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The Dilbert Principle
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The Dilbert Principle

The Dilbert Principle refers to the 1990s theory that companies should promote their worst employees to management. This would prevent them from directly affecting the consumer's experience of the company. This is more than a satirical theory. There is some evidence that this was and is practiced by some firms. If true, the practice would result in a noticeable trend of more and more "idiots in management".

The term was coined and explained by Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, in a 1994 Wall Street Journal article. Adams expanded his study of the Dilbert Principle in a satirical 1996 book of the same name, which is now required reading at some management and business programs.

The Dilbert Principle is a variation of the Peter Principle. In the Peter Principle, employees rise to the level of their incompetency, whether that be in management or elsewhere. In the Dilbert Principle "the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management".

See also


The Dilbert Principle by Scott Adams, HarperBusiness 1996 ISBN 0-88730-858-9