Because the truth is, the people that move up are the people who understand people. They may not understand the most efficient way to pursue technological developments, or the difference between a hard drive and a memory stick, or what a computer is, but they know "appropriate lunch behavior." So, like many office humorists have observed, many workplaces are full of smart, technical people being managed by smooth talkers who are still amazed by email.
That's kind of horrible. And that's why ...
Smart People Need Social Skills to Revolt Against Dumb Bosses
A lot of us would prefer to work in a corner somewhere and not have to worry about office politics or kissing asses or spending countless hours in meetings. Some of us are even afraid of asking how someone's day was or explaining the project we are working on. Or even asking a teammate on the same project what they are doing.
And sure, you might be happy knowing that you know what you're doing and that you're doing a good job, and you don't care about being promoted. The bosses might be a bunch of buzzword-swapping know-nothings who get all their technical knowledge from Hollywood movies and ask you to try "reversing the polarity" when something goes wrong, but you'll just vent about it to your co-workers later and have a good laugh.
"Then he asked if I couldn't just put on a helmet and hack into the database!"
The thing is that management is steering the ship. At its worst, they could have thousands of brilliant engineers, scientists or programmers studying how to manufacture adamantium or stop time. Or a district full of experienced teachers throwing out their curriculum and copying lesson plans directly from Dangerous Minds and School of Rock. If they don't have enough field expertise to tell who's good and who's incompetent, when layoffs come, they might as well be throwing darts blindfolded at an employee list.
Or the actual employees, why not.