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Thread: Managers, The Peter Principle and a better world

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009

    Default Managers, The Peter Principle and a better world

    The contextual ideas:

    So do you think that socialism or capitalism in theory is more or less capable of dealing with the problems of the Peter Principle and Managerial Revolution?

    We're talking in theory here guys or with reference to values and principles, in reality I'm not going to acknowledge any system as socialist or capitalist, in reality every system, society or economy is mixed and necessarily so with just a majority of peoples behaviour approximating more or less to their own self-proclaimed value system.

  2. #2
    . Array Blank's Avatar
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    Mar 2009


    Well, it depends on what you mean by dealing with the problems.

    With the Peter Principle, I would say capitalism is more apt to deal with the problems, since a capitalist system simply doesn't allow everyone to reach a destined level of incompetence. For example, why the fuck would I simply let you get promoted over me even though you were more capable if I had the means to secure those resources for myself? I may be incompetent at managing, but I sure as hell won't roll over and let anyone more competent than me steal my job!

    /devil's advocate
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    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
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    Fe = 0

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    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    So do you think that socialism or capitalism in theory is more or less capable of dealing with the problems of the Peter Principle and Managerial Revolution?
    Definitely capitalism. Capitalism rewards innovation and there is definitely room here for innovation. Socialism reduces the divide between rich and poor, but that comes at the cost of innovation.

    FYI, the Gallup organization did extensive research into which management techniques were most effective. There is some extremely valuable info about improving management in the book, "First Breat All The Rules".
    My wife and I made a game to teach kids about nutrition. Please try our game and vote for us to win. (Voting period: July 14 - August 14)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    Well the examples of the Peter Principle in the link do mention the military rather than corporate business community but I'd suspect they would be the same, the point being made was that people dont simply raise to their own level of incompetence but they actively work against more competent individuals being promoted either because they will have no one to delegate their work to if that happens or they see them as a direct threat.

    The thing about socialism is that a lot of people consider it synonymous with managerialism, it is the government after all isnt it and they are all managers, civil managers, right? Well, maybe, if you're using some sort of commonsensical definition of socialism, which is generally generated by a conservative and anti-socialist consensus anyway.

    In reality socialism did a lot of grappling with the issue/problem of managerialism and management because it does most of the time involve inequality in wages, power, status, socialists like GDH Cole where hopeful about a sort of resurgent popular sovereignty and various sorts of industrial democracy, where production teams have rotating or elected leaders/superiors and everyone was involved in practical planning, development and innovation. Some of the more finely details present day socialist schemas like participatory economics have kept some of those ideas alive, so far as to suggest that omitting any detail of departing from it in any way is a total betrayal.

    The problem is that most of the kinds of traits that would involve have been wiped out by a whole bunch of trends, paternalistic government, indiscriminate compassion, consumerism (which is often paternalistic in its own way, dumbed down, reductionist and simplistic because it aims to sell to smart and stupid alike, targetting as many people as possible), the sibling society, take your pick pretty much. That is if anything like the personal responsibility, decisiveness and competence that's assumed ever existed in the first place.

    Socialism in some ways, as I understand it, is a creedo for anyone who believes Ibsen's maxim that "a community should be like a ship, anyone should be prepared to take the helm", democracy in the workplace, where people used to spend the majority of their time, would have meant a more functional political or representative democracy surely, dealt with the Peters or Managers of all stripes. Then again I deal in uncommon definitions I know.

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