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The Peter principle

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 179 pages
  • Publisher: W. Morrow (1971)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007EK4L4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
'A satirical review' it says in the review. Sure. And one of the most successfull endeavours at that ever undertaken. The theory of incompetence (we all tend to reach a level where we are ineffective and stay there in whatever we do) is so compelling that to me, after zillions of management books it still stands out for its clarity and power. Even the illustrations in the version I have are to the point and funny. Enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover
This book shows conclusively that "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence". Many a true word is spoken in jest...
Luckily, the book also explains how to avoid being promoted into a job you are incapable of doing well. Follow the advice and have a long and happy working career!
An often-quoted all-time classic.
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By Lark TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 4 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
The central tenet of this book is that individuals rise to their level of incompetence. They could be perfectly happy, competent and skillfully fufilling their tasks but the push and pull of management and/or other organisational factors will propell them upwards until they meet with challenges which really are unassailable. They then get stuck at that point. Like the blurb on the back of the edition I have says "Ever wondered how that bunch of idiots got control of your office/factory/shop? They, as we all know, could not organise a booze-up in a brewery, but what we did not know was how they got to the top. The answer is supplied in The Peter Principle".

What I totally loved about this book was the wry and understated humour, it has been criticised for being too expansive on a single funny observation, however its a brilliant almost satirical analysis and to be honest its also a parody of a lot of management text books. This was clear to me from the outset with the blurb's promises of enlightenment, I felt that was a nice parody of a lot of big tent speaker style books which promise their readers all sorts of insights as a sales pitch. The author doesnt stop there, the book is repleat with lots of management jargon, some of the authors own invention, there's a glossary of key terminology provided also which I felt added to the comic effect. The book is also illustrated throughout, mainly with cartoons of a retro, victorian, "punch magazine" style. I have an older edition of the book and finding at the back a list of books available from the same publisher on effective business management and leadership was a cause for further, I'm sure unintentional, humour.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't a new publication and I actually bought this copy for a friend, having read it myself some years ago. It's an amusing look at how organisations work and how there there is a logical explanation for the gradual accumulation of incompetency that often seems to characterize established bureaucratic structures. The basic principle is perfectly straightforward and is sure to ring bells in your own experience. Further into the book, however, the author gets into certain 'embellishments' of the fundamental Principle and provides strategies for avoiding its worse effects, or indeed to avoid falling foul of them yourself. Well worth a read!
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Format: Paperback
This book explains one of the major problems with any attempt at success in any enterprise, most of the rest of the problems being covered by 'Systemantics'. In fact this book with its emphasis on the rewards of ineptitude and inertia might be the handbokk for the Civil Service and the basis for the concept of Yes Minister. The real tragedy here is we recognise the thruth and find it funny insetad of getting angry.
So the country is not perfectly absolutely skint despite the best efforts of those in charge. The unanswered question is "What keeps it going?
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By A John VINE VOICE on 18 April 2010
Format: Paperback
The Peter Principle is the theory that people are generally promoted to their level of incompetence - and its described throughout with a wry sense of humour.

It's one of those common sense type books - easy to read, and with plenty of anecdotes with scenarios people will recognise, including those who are at either end of the competence spread, and get fired for being overly incompetent, or overly good at their job.

I wasn't as impressed with the Victorian cartoons. While they are funny - they are too small in this version, and much of the detail is lost in "dark blob". But that is a minor niggle. On the whole, the book is entertaining, and will give a few cynical laughs, particularly after a stressful week at the office!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Anyone who reads the "Peter Principle" is sure to relate to the content. Although a serious matter I found the book to be written in a light hearted manner which raised many a smile of recognition. If your working life ever gets you down this is a must read to put matters into perspective.
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Format: Paperback
Talks about the incompetent bungling that is rife in every walk of life. Well written and amusing. Worrying that all these sort of things are going on in real life. Good book to read a little at a time and then come back to it any time.
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