affects most large businesses--and many small ones.

For those who have ever worked in any office, the problems Adams focusses on are all too familiar.

Ever had a big company "slogan"? It's like a high school pep rally. You see the slogan in e-mails, on wall posters, they pass out T-shirts or mugs with the new slogan
Alan Chen
Mar 11, 2012 Alan Chen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun
An agonizing chore to traverse its 320+ pages. I've always been amused by the Dilbert comic strip, but for some reason this book just isn't funny to me. As a satirical guide to management, I suppose it would be funnier if I were actually a manager. Instead, this book just feels sloppy and uneven. Multiple strips are repeated in different sections, each chapter varies wildly in length from 3 pages to 30+ blocks, and the jokes mostly just fall flat. There is no flow, just an endless series of anec ...more
May 30, 2012 Hal rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like the Dilbert comics, you'll like this book as well. It gives an ironic description of corporate life, peppered with Dilbert strips and real-life examples (through e-mails that Adams keeps receiving from his readers).

On the plus side:
+ Witty and easily digestible short chunks
+ Related Dilbert strips for every topic
+ Scott Adams' own experience/stories from the trenches
+ Final chapter on how Adams thinks management should be done

On the minus side:
- Style gets repetitive, esp. when you r
Jan 21, 2012 Nathan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humour
Tedious. Very tedious The text gives nothing helpful and is repetitive, if not outright negative. Dark humour's available in the comic strips but stretching it out in a textual form is pushing it.

I found myself laughing at more of those strips than the text, which adopts a very mightier-than-thou position by means of contrast and inside/outside. Humour works that way.

Authors try to group themselves together with readers to laugh at an external group (in this book it is the suit who is not in t
Jul 17, 2011 Pradeep rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have not seen another good book like this which explains the pitiable nature of the corporate environment in such a satirical manner. You will not be able to deny most of the facts mentioned in this book. Scott Adams not only mocks at the corporate culture but also ends with a well defined model on how a company should be...
Feb 03, 2013 York rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tardé dos años en terminarlo, más que nada porque este libro llegó justo en el momento más complicado de mi vida laboral. Ahora que todo es más estable lo retomé para darme cuenta que no importa la década o el empleo, la incompetencia no tiene límites. Aquí al menos ríes mucho en cada página.
Sashankh Kale
Jan 01, 2017 Sashankh Kale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uproariously funny; a cynical and wry stab at the corporate world.
Aug 26, 2007 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the top three best books I've ever read!! Timeless cyncism applicable to almost any situation. A must read!!
Britain Green
Jul 10, 2015 Britain Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very funny book on management and the corporate life.
Sean Goh
May 11, 2017 Sean Goh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biz, comics
Massively cynical, and mildly dated (it is over 20 years old), but people don't really change all that much, even if the fads do.

It’s not the business world that brings out our idiocy, but it might be the place where we notice it the most. In our personal lives we tolerate bizarre behaviour. It even seems normal. (See immediate family for example) But at work we think everyone should be guided by logic and rational thinking.
The central tension of business: We expect others to act rationally e
Shubhankar Gupta
May 13, 2017 Shubhankar Gupta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I tried gifting this book to my boss, and the results were amazing. I was moved out by the cubicle and from the company as well. Well jokes apart, haing worked in the corporate where I daily faced such instances, I was laughing my ass off while reading this book. This book is a collection of all the Dilbert cartoons featured on various newspapers and then woven into a book with little anecdotes and the mails which the author received in the form of complaints or funny sagas. If you are a person ...more
Rakesh Ramakrishnan
Instead of a barrage of dilbert comics, this is a book which revolves around the various "Dilbert" management principles with clear and organised topics, and the corresponding comics to support them. A must read for anyone who enjoys Dilbert comics.
K. PCBan
May 11, 2017 K. PCBan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dilbert Principle is as follows:

Middle management will always be the dumbest fuckers in the company.

Because then they're not smart enough to be a threat to upper-management.
so true, so true......
Karan Gupta
Jul 09, 2015 Karan Gupta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comedy, non-fiction
I had found "The Dilbert Principle" two years ago in a previous flat in Bangalore, stowed away in a shelf with other scrap paper. After inquiring as to whether any of the flatmates owned it, I pulled it out, dusted it, smelt the yellowing pages and kept it in my shelf. But for the gain in status, the book achieved little else. It travelled to Delhi when I moved and sat in a shelf there for a really long time. I found it sitting in silent anticipation while rummaging through the shelf to find som ...more
Jul 04, 2012 Alokmahajan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first posted about Dilbert around 1.5 year back @ on my blog. Time flied like a Phantom Fart ,no one knew where it came from but left a smell which fades away slowly. I wrote it back in college where I pulled out the innocent looking book from library shelve with title The Joy of Work: Dilbert’s Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers and now I am trying to write about my thoughts on his other book The Dilbert Principle. Wait before going further let me ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 2 145 Jun 22, 2012 10:57AM  
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Adams was born in Windham, New York in 1957 and received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Hartwick College in 1979.

He also studied economics and management for his 1986 MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

In recent years, Ada
More about Scott Adams...

Other Books in the Series

Dilbert: Business (5 books)
  • Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook
  • The Dilbert Future: Thriving on Stupidity in the 21st Century
  • The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers
  • Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel

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“It is a wondrous human characteristic to be able to slip into and out of idiocy many times a day without noticing the change or accidentally killing innocent bystanders in the process.” 9 likes
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