Incompetence of public administration

From Encyklopedia Administracji Publicznej

INCOMPETENCE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – the theory of incompetence was formulated by Canadian educator Laurence J. Peter who assumed that a hierarchical and rigid system in an organisation serves to build employee incompetence. An example of a hierarchical organisation is public administration, in which every employee according to the hierarchical principle has a designated path of promotion. In this model, “everyone advances to the point of reaching their own incompetence threshold,” which means that over time, every position will be covered by an employee who is not competent to perform his duties. The only people doing their job well are those who cannot be promoted to the level of incompetence that is waiting for them, or those who cannot be promoted because they are at the highest level of the organisation. John Boć claims that the person who cannot achieve the degree of incompetence is incompetent from the beginning [ J. Itrich-Drabarek ].

Literature: J. Boć, Administracja a obywatel [Administration and the citizen], [in:] Administracja publiczna [Public administration], ed. A. Błaś, J. Boć, J. Jeżewski, Warszawa 2003 ■ J. Itrich-Drabarek, The Civil Service in Poland – Theory and Experience, Frankfurt am Main 2015 ■ L.J. Peter, R. Hull, Zasada Petera. Dlaczego wszystko idzie na opak [The Peter principle. Why everything goes the wrong way], Warszawa 1975.