The Peter Principle

The Peter Principle : Why Things Always Go Wrong

3.79 (1,687 ratings by Goodreads)
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"The Peter Principle has cosmic implications."
--New York Times

Back in 1969, Lawrence J. Peter created a cultural phenomenon with his brilliant, outrageous, hilarious, and all-too-true treatise on business and life, The Peter Principle--and his words and theories are as true today as they were then. By posing--and answering--the eternal question, "Why do things always go wrong?" Peter explores the incompetence that runs so rampant through our society, our workplace, and our world in an outrageously funny yet honest and eye-opening manner. With a new foreword by Robert I. Sutton, bestselling author of The No Asshole Rule, this twenty-first century edition of Peter's classic is set to shake up the business world all over again.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 161 pages
  • 126 x 182 x 12mm | 117.93g
  • HarperCollins Publishers Inc
  • HarperCollins Publishers
  • United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0062092065
  • 9780062092069
  • 36,985

Review quote

"[The Peter Principle] has struck a throbbing public nerve... a minor cultural phenomenon and its title phrase, like Parkinson's Law, is certain to enter the language."--Life magazine
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Back cover copy

The classic #1 New York Times bestseller that answers the age-old question
Why is incompetence so maddeningly rampant and so vexingly triumphant?

The Peter Principle, the eponymous law Dr. Laurence J. Peter coined, explains that everyone in a hierarchy--from the office intern to the CEO, from the low-level civil servant to a nation's president--will inevitably rise to his or her level of incompetence. Dr. Peter explains why incompetence is at the root of everything we endeavor to do--why schools bestow ignorance, why governments condone anarchy, why courts dispense injustice, why prosperity causes unhappiness, and why utopian plans never generate utopias.

With the wit of Mark Twain, the psychological acuity of Sigmund Freud, and the theoretical impact of Isaac Newton, Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull's The Peter Principle brilliantly explains how incompetence and its accompanying symptoms, syndromes, and remedies define the world and the work we do in it.
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Rating details

1,687 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 27% (463)
4 36% (604)
3 27% (453)
2 8% (138)
1 2% (29)
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