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martes, 23 de octubre de 2012

Parkinson Law , infinity business and surplus efficiency ( 11 min.)

Parkinson Law , infinity business and surplus efficiency ( 11 min.)

Juan B. Lorenzo de Membiela
Doctor of University of Valencia

Parkinson's law or law of the ascending pyramid was formulated for the first time in the magazine «The Economist», in 1955. Published by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, Professor of history at the University of Malaya, under the title 'Parkinson's law and other essays' in London in 1957. Condensed experiences from two British military agencies, air and Navy, for several years. He noted how the number of employees of the Admiralty and the Ministry of colonies increased in direct proportion to the reduction of the number of units of the British army and the process of disappearance of the Empire.

Between 1914 and 1928 the British Navy increased its auxiliary scale 78% and its officers on land and 40% administrative, although the total number of staff fell 32% decreasing 68% the number of warships in service.

The facts of the Parkinson's work covers a broad period of time and also includes causing the black Tuesday in 1929. Hence the appropriateness of referring to the same. This demonstrates that we we have a phenomenon beyond sociological crisis, military or financial, political regimes, or administrative or business structures.

When Northcote Parkinson was in the army as a major State of the Royal Air Force officer, recalls: «We were about seventy in my unit.» To be honest, none of us did much to win the war. (…)Mandated by our unit a Commodore. Below there was a Colonel. The Colonel, a frigate Captain low. Then came I: the Mayor (...). By a series of circumstances, Commodore fell ill, the Colonel was transferred, and the captain of frigate departed. And I was I.(…) Suddenly I realized that the job was ten times easier when everyone was out. There was no one that corrected me my grammar and, of course, nothing of the meetings. None of paperwork (...) » .

Today it is a law and a series of principles deferred, relegated as simple bureaucratic sarcasm, especially for authors of American influence (Chiavenato, 2006: 266) and Spanish (Morales, 2004: 104). However, he had incidence in Spain in the field of public service in the 1950s, very sensitive to issues of management. Professor Villar Palasí qualifies it for «humorous but truly inexorable» (1965,85).

It should not be forgotten that it was supported by several authors, among some, by Danish Poul Meyer management science specialist; the German, naturalized American, Fritz Morstein Marx and Polish, France, Georges Langrod resident.

It still has some economists, regarding compelled on the theory of the contemporary administration, as Henry Minztberg (2002: 275) Although in very specific aspects such as the growth of organizations.

Despite this, Parkinson's law is due to practice, to what has been lived. They are not results of theoretical speculation, and only, therefore, it deserves a careful reading.

Professor Jordana Pozas, published in «Documentation administrative» in 1959 some principles that make up this law. They are completed with annotations of other teachers (cf.: Fernandez, 1964,84).

Parkinson's law says: work expands to fill all the time available for its completion. I.e., the more time has to run an activity, more time will be taken for this purpose.

The principles of the Act are as follows:

1. A manager want to always multiply the number of subordinates, but never of his rivals. And that is to give more importance within the organization.

2. Workers are created work reciprocally, useless. I.e., the proliferation of unnecessary subordinates produces, as a result, a generation of equally unnecessary activities.

3. A Chief always invented work to their subordinates.

4 No relationship exists, or very little, between the work that has been carried out and the number of employees that has mandated.

5. Seven men are capable of causing more work than it did when I used to do it only to his boss.

6. The time used in the discussion of each issue of an agenda is because inverse to the importance of the subject under discussion.

7. The perfection of the structure of the company is only achieved when the institution is about to collapse.

8 Organizations are imperfect and its objectives are only achieved very late when they are already obsolete.

9. If the head of the organization is not one of the best will try to surround yourself with employees who are worse than him, and in turn, they will try to have subordinates who are worse than all.

10. Expenditures rise to cover all income.

One of the most controversial issues is that referring to the steady growth of the administration or company: regardless of the volume of work, the staff of a large company increases by a percentage ranging from 5,17% 6.56% a year.

The Parkinson's work resulted in numerous studies, among them, the Mason Haire in 1959, the of McWhinney in 1965 and the of Blau and Schoenherr in 1971.

He was Rushing, who in 1968 discovered that the growth of organizations affected two distinct components: the managers decreased while the administrative. This was due to the increase of specialisation in the company.

Another thing is if efficiency is achieved in this way or not. Blau and Schoenherr always increases, or in the worst cases, is maintained. But without a doubt, an excess of administrative apparatus arrived a moment because nothing can be kept in infinity (Mintzberg, 2002: 279) is unacceptable.

And another thing will be if efficiency is, today, the culmination of any management. Peter Senge, for example, qualifies it as a surface (Senge, 2008).