System Archetype 8: Tragedy of the Commons

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Aniket Deolikar, Student (MBA), India
Description of Tragedy of the Commons One of the 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 targets". You sh (...) Read more? Sign up for free

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More on System Dynamics & Systems Thinking
Summary
Forum
Soft, Hard and Viable Systems
Systems Thinking Schools and Approaches
System Archetypes Overview
Nonlinear Dynamical Systems
🔥System Archetype 10: Growth and Underinvestment
System Archetype 1: Balancing Process with Delay
System Archetype 2: Limits to Growth
System Archetype 3: Shifting the Burden
System Archetype 4: Shifting the Burden to the Intervenor
System Archetype 5: Eroding Goals
System Archetype 6: Escalation
System Archetype 7: Success to the Successful
System Archetype 8: Tragedy of the Commons
System Archetype 9: Fixes that Fail
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🥇Complexity in Systems Approach
🥈Value of System Approach
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Strategy > SD > Performance?
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