August 20, 2012
The other day, I was reading something that referenced a study that I was passingly familiar with, both from the actual paper and its application to real life.
The paper studied the bystander effect. Essentially, the bystander effect says that any potential responsibility for something that happens in the presence of a crowd is diffused over the entire crowd.
Below is a short video that talks about its application to "real life".
It's pretty horrifying, honestly.
But it did get me thinking about how the bystander effect might be an issue at work. Is there anything in our workspaces that routinely requires intervention from a single person out of a crowd?
Well, probably not in a normal environment…but we're sysadmins, so normal doesn't really apply.
I asked this question on twitter the other day, and although you can only see the direct replies to my tweet there, the discussion got pretty heated.
So of course, I'm sowing discord and asking it here, because I think it's an important question, and I want to hear what you think.
Think of your experiences at work, specifically when an issue or ticket is assigned to a group. Do you see the bystander effect happening? Is an issue assigned to a group less likely to be resolved than one assigned to a particular person? Why do you think that is?
Please comment below. I'm interested in what you have to say!