• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Social Dilemmas

Definition

A social dilemma is a situation in which a group of people must work together to achieve some goal that no one person could easily meet alone. However, if the goal is met, all group members, even those who did not help toward the goal, can enjoy its benefits. This feature introduces a temptation to let others do the work and then enjoy the fruits of their labors after the goal is met. However, this same temptation exists for all other group members, and if everyone succumbs to it, then no one will be working toward the goal: The goal will not be met, and everyone will be worse off than if everyone had contributed effort. Thus the dilemma: Should you do what's best ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles