Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth: How the tragedy of the anticommons emerges in organizations
AbstractIn organizations, conflict often revolves around commons resources because they are critical for influence, performance, and organizational survival. Research on property rights, territoriality, and social dilemmas suggests that to reduce such conflict, organizations should facilitate the (psychological) privatization of commons resources. We complement these three literatures by drawing from the legal, organizational, and social psychology literatures to model how psychologically privatizing organizational commons resources – to prevent a tragedy of the commons (an overuse problem) – can lead to the emergence of equivalently problematic tragedy in organizations: the tragedy of the anticommons (an underuse problem). Our model contributes to these literatures by conceptualizing a bottom-up behavioral process (in contrast to institutional allocation) of property distribution that leads to the emergence of the tragedy of the anticommons. The implications of this bottom-up behavioral process for property rights theory, territoriality theory, and the social dilemma paradigm are discussed.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Chapman University, Economic Science Institute in its series Working Papers with number 12-14.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
anticommons resource; commons resource; egocentrism; fairness; property rights; psychological ownership; territoriality; tragedy of the commons; tragedy of the anticommons;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-06-25 (All new papers)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- repec:ags:mareec:47069 is not listed on IDEAS
- Jongwook Kim & Joseph T. Mahoney, 2002. "Resource-based and property rights perspectives on value creation: the case of oil field unitization," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(4-5), pages 225-245.
- Jeroen Bergh, 2007.
"Evolutionary thinking in environmental economics,"
Journal of Evolutionary Economics,
Springer, vol. 17(5), pages 521-549, October.
- Wade-Benzoni, Kimberly A. & Tenbrunsel, Ann E. & Bazerman, Max H., 1996. "Egocentric Interpretations of Fairness in Asymmetric, Environmental Social Dilemmas: Explaining Harvesting Behavior and the Role of Communication," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 111-126, August.
- H. Scott Gordon, 1954. "The Economic Theory of a Common-Property Resource: The Fishery," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 62, pages 124.
- Edella Schlager & Elinor Ostrom, 1992. "Property-Rights Regimes and Natural Resources: A Conceptual Analysis," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 68(3), pages 249-262.
- McCarter, Matthew W. & Rockmann, Kevin W. & Northcraft, Gregory B., 2010. "Is it even worth it? The effect of loss prospects in the outcome distribution of a public goods dilemma," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 1-12, January.
- Babcock, Linda, et al, 1995. "Biased Judgments of Fairness in Bargaining," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1337-43, December.
- Daniel J. D’Amico & Walter Block, 2007. "A legal and economic analysis of graffiti," Humanomics: The International Journal of Systems and Ethics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 23(1), pages 29-38, February.
- Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990.
"Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
- Hart, Oliver D. & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Scholarly Articles 3448675, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1988. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Working papers 495, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Langlois, Richard N., 2002. "Modularity in technology and organization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 19-37, September.
- Buchanan, James M & Yoon, Yong J, 2000. "Symmetric Tragedies: Commons and Anticommons," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(1), pages 1-13, April.
- Messick, David M., 1999. "Alternative logics for decision making in social settings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 11-28, May.
- Fahr, Rene & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2000. "Fairness as a constraint on trust in reciprocity: earned property rights in a reciprocal exchange experiment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 275-282, March.
- Linda Babcock & George Loewenstein, 1997. "Explaining Bargaining Impasse: The Role of Self-Serving Biases," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 109-126, Winter.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Megan Luetje).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.