Summary of The Peter Principal

National Association of Christian Ministers Leadership Series


The Peter Principle is a concept formulated by Laurence J. Peter in his 1969 book titled “The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong.” The principle suggests that in hierarchical organizations, individuals are promoted to their level of incompetence.

According to the Peter Principle, employees who perform well in their current positions are often rewarded with promotions to higher-level roles.

This process continues until they reach a position where they are no longer competent. At this point, they remain in that position, unable to be promoted further, because they have demonstrated their inability to effectively fulfill the responsibilities of the higher-level role.

The Peter Principle is based on the assumption that organizations primarily promote employees based on their performance in their current roles rather than their suitability for the higher-level positions. As a result, individuals may continue to be promoted until they reach a level where they lack the necessary skills, knowledge, or aptitude to perform effectively. This can lead to a situation where a significant number of employees within an organization are in positions they are not qualified for, resulting in decreased overall productivity and performance.

All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.

Commit your work to the LORD, and your plans will be established. (Pro 16:2-3)

The Peter Principle highlights the need for organizations to assess employees’ abilities and qualifications before making promotion decisions. It also emphasizes the importance of ongoing training, development, and support for employees who are promoted to higher positions. By recognizing and addressing the limitations of the Peter Principle, organizations can strive to create a more effective and competent workforce.

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1Th 5:21).

Topic Closely Related: The Dunning-Kruger effect

Powered by BetterDocs