The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Laurence J. Peter

Dr Laurence J. Peter (1919-1990) was an educator and "hierarchiologist", best known to the general public for the formulation of the Peter Principle.

He was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and began his career as a teacher in 1941. He received the degree of Doctor of Education from Washington State University in 1963.

In 1964, Peter moved to California, where he became an Associate Professor of Education, Director of the Evelyn Frieden Centre for Prescriptive Teaching, and Coordinator of Programs for Emotionally Disturbed Children at the University of Southern California.

He became widely famous in 1968, on the publication of The Peter Principle.


  • The Peter Principle: "In a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence."
Last updated: 05-23-2005 05:25:17