Elinor Ostrom - Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved September 07, 2017, from
Jang, Y. S., Ott, J. S., & Shafritz, J. M. (2015). Classics of organizational theory. Australia: Wadsworth
Ostrom, E. (2009, November 14). Big Think Interview With Elinor Ostrom - Video. Retrieved September 07, 2017, from
Elinor Ostrom - Biographical. (n.d.). Retrieved September 07, 2017, from
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: artistry, choice, and leadership. Hoboken, NJ: Jossey-Bass, a John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Contributions to Theory
Studied "Common Pool Resources" (CPR) which are a natural or man-made resource system that is sufficiently large as to make it costly (but not impossible) to exclude potential beneficiaries from obtaining its use (Jang, Ott, and Shafritz (2015).
Challenged the conventional wisdom by demonstrating how local property can be successfully managed by local commons without any regulation by central authorities or privatization, which was previously thought impossible ("Elinor Ostrom-Facts," 2017).
In short, difficulties surrounding improvement strategies are well documented.Exemplary intentions produce more costs than benefits (Bolman & Deal, 2017). For example, wanting to clean up the ocean is an great intention, but the cost associated with its execution may not be feasible.
Goals are specific to the extent that they are explicit, are clearly defined, and provide unambiguous criteria for selecting among alternative activities (Scott & Davis, 2007). Resources that serve many people are likely to have many different goals in their utilization, making this theory more difficult in everyday situations.
Elinor Ostrom's Theories of Common Pool Resources can be applied to small and large organizations, and can be applied to almost any situation where you have a group of people sharing a resource.
Common Pool Resources present complex problems. Bolman and Deal (2017) suggest it can be liberating to realize there
is always more than one way to respond to any problem or dilemma. Ostrom's work supports this idea on a small and large scale.Having many stakeholders invested in the Common Pool Resource allows for more solutions to be presented.
Born 7 August 1933
Married to Vincent Ostrom in 1963
Died 12 June 2012
Elinor Ostrom had a PhD in Political Science from UCLA. She initially wanted to pursue her PhD in Economics, but the department would not admit females to the program ("Elinor Ostrom- Biographical, 2017).
Elinor worked at the University of Indiana-Bloomington, and was also affiliated with Arizona State University and Virginia Tech ("Elinor Ostrom-Facts," 2017).
Won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Economics, the only woman to ever do so.
Photo Source: ("Elinor Ostrom'" 2017)