Appraisal history of Manmohan Singh- A case study of ‘Peter Principle’ Concept

The Peter Principle was first introduced by L. Peter in a humoristic book (of the same title) describing the pitfalls of bureaucratic organization. The principle is based on the observation that in a hierarchy, members are promoted so long as they work competently. Sooner or later they are promoted to a position at which they are no longer competent (their “level of incompetence”), and there they remain, being unable to earn further promotions. This principle can be modelled and has theoretical validity for simulations.

Peter’s Corollary states that “in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out their duties” and adds that “work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence”.  

Applying it to Indian Political organization and Mr.MMS

In Indian politics, quite clearly, today we have the Peter Principle at work. Our PM Singh has been promoted to his level of incompetence. A bureaucrat has been made FM and then PM, and he cannot take the heat any more.

From 1991 – 1996:

In 1991, he was appointed as a FM by then PV Narasimha Rao when India was in a deep financial crisis. Rao have chosen Singh as a FM because he needs a Yes Boss kind of minister where only technocratic solutions to the financial crisis were the order of the day, not worrying about the political compulsions and Singh was the best person for that Job. In result PVNR managed the things politically and Singh applied his financial background and introduced financial reforms. Singh was more of a finance secretary rather than a FM at that time.

2004 – Current:

In 2004, when Sonia decided she is not going to take PM Job, she needs a puppet, a competent technocrat, but incompetent PM, who is a Yes Boss kind of mentality for that job, be there in the job as long as Sonia wanted and resigns whenever Rahul wants to take over as a PM and hence MMS got another promotion – this time as PM. Singh’s only job was to stay loyal and allow the Dynasty to claim credit for any good done by the UPA and for all bad happens, get blame back or ignore the responsibility.

Things went on very well as long as there is nothing phenomenal happened and Sonia and UPA again took advantage of the honest image of MMS, showed him keeping all others in the shadow and got re-elected in 2009.

But when the things are going bad to worse, the incompetence levels within MMS have over shadowed his competency levels and finally today he has now risen to his level of absolute incompetence where he cannot control his own team mates, cannot fight against the Dynasty leadership and the allies based on the political compulsions and coalitiation dharma.

Solution:

Perhaps the best way to address the Peter Principle in a corporation would be to institute a policy of demoting employees — without the stigma of failure — to their most appropriate level of work competence. If an employee isn’t working out in a higher position, allowing him to go back to whatever position he excelled in would avoid the effects of the principle. This would, however, require the supervisor who made the poor promotion decision to admit they made a mistake, an act not often found in the higher levels of a hierarchy.

But Sonia may not be ready to accept that mistake or she is deliberately made that mistake and allowing MMS to continue in this post as long as she wants him to be and is trying to make him the scapegoat of all the blunders made by UPA and its allies.

When Advani’s Presence is enough evidence to hold him responsible for Babri, Can’t we hold Sonia responsible for all UPA wrong doings because she is the chair person of UPA? May be Sonia is waiting for a right time to kick MMS out and present Rahul as a pure alternative and say forget whatever happened because MMS was incompetent and we have thrown him out and now you elect my Son as PM 🙂

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4 thoughts on “Appraisal history of Manmohan Singh- A case study of ‘Peter Principle’ Concept

  1. I disagree with Peter’s principle. I think members start getting promotions because they reach their potential. They don’t convince they deserve a promotion. In other words, they are satisfied with what they are doing. Promotion means learning. People at some point trade job safety and not having to learn with promotion. But I understand you wrote this in a funny way, especially what you wrote about demotions.

  2. Typo in the above sentence….

    I disagree with Peter’s principle. I think members “stop”..getting promotions because they reach their potential. They don’t convince they deserve a promotion. In other words, they are satisfied with what they are doing. Promotion means learning. People at some point trade job safety and not having to learn with promotion. But I understand you wrote this in a funny way, especially what you wrote about demotions.

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