Parkinson's Law Hardcover – Dec 1 1993
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About the Author
C. N. Parkinson had a varied career as a writer. He is best known as the author of Parkinson's Law, but among other books he also wrote a biography of Horatio Hornblower, a series of naval novels and several history books (including Britannia Rules and The Rise of Big Business). --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
While reading most of this book I had a wry grin on my face, and I laughed loud belly laughs at a couple of points. My only complaints stem from the last two chapters, which indulged in both racism and ageism, respectively. I only skimmed those. Still, an enjoyable and motivational read, and useful knowledge when confronted by a manager who thinks of themself as Parkinsonian but hasn't actually read (or understood) Parkinson.
The increase in Admiralty officials may be due to political decisions that reflect the feudal system and its pride in larger numbers. This increase from 1914 to 1928 may reflect the rise needed for The Great War, and a reluctance to cut back afterwards.
The author notes the growth in the Colonial Office from 1935 to 1954, while the size of the Empire decreased. But it assumes there was no longer any involvement in the colonies, and no new work assigned to them. Perhaps a need for political appointees?
In Chapter Four the author discusses the optimal number of members in a committee: somewhere between 3 and 21. Assume a committee meets to do work, not to make work. There is a limited number of hours in a day; if each member speaks for 15 minutes, then 12 will take up half a work day. Time constraints will limit the number who will speak; those who only listen can be given a printed report. Somebody must control the topics and meeting.
Chapter Five answers the question: why are students of the "Liberal Arts" generally considered for top positions? The answer is the adoption of the Chinese system for competitive examinations. Those with a Classics background were perceived as fittest to rule; those with a scientific background were perceived as followers.Read more ›
His basic premises that work expands to fill the time available, that the important decisions fall victim to the easily understood, and that bureaucratic organizations that grow too large no longer need any outside contact have been demonstrated to me over and over during a 30 year career in business.
The decade of downsizing we are witnessing demonstrates just how much fat there is in most organizations. Parkinson had it right over 30 years ago
Most recent customer reviews
What can I say? If anyone in the whole wide world has NOT read this wonderful book, he/she must go to the closest book-store and get it --or order it electronically-- right now! Read morePublished on Dec 9 2013 by Ruhi E. Tuzlak
This is one of the best and most valuable books (with balls) I ever read, about the only things that matters in the live of the adult - I mean your freedom. Read more
This is one of more seminal books ever written. Once you read it you will NEVER again look at time management, the British Admiralty, a Board Meeting or a cocktail party in the... Read morePublished on July 22 2002 by David S. Rose
ONLY 2 BOOKS ON MANAGEMENT ARE INDISPENSABLE. NEITHER ONE IS WRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN.
THIS IS INTERESTING GIVEN THE GALLOPING HYPE DRAPED OVER AMERICAN MANAGEMENT: PARKINSON IS... Read more
Parkinson succinctly explains why governmental committies can spend hours on the budget for a bicycle rack and minutes on the approval for a nuclear power plant. Read morePublished on Dec 9 2001
I thought this book was good for people going into business. It was kinda confusing because of the examples the author decided to use.Published on Dec 2 2001
Ever wondered why there are never 8 people on a committee ?
Have you ever seen big stupid decision go smoothly and small obvious ones get bogged down in a quagmire until... Read more