System Archetype 8: Tragedy of the Commons

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Ignatius D
Manager, India
Description of Tragedy of the Commons One of the System Archetypes is "Tragedy of the Commons". This archetype tells us about what effect an unsystematic approach in an organization can have on long-term performance. Here the 'Commons' is the resource which can be money, people, time, tools that is simultaneously made available to multiple entities or teams. Here, people use a commonly available limited resource in an unsystematic way which fits their individual needs. At the start, they get high returns but as the resources are getting used up and everyone is using the resources as they like, they start getting diminishing returns and thus need to put in more efforts. Early Warning Symptoms of Tragedy of the Commons People might say: "Earlier there used to be plenty for everyone, but now as things are pretty hard for everyone, I will need to put more effort to make profits", or: "If that department is using 6 people they might have increased the targets, we will also increase our (...) Read more? Sign up for free


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