Parkinson's law


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Related to Parkinson's law: Peter Principle, Murphy's Law

Parkinson's Law

A somewhat tongue-in-cheek adage stating: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion." This is used in project management and in other situations to describe why projects are often completed so close to deadline.

Parkinson's law

an observation by English management writer C Northcote Parkinson (1909-93) that ‘work expands to fill the time available for its completion’. As a result employees generally feel overworked whatever their actual workload. A solution favoured by managers and officials alike is the appointment of more subordinates to relieve them of some of their workload.

However, the greater the number of staff the more difficult the task of COORDINATION. Hence there is a tendency for certain coordinative mechanisms, such as committees, to proliferate. This in turn generates additional work which is reflected in pressure to increase employee numbers even further. Hence organizations have a tendency to grow in staff numbers even though the base workload may be unchanging. Parkinson's writings are generally viewed as humorous and perceptive asides on organizational life rather than propositions to be empirically tested.

Parkinson's law

an observation by Professor C. Northcote Parkinson suggesting that work expands according to the time available in which to do it. If this observation holds, then the inefficiency it creates poses a serious organizational problem for businesses of any significant size. See ORGANIZATION THEORY, X-INEFFICIENCY.
References in periodicals archive ?
The administrators will realize that the academic colleagues are aware of Parkinson's Law being operated and would not like to be exposed.
In a further illustration of Parkinson's law that "expenditure rises to meet income," Greve and his colleagues also found that one of the strongest predictors of Medicaid growth in the 1990s was growth in state revenue collections.
What you can say for Venables is that he's one of the few who doesn't conform with Parkinson's Law - that work expands to fill the time allotted to it.
There is a Parkinson's law applicable to both labor and management.
Elements Of Control - Theory Of Rewards - Mcgregor's Theory X And Theory Y - Decision Making And The Principle Of Authority - Management By Exception - Management By Objectives - Optimization, Equifinality, And Systems View - Parkinson's Law - The Peter Principle - The Paradigm Problem - Informal Leadership And Organizations - Organizational Entropy - Group Dynamics - Total Quality Management - The Clinical Approach - Principles Of Functional Conflict - Resolution Of Personal Conflicts - Individual Entropy And Personal Power - The Negative Feedback Principle - Leadership - Limitations Of Experts - Principles Of Communication - Performing The Transition
As there is no second chamber, they have created 21 committees whose only function is to rectify the mistakes made by their fellow AMs, each making work for the other (a type of Parkinson's Law perpetual motion).
Northcote Parkinson, the man who coined Parkinson's Law ("Work expands to fill the time available"), had something to say about that.
As Parkinson's Law states: work expands to fill time available
I WONDER whether David Cameron has been reading that 1967 classic, Parkinson's Law, with the introduction added in 1985 by the perspicacious Prince Philip, all too often referred to as a "gaffer".
While he refers to me as a slow reader and suggests I should be capable of recognising irony and Parkinson's Law, I would counter with the comment that a man of his years should be capable of recognising sarcasm and the now infamous "Archie Syndrome".
This'll be the fifth restaurant I've opened and I've learnt that each project is somewhat subject to Parkinson's Law in that it doesn't matter which date one sets to open, the last 10 days will always be absolute panic.
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