Friday, February 02, 2007

Abundance and Scarcity

When resources (whatever resources are involved in the discussion – can be people, food, time, money, natural resources, territory, prestige, pride, …) are abundant there is less pressure on the parties involved in determining a course of action and therefore opportunities for compromise and “win-win” solutions are more readily available. When resources are scarce it is less likely that “true win-win” solutions are easily agreed upon. Often one or more parties feels like they are getting short-changed in these situations and they will “fight back” in some way or another.

1 comment:

Web Monger said...

This is basic game theory of prisoner's dilemma. The game must be played over and over again before the parties learn the best strategy is to cooperate. The questions is: will the scarce resource last long enough for the parties to learn to cooperate or will they be used up before an equilibrium is acheived? If it is used up, the question is moot.