Tragedy of the Commons: Ways Your Business Can Avoid It

tragedy of the commons

The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory which plots the issues with people sharing mutual property versus private ownership. An example of shared property is when workers don’t feel any ownership in the furniture, fixtures or building grounds, so they don’t report issues when they happen. Though, in private ownership, any asset is checked and dealt with to maintain a strategic distance from costly repairs.

The tragedy of the commons is additionally an economic theory of a circumstance within a shared-resource system, where individual users acting freely as per their own self-interest, carry on in opposition to the common good of all of all users, by depleting or spoiling that resource through their collective action. The idea and name start in an article written in 1833 by the Victorian financial expert William Forster Lloyd, who used theoretical examples of the impacts of unregulated grazing on common land, in the British Isles. The idea turned out to be broadly known over a century later, because of an article composed by the scientist Garrett Hardin in 1968.In this specific context, commons is interpreted as meaning any shared and unregulated resource, for example, atmosphere, oceans, rivers, fish stocks, or even an office refrigerator.

It has been contended that the very term ‘tragedy of the commons’ is the misnomer in essence, since ‘the commons’ initially referred to an asset owned by a team, and no person outside the team had any access to the asset. Be that as it may, the term is by and by utilized while portraying an issue, where all people have equivalent and open access to an asset. Thus, ‘tragedy of open access regimes’ or basically ‘the open access problem’ are more able terms.

The tragedy of the commons is a principle that can wreck your business in case you’re not cautious. For instance, employees can walk by an unstable entryway latch and disregard it for a considerable length of time, without getting a screwdriver and fix the screws or report it to somebody so it doesn’t break. At the point when inquired as to why it wasn’t accounted for, they may state, “It’s not my job” or “I don’t think I should touch it.” It’s not even that they’re being careless or untrustworthy. They really feel it is not their responsibility or their entitlement to deal something beside the specifics of their job.

Here is an example:

“When I was at a carwash that had a leaky faucet with water spilling out of it. The water was everywhere on the ground. I mentioned it to the attendant and stated, “you should simply pull out a couple of pliers and fix it up.” He reacted with all truthfulness, “It’s not my job, man.”

People’s states of mind can be great. It’s regularly very much intended that they would prefer not to exceed their limits. It is as though there is an employee attitude that discloses to them, that the business has a place not to a person, but rather to an intangible, infrastructure overlord. The inclination is by all accounts that big brother is watching over you, knows superior to you and is perpetually upheld by boundless funds.

On that note, an example is a girl when she was young. She caught her father discussing how wells can dry up and homes can be left with no water. With a puzzled look all over, she asked, “Is that even possible?” As grown-ups, we know better, but at the same time, the attitude or the mentality discreetly waits inside. There can without much of a stretch be the suspicion that mystical things are given and maintained, and that the present condition of advanced and bounty will keep going forever.

The question then turns out to be: How would you manage the tragedy of the common mindset in dealing with a business?

How to manage the “tragedy of the commons” mindset in a business

1. Teamwork.

Various reviews have demonstrated that to employers, self-actualization is considerably more imperative than money. We can self-actualize by feeling like we are a team, together dedicated to a cause. There is the comradely of reason in our business. What’s more, the word is “our business,” not the manager’s business. Motivate everybody to take a sincere interest and involvement in the business in general. They don’t simply have a job essentially. Rather, they are contributing to make the organization a win. Positively they have specific responsibilities, yet their dedication to the business is comprehensive.

2. Appoint oversight.

There are some people who are actually more skilled in specific fields. For instance, one man who works for a company is only a natural handyman. He can fix pretty much anything. So the company asking that he should keep an eye for the mechanical items, all through the whole office building that may require maintenance and repairs, and to go ahead and fix it. In the event that the issue is especially costly or past his capacities, to tell the company. He ought to treat the property as if he owns it.

Other people who may have interpersonal relationship abilities can be approached to keep an eye out for clashes or personal issues, to check whether they can help things run more easily. The thought being that the concordant functioning of the team is their moral responsibility.

3. Harness the hypercritical.

Not everyone is removed to be a regulator of a business. Some people are just too hypercritical, contrary or fierce. How do you harness them? Regardless of the possibility that such individuals have specific abilities, you do well not to relegate them to an overseer position. They can make everyone insane. Normally these individuals aren’t comfortable dealing with co-workers as it seems to be. Make a place for them where they work transcendently alone. This keeps them and every other person glad.

With regards to the hypercritical, they can be more suited to simply concentrate on a well-defined, restricted set of responsibilities and perform great. Then again, hypercritical individuals can be great at discovering things that do require attention.

Find a man in the organization that has a decent relationship with who can turn into the individual they report to. It turns into a matter of understanding the people in the organization and making sense of how to keep away from the tragedy of the commons in relationship with them.

4. Feedback.

In the event that you see that something is not being dealt with, call attention to it in a respectful way and make sense of what is happening. This turns into a significant tool to show employees that this is vital to you, and you really think about them and the condition of your assets.


The tragedy of the commons is real and is not to be ignored. An understanding of the idea and the recommendations said above are the way to managing it well.