If It's Free I Want All I Can Get

In this example of a Tragedy of the Commons structure there are two departments within the organization which use MIS resources. Yes, only two departments is a little unrealistic, so, just elaborate the example, to however many departments you're comfortable with. The implications just get worse.

As departments employ MIS resources the use contributes to their success, i.e. dept A's results and dept B's results. As each department likes its results they develops plans to use even more MIS resources increasing the total resources requested.

At some point the total resources requested exceeds the MIS resources available. When the happens projects and support becomes more and more delayed. As the individual groups had planned developments which were contingent on their use of MIS resources they begin to experience a decrease in their results, A's results and B's results, because they have exceeded the capacity of the resources.

If the individual groups had to pay for the services they used they probably wouldn't use so much, and we'd probably be back to a Growth and Underinvestment dilemma. Nothing comes for free!

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