In the 1990s, cartoonist Scott Adams—the man who syndicated the comic strip ‘Dilbert’—developed his own satirical ‘Dilbert Principle’ in response to the popularity of human resource axioms such as the ‘Peter Principle’.


This article by Michael Pollick, writing for Wise Geek, makes the following points:
  • The Peter Principle holds that competent employees are routinely promoted until they reach a level of incompetence.
  • The Dilbert Principle suggests that incompetent employees are promoted to prevent the loss of competent employees from the working ranks.
  • Incompetent workers would be promoted to keep them occupied with ‘management’ issues.
  •  This allowed the more competent rank-and-file workers to get on with important work without unnecessary interruptions.
  • When the tongue-in-cheek Dilbert Principle first appeared in print, most business experts considered it nothing more than satire.
  • Over time, however, many of these business leaders have come to see that the Dilbert Principle might be making a valid point.


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