Shinobi and Game Theory


Resource Boundary Ethics:


The “Granny Test” of theatre utilisation is the argument imposed on nurses by sweetly smiling superiors who ask, towards the end of a diabolical shift,


“…What if the next patient was your Granny? Would you want the staff to stay back then?”


Another quantifiable test that responds to that very same question is ‘Game Theory’.


Game theory is a respected branch of mathematics which has as much to do with “games” as the game “Battleships” has to do with…Nuclear Warfare!


Game theory states that:


People in ‘meaningful work’ default to high effort work engagement because they empathise with, and therefore…..


Feel the pain of patient suffering as a ‘negative’ utility pay-­‐off


Whereas people in work they are NOT Emotionally invested in achieve maximum utility payoff at low work output states (i.e. the default is to slacken off)


Where meaningful work exists, (e.g. nursing) the employer benefits greatly,


But the employee (nurse) risks burnout if he/she is continually driven to exceed sustainable effort.


Once burnt out, the nurse suffers a re-­identification of self, possibly returning to work as a ‘non-­‐meaningful’ worker.


Organisational Behaviour:


Employers who subscribe to unsustainable work effort have a clear organisational culture:


“We want you to come and work for us, and when you have burnt out, once we have used you up…we want you to leave, as quietly as possible.”




In describing ‘Nash’ game theory mathematics, two things become apparent:


Firstly, Mathematically, meaningful workers are statistically unlikely to refuse to engage in invested work.


Secondly, it becomes imperative that the Employer becomes responsible for protecting workers from unsustainable workloads and from toxic systems of work.


That is, if they statistically Can’t Say “No”


Then they shouldn’t be asked in the first place!


In case you are wondering:




The Maths:


Stage 1:


•At the first stage, one player in the game, the "worker," must choose between two kinds of strategies,


•That is, two "jobs."


•In either job, the worker will later have to choose between two rates of effort, "high" and "low."


•In either job, the output is 20 in the case of high effort and 10 if effort is low.


•We suppose that the first job is a "meaningful job," in the sense that it meets needs with which the worker sympathizes.


•As a consequence of this, the worker "feels the pain" of unmet needs when her or his output falls below the potential output of 20.


•This reduces her or his utility payoff when she or he shirks at the lower effort level.


•Of course, her or his utility also depends on the wage and (negatively) on effort.


•Accordingly, in Job 1 the worker's payoff is


•Wage -­ 0.3(20‐output) -­ 2(effort)


•Where effort is zero or one.


•The other job is "meaningless," so that the worker's utility does not depend on output, and in this job it is


•Wage -­ 2(effort)



Stage 2:


•At the second stage of the game the other player, the "employer," makes a commitment to pay a wage of either 10 or 15.


•Finally, the worker chooses an effort level, either 0 or 1.




The Synopsis:



Meaningful Work:


The worker invests in a hard work ethic, and others benefit greatly


Non-­‐Meaningful Work:


The worker slackens off, and others suffer the consequences of that conscious or unconscious decision.



Below Ten Thousand

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