The Broken Glass Theory was introduced in 1982 by social scientists in Atlantic Monthly which says if there’s a broken window in a building, chances of breaking more glasses has a higher chance than in a building with no broken glasses.
So as project managers, the goal is simple- fix things as soon as possible lest the rest of it gets broken too.
When you look from a team perspective, the goal is to ensure if you find something broken or out of order, address it immediately by having a one on one with the team member and seeing how you can help in the process. The problem with not fixing the problem is that it will become a bigger problem when its gets too complicated to handle it and will create a furor in the team environment.
If you see the from organization culture point of view, not resolving or looking into the issues make it evident to the rest of the team that its okay to engage in these disruptive actions and management accepts it. This definitely send a wrong signal.
Address the trouble maker immediately and send the right message to your team, to ensure the process and work culture stays in place.
However, there is another research which shows that the Broken Glass Theory doesn’t work and the theory works because of dependencies because of some other action that took place.
Whether this reduces the crime rate or not (theory comes from criminal perspective), it definitely makes sense from the team handling. Leave a team with problems and it will only grow bigger and unmanageable.
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