Is a famous comic strip created by Scott Adams that shows a humorous look in office life, but also manifests lessons on behavioral economics.
In a series of cartoons published throughout the 1990s, he coined the term the Dilbert Principle. The concept was so successful that in 1996 the book “The Dilbert Principle” was created, which became very successful and it ended up selling over a million copies.
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Also known as The Peter principle of Incompetence, it claims that people who do their job well are promoted to positions of greater responsibility, and so on, until they reach a position in which they are incompetent, so they remain stuck in that position.
The Dilbert Principle refers to the idea that incompetent employees are being promoted to prevent them from causing harm, since higher level positions don't need to be involved in the production of the company, while people that perform well are retained to production jobs, to keep the company going forward.
The Dilbert Principle is just a variation of the Peter Principle and critics think that this principle is only valuable for amusement.
When a person is promoted, they usually turn to different responsibilities and roles which requires completely different skills and insights.
Later on, the company will notice that they made a mistake in choosing the right person but will not want to admit it. As a result, the position will be maintained but will either end up unfilled due to voluntary resignation or imminent dismissal of the person.
It describes what can happen when an employee does well in one job and is subsequently promoted. She/he does well in the new role and is promoted again. This continues up and until the employee is put in a position where she stops performing well and is, therefore, left in a position where she is incompetent.
"Women and minorities were exempted from the idea because they often weren’t promoted despite their competence and so didn’t get the chance to reach their level of incompetence."
"What really happens is that managers are promoted, not to their level of immutable incompetence, but to their level of anxiety and depression, which overwhelms their ambition and desire to succeed."
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