Parkinson's law

Adage that work expands to fill its available time / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Parkinson's law is the observation that the duration of public administration, bureaucracy and officialdom expands to fill its allotted time span, regardless of the amount of work to be done. This was attributed mainly to two factors: that officials want subordinates, not rivals, and that officials make work for each other.

It was first published in 1955 by the naval historian C. Northcote Parkinson as an essay in The Economist.[1] He gave, as examples, the growth in the size of the British Admiralty and Colonial Office even though the numbers of their ships and colonies were declining.

The growth was presented mathematically with the formula , in which k was the number of officials wanting subordinates, m was the hours they spent writing minutes to each other.

The essay was then published with other similar essays as a successful book: Parkinson's Law: The Pursuit of Progress. It was translated into many languages as the law seemed to apply in other countries too.

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