- C. Northcote Parkinson (1909-1993), Raffles Professor of History at the University of Malaya, expounded his satirical "law" in 1955 in the Economist. His collection of essays on bureaucratic overload promulgated in book form in 1957 made this historian and economist an unexpected celebrity.Parkinson's law reads as follows: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion," and the law conversely stated is: "The amount of work completed is in inverse proportion to the number of people employed" and "subordinates multiply at a fixed rate regardless of the amount of work produced." This is somewhat similar to the Law of Diminishing Returns. The law applies equally both to public and to business administrations, its purpose being to call attention to inefficiency in the operation of any bureaucracy, public or private.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.
Look at other dictionaries:
Parkinson's Law — Par‧kin‧son s Law [ˌpɑːkɪnsnz ˈlɔː ǁ ˌpɑːrkɪnsnz ˈlɒː] noun HUMAN RESOURCES US noun [S] HUMOROUS ► the idea that work always increases to fill the time available for finishing it: »A variant of Parkinson s Law says that the quantity of emails… … Financial and business terms
Parkinson's Law — 1955 (in the Economist of Nov. 19), named for its deviser, British historian and journalist Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909 1993): work expands to fill the time available for its completion … Etymology dictionary
Parkinson's Law — [pär′kin sənz] n. [propounded by C. Northcote Parkinson (1909 93), Brit economist] any of several satirical statements expressed as economic laws, as one to the effect that work expands to fill the time allotted to it … English World dictionary
Parkinson's law — Parkinson s .law n [U] the idea that the amount of work you have to do increases to fill the amount of time you have to do it in used humorously … Dictionary of contemporary English
Parkinson's law — Not to be confused with Parkinson s Law of Triviality. Parkinson s law is the adage first articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as the first sentence of a humorous essay published in The Economist in 1955: “ … Wikipedia
Parkinson's law — n. the notion that work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. Etymology: C. N. Parkinson, Engl. writer b. 1909 * * * ˈParkinson s law f10 noun uncountable (humorous) the idea that work … Useful english dictionary
Parkinson’s law — the idea that ‘work expands to fill the time available to complete it’. People often mention Parkinson’s law when talking humorously about bureaucracy (= a system of official rules and ways of doing things which seem too complicated). The… … Universalium
Parkinson's law — the statement, expressed facetiously as if a law of physics, that work expands to fill the time allotted for its completion. Also, Parkinson s Law. [1950 55; after C. N. PARKINSON] * * * … Universalium
Parkinson's law — A principle formulated by the British political scientist C. Northcote Parkinson (Parkinson s Law, 1958) to the effect that ‘work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion’ … Dictionary of sociology
Parkinson's law — the idea that the work you have to do will increase to fill all of the time you have to do it in. If you tell him you want the work done by tomorrow, he ll get it done this afternoon, if you tell him next Thursday, he ll spend a week on it. It s… … New idioms dictionary