The Peter Principal

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“The Peter Principal” The essay “The Peter Principal” by Laurence J. peter and Raymond Hull uses exemplification to describe his studies of hierarchical systems in the occupational world. Peter analyzes the situations in which people in multiple and diverse fields of business reach a peak in their ability to advance in their current area of occupation. It was during Peter’s early years as a teacher that he “was upset to find that a number of teachers, school principals, supervisors, and superintendents appeared to be unaware of their professional responsibilities and incompetent in executing their duties” (220). “The children’s education appeared farthest from the administrator’s mind” (220). Peter’s view was that we reach a peak not because of gender or race, but a ceiling of mental competence. It became aware to him that some people shouldn’t advance in their field because of their inability to be competent in the position that awaited them when the promotion came. While this defect may not show up immediately, it became apparent that sooner or later a problem would arise and then it became evident that advancing so far up the corporate ladder so to speak was not the best course of action for that particular person. The modes of narration and exemplification are used in this essay by the author to get express his idea of the challenges that are faced by employees of all industries of business that are in the world’s economy. This idea becomes explained with the case of J. S. Minion. While Minion was overly competent when it came to his current position as a maintenance foreman, when he was promoted to superintendent he was seen as “an incompetent superintendent” (222). This example of occupational incompetence while it is accurate shows an injustice that is done to people when they are blessed with the ability to advance in their career and are not given

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