Although we are cynical about the value of management
theorists as a tribe, we make an exception in the case of the great C Northcote
Parkinson of Parkinson’s
Work expands so as to fill the amount of time available for its
Or, for the more scientifically inclined,
W = xt
This effect should be familiar to everyone who has ever put
extra time aside to complete a task and still ended up rushing to meet the
Its most famous application, however, is to bureaucracy:
more bureaucrats mean more work.
It should come as no surprise to anyone who has ever had to
deal with a bureaucracy that, according to the New Scientist, no less, Parkinson’s Law may be proved scientifically.
However, scientists are still far from discovering why
Parkinson’s Law, like the Arrow of Time in physics, only moves in one
direction. It never seems to work in reverse when one suddenly finds one has
less time and less people!