The Peter Principle

Witness History

By BBC World Service

The Peter Principle

Friday, 17 September

In 1969 a satirical book, The Peter Principle, suggested that promotion led to incompetence. Written by a Canadian Professor of Education, Dr Laurence J. Peter and playwright Raymond Hull, the book was a parody of management theory but it's core message struck a chord with many. It became an instant classic, selling millions of copies around the world. We present a rare archive recording of Dr Peter, explaining his theory that “In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence". Photo: Dr Laurence J. Peter on the BBC in 1974 (BBC)
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