Entrepreneur.com just published one of my latest articles. It begins:
The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory which outlines the problems with people sharing communal property versus private ownership. An example of communal property is when employees don’t feel any ownership in the furniture, fixtures or building grounds, so they don’t report problems when they occur. Whereas, in private ownership, any asset is checked and taken care of to avoid expensive repairs.
The tragedy of the commons is a principle that can devastate your business if you’re not careful…
“4 Ways Your Business Can Prevent the ‘Tragedy of the Commons'”
I recall that there was a female economist who won a Nobel Prize in Economics for demonstrating that the tragedy of the commons does not always play out. It does not play out when all the joint owners of a shared property feel they are directly benefiting from the shared ownership, and it is clear to them why joint ownership is preferable to singular ownership. I guess that relates to point 1 in the article, about teams that feel ownership of the business in which they work. It makes me think of companies that use profit sharing with employees.