According to Parkinson’s Law the growth in the number of managers and hierarchical levels is controlled by two principles: (1) “An official wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals,” and (2) “Officials make work for one another (Parkinson 14).” Hence, managers are building an empire for themselves, a tall hierarchy. The higher the empire increases, the higher the managers position become in the organization.
One of the main reasons why managers create subordinates is to decrease the load of their work. Even if their heavy load of work is real or imaginary, sometimes it is due to their own decreasing energy or getting older. There are three possible solutions to this dilemma, the manager (1) can resign, (2) request a partner, or (3) request subordinates. If managers resign, then they will lose their pensions. If managers request a partner that is on their same level in the organization, then they will be bringing in competition for promotion to the next level. The only logical and beneficial solution for them is to request the assistance of subordinates, which will divide the work among their subordinates. Then, the manager will be the only one to understand the subordinate’s work as a whole. To create a visual:
“Suppose a manager called A, request two subordinates called C and D. When C complains in turn of being overworked (as he certainly will) A will, with the concurrence of C, advise the appointment of two assistants to help C. But he can then avert internal friction only by advising the appointment of two more assistants to help D, whose position is much the same. With this recruitment of E, F, G and H the promotion of A is now practically certain (Parkinson 14).”
The draw back to this solution is that manager A will be actually working much harder than before. For example:
“An incoming document may well come before each of them in turn. Official E decides that it falls within the province of F, who places a draft reply before C, who amends it drastically before consulting D, who asks G to deal with it. But G goes on leave at this point, handing the file over to H, who drafts a minute that is signed by D and returned to C, who revises his draft accordingly and lays the new version before A.
What does A do? He would have every excuse for signing the thing unread, for he has many other matters on his mind. Knowing now that he is to succeed W next year, he has to decide whether C or D should succeed to his own office. But A is a conscientious man. Beset as he is with problems created by his colleagues for themselves and for him – created by the mere fact of these officials’ existence – he is not the man to shirk his duty. He reads through the draft with care, deletes the fussy paragraphs added by C and H, and restores the thing to the form preferred in the first instance by the able (if quarrelsome) F. He finally produces the same reply he would have written if officials C and H had never been born. And it is late in the...