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Dilbert-Peter Model of Organization Effectiveness: Computer Simulations

We describe a computer model of general effectiveness of a hierarchical organization depending on two main aspects: effects of promotion to managerial levels and efforts to self-promote of individual employees, reducing their actual productivity. The combination of judgment by appearance in the promotion to higher levels of hierarchy and the Peter Principle (which states that people are promoted to their level of incompetence) results in fast declines in effectiveness of the organization. The model uses a few synthetic parameters aimed at reproduction of realistic conditions in typical multilayer organizations. It is shown that improving organization resiliency to self-promotion and continuity of individual productiveness after a promotion can greatly improve the overall organization effectiveness.

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Article provided by Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation in its journal Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation.

Volume (Year): 13 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 4

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Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2010-14-2
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  1. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 2003. "Enriching a Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," Working papers 4324-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Koch, Alexander K. & Nafziger, Julia, 2007. "Job Assignments under Moral Hazard: The Peter Principle Revisited," IZA Discussion Papers 2973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. MacLeod, W Bentley & Malcomson, James M, 1988. "Reputation and Hierarchy in Dynamic Models of Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 832-54, August.
  4. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  5. Joao Ricardo Faria, 2000. "An Economic Analysis of the Peter and Dilbert Principles," Working Paper Series 101, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
  6. Fairburn, J.A. & Malcomson, J.M., 2000. "Performance, Promotion, and the Peter Principle," Economics Series Working Papers 9926, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  8. Julius Kane, 1970. "Dynamics of the Peter Principle," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(12), pages B800-B811, August.
  9. Pluchino, Alessandro & Rapisarda, Andrea & Garofalo, Cesare, 2010. "The Peter principle revisited: A computational study," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(3), pages 467-472.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "The Peter Principle: A Theory of Decline," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages S141-S163, February.
  11. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "The Peter Principle: Promotions and Declining Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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