The Way Things Are Done:

Start with 5 monkeys locked in a cage.

Hang a banana from the roof on a string and place a set of stairs under it.

Before long the monkeys will go to the stairs and start to climb toward the banana.

As soon as the first monkey touches the stairs, hose the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while another monkey makes an attempt with the same result. All the other are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and goes to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm!

Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water.

Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.

Why not?

Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here. And that, my friends, is how company policy begins.
Example of "five monkeys" in action:

Why? / Why not?

-because that's the way things are done around here.
by Ramon NZ September 22, 2008
when people keep doing things the same way they have always done because thats the way it was done when they got there they don't ask why they are doing it that way they just know thats the way they always done it
he's doing a five monkeys
by Bulldog May 5, 2005
An obscure colloquism referring to the Police (Fuzz,Pig,Copper,etc.).

Origin is unknown, but apparently gives reference to "Hawaii 5-0" (a popular television show of the late 1970s), together with the inherent ape-like qualities associated to low-ranking law enforcers.
"...Quick, turn down the music - Monkey Five-Oh is right outside!"
by DardaDos August 7, 2005