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The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study (Two solutions)

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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 09:27 AM
Original message
The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study (Two solutions)
Edited on Sat Jul-04-09 09:29 AM by bananas
They found two solutions for the Peter Principle.
Solving the Peter Principle? One Word: "Darts"
By Paul Kedrosky Friday, July 3, 2009

There is a fun new working paper out from some Italian scientists that models the Peter Principle. The principle says, of course, that people climb in an organization until they reach their level of maximum incompetence.


The authors simulated the preceding in a pyramidal organizational form using a mathematical agent model. Here is the outcome:

Here we show, by means of agent based simulations, that if the (above two conditions) actually hold in a given model of an organization with a hierarchical structure, then not only the "Peter principle" is unavoidable, but it yields in turn a significant reduction of the global efficiency of the organization.

...the best strategies to improve, or at least not to diminish, the efficiency of an organization, when one ignores the actual way of competence transmission, are those of promoting an agent at random or of randomly alternating the promotion of the best and the worst members. We think that these results could be useful to guide the management of large real hierarchical systems of different nature and in different fields.


Here's the paper:
The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study
Authors: Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Cesare Garofalo
(Submitted on 2 Jul 2009)

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RandomThoughts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-04-09 09:39 AM
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1. I think much of that is people wanting power also.
So people that just want to move up do not look at their own limitations, and many times do things that falsely represent their own worth to get a new position, are not the best for that job. People that reluctantly move up because they are pulled by many people in society to do it, are not there for power, but for what is right.

Many promotions look for people that want that position most, and are willing to be bad to get it, the top gets not the most qualified, but the worst.

It may be a factor of what we use to decide if someone is best in a position. And people that got in power, by being picked by people in power, have a trend to pick the wrong people to promote. In that case randomness would be better.

The worst cases I have seen are self exclusive groups, where the people at top chose who should be in their group, by doing this the group moves more and more ideological until it collapses. In contrast democratic government uses the people on the bottom to chose the leaders.(if positions are not bought).
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