Sunday, June 20

Peter’s Principle: Why does every job position tend to be filled by someone unable to fill it?


  • BBC Radio 4
  • Series “Laws that are not laws”

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Image source, Getty Images

In his theory of evolution, Charles Darwin introduced the law of natural selection and the phrase “survival of the fittest” became popular: those who adapt best to their environment go on to the next round.

Humanity has managed to add an extra phase: once the fittest have survived, they are elevated to a level for which they are unfit.

That’s at least what the “Peter principle”, also known as the “Peter incompetence principle,” tells us.

“In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to their level of incompetence“, dictates this.


www.bbc.com

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