Parkinson's Law

  

Definition

Observation that "work expands to fill the time available for its completion," and that a sufficiently large bureaucracy will generate enough internal work to keep itself 'busy' and so justify its continued existence without commensurate output. Proposed in 1955 in jest by the UK political analyst and historian Cyril Northcote Parkinson (1909-93) while criticizing the British Admiralty (which was growing bigger while the number of sailors and ships under its care was going down). It is quoted more as a keen insight into the functioning of large organizations than as an empirical reality. See also Peter principle.

Use Parkinson's Law in a sentence

  • Mr. Gilliam harvested the tenants of Parkinson's law to accurately depict the necessary process in obtaining personal identification from the Ministry.

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  • Many American citizens believe that the various agencies within all branches of our government regularly ensure they remain compliant with Parkinson's Law.

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  • Even though the summer season was their time of least demand, it seemed like the workers acted just as busy as when they were in full force in November before the Christmas rush in evidence of Parkinson's Law.

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