Ig-Nobel-winning Peter Principle paper remains Physica A’s most popular

“That paper, published in Elsevier’s Physica A, remains the most popular of any paper in the journal on social media, according to the data analytics company Altmetric…. In September 2010, the paper also won the Ig Nobel Prize for Management, and after that it became increasingly popular.” So says the journal’s publisher, also saying: in […]

Preview: “The Incompetence Opera”

The 2017 Ig Nobel Prize ceremony will include the premiere of a new mini-opera: “The Incompetence Opera.” It’s a musical encounter with the Peter Principle and the Dunning-Kruger Effect. It’s about how and why incompetent people rise to the top — and what that implies for everybody. Music by Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini, John Walter Bratton, and Anon. Story […]

The physics of The Peter Principle; the trumping power of the Dunning-Kruger Effect

Italian physicist Andrea Rapisarda presents his Ig Nobel Prize-winning research about The Peter Principle, at the Ig Nobel show at the University of Oslo. The show was the first stop of the 2016 Ig Nobel EuroTour. Behold the video: The 2010 Ig Nobel Prize for management was awarded to Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, and Cesare Garofalo of the […]

Robust goodness from random promotions

There’s new, corroborating research that organizations become more efficient when they promote people randomly. The University of Catania team that won the 2010 Ig Nobel Prize in management for the original, mathematical work, has published a new study: “Efficient Promotion Strategies in Hierarchical Organizations,” Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda, Cesare Garofalo, arXiv:1102.2837v2. “the efficiency of an […]

The Mathematics of Mediocracy

In his 2009 discussion paper Competitive Careers as a Way to Mediocracy* Professor of Business Administration, Matthias Kräkel, (presently at the Bonn Graduate School of Economics, Germany), provides a contemporary corollary to the well-known Peter Principle (1969). Which famously states that: “Individuals are promoted until they reach their level of incompetence.” Or, put another way, […]

Random-promotion discoveries, now and then

Last month, three Italian researchers were awarded an Ig Nobel prize for demonstrating mathematically that organisations would become more efficient if they promoted people at random. But their research was neither the beginning nor the end of the story of how bureaucracies try – and fail – to find a good promotion method. Alessandro Pluchino, […]

The Nicolaides twist on random promotion

Phedon Nicolaides, professor at the European Institute of Public Administration, Maastricht, The Netherlands, proposes [in an essay in the Cyprus Mail] a twist on the Ig-Nobel-Prize-winning method of promoting people randomly in an organization: In September 2010 three Italian scientists won the infamous Ig Nobel prize in the category of management…. [Their solution, based on […]

Incompetence, considered computationally

Alex Pluccino and colleagues at Universita di Catania, Italy, computed how the Peter Principle probably produces pathetic pathologies in large organizations. Details are in their study: “The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study,” Alessandro Pluchino, Andrea Rapisarda and Cesare Garofalo, arXiv:0907.0455v1, July 2, 2009, and Physica A 389 (2010) 467-472. The authors explain: “In the […]