How is that teaspoons gradually disappear from communal areas of offices?
Garrett Hardin defined the scenario in 1968 as the Tragedy of the Commons. In Game Theory it is reported than there is wider acceptance and interest in mathematics and statistics when it has an illustrastive name. In the case of the Tragedy of the Commons:
...exerts its destructive power whenever some of us cooperate for mutual benefit but others see that they could do better for themselves by breaking the cooperation (in game theory parlance, defection or cheating). So they can, until everyone else starts thinking the same way, when the cooperation collapses and everyone ends up worse off through following the logic of self-interest.