An Economic Analysis of the Peter and Dilbert Principles
The paper discusses how the Peter and Dilbert Principles can occur and what are the consequences for a profit maximizing firm. A competence frontier is constructed as a linear combination of the maximum levels of technical and social skills that are difficult to measure and evaluate. The Peter Principle holds when managers are chosen from workers that are in the competence frontier and the Dilbert Principle when they are below the competence frontier. It is shown that the profitability under the Dilbert Principle is less than under the Peter Principle. The introduction of new technologies is one form to avoid the Dilbert Principle.
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