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Le Principe de Peter

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  1,582 Ratings  ·  170 Reviews
Why is the human race foundering in a morass of occupational, academic, and administrative inefficiency? Here, at last, is the answer in the delightful, dead-pan humor of this book.

Not only do the authors reveal why the world is so completely screwed up, but they provide proven techniques for creative control of personal, social, and business problems. They analyze the re
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Livre de Poche (first published 1969)
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" In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence" p22
"in time every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out his duties" (p24)
"work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence" (ibid)

This 1969 book is a prime exemplar of several trends in business writing. (i), the book whose central idea can be written on the back of a postcard(see above, (view spoiler)
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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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
Nandakishore Varma
Thankfully, I got fired from my company before I reached my level of incompetence.
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
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tucker by: Marclieberman
Shelves: finished
On the principle that employees are promoted to positions of increasing complexity and responsibility until they can no longer perform their jobs, at which point they remain indefinitely in the position at which they are incompetent, Peter concludes: "Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence." He also observes that employees at both extreme ends of the competence bell curve are not allowed to live. "Ordinary incompetence, as we have seen, is no ...more
Aug 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Kelly  Schuknecht
Feb 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
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
Sean Goh
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biz, comics
Despite being written nearly 50 years ago, the accuracy of Peter's skewering managerial observations is still on point. Disregard the blatant sexism ('women' seems to appear in the same sentence as 'housewife' 100% of the time).
The entire chapter 14 is hilarious (strategic incompetence), and you'll never know if people are actually faking it (or are they?).
Incompetence knows no barrier of time or place. One of the reasons why so many employees are incompetent is that the skills required to ge
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
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.
May 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
I first encountered this book in the early 70s when my father thought it was hilarious, but I never bothered to read it until it was mentioned by someone on as a funny book. It was funny, but mostly in a repetitive and finally in a melancholy way. The writer points out that instead of striving for promotions that cannot ultimately bring us any happiness but only frustration (and explains how his principle can be applied to the human race as a whole—a bunch of hopeless self-promoters), w ...more
Sara Goldenberg
It's a teeny-tiny book written by 3 men. You'd think they'd have more to say than just tired aphorisms.
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
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Lawrence Kelley
Mar 29, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inherited this book from my dad, that he first purchased and read in the early-to-mid 1970's, I think during that period's tough economy. After holding onto it for years, started reading it myself around 2003 or so, after getting laid-off from a high-paying robotics industry dream-job. :) However, I feel Fitzgerald was wrong about there not being "Second Chances in American Life". Or at least that's what I tell myself in 2010. Now that I'm a dad myself, I am indeed the Eternal Optimist. :)
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, favs
Realmente un muy agradable libro que abre los ojos al mundo en el que seguimos estando. A pesar de su antigüedad sigue estando vigente lo que sugiere. Fórmulas sencillas que pueden ser de gran utilidad tanto en la vida profesional y personal.
Apr 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Forrester Dobson
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would recommend this book to everyone in management, some management cannot see the wood for the tree's
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Scarily accurate.
Thomas Ray
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Humorous explanation of a real principle: in any organization, each individual rises to his level of incompetence. And, advice on avoiding doing so.
Jan Ruusuvuori
Tragically, sarcastically, entertainingly accurate
Not as good as I had heard it was, but still decent. Lots of examples (many true, many unrealistic/exaggerated, many humorous). I know someone who went from a high school principal to a high school teacher, and someone else who went from a church elder to a church deacon. Do their examples defy the Peter Principle? (See p. 128.) Furthermore, some people are fired for their incompetence. Overall, Peter seemed cynical about work and people's competence, and I suppose that I'm either too idealistic ...more
Nov 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Quick Read (Only about 130 page book). It's definitely dated with regards to gender stereotypes, but the base premise (people are promoted to positions of incompetence) is as relevant today as it was when this book was written.

[eBook, read on my Kobo Glo HD]
Paula Glover
I would like to read the Peter Prescription. This was eye opening when it was first released. We all know and understand it now. Really need answers to stop the madness.
Roy Petersen
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned how things really are run from this book. My mother and I often quote it even these many decades later.
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
"In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence." Entertaining and insightful thoughts on incompetence and how to avoid it.
Joy Endreshak
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nursing-medical
Starting reading this when I was thinking about a career move into nursing management. I didn't do it and I don't regret it. I made the right choice for me.
Michael Cann
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
As honest and entertaining as (borderline) conspiracy theories get
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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...

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“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” 1342 likes
“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” 11 likes
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