Imagine, if you will, a totally hypothetical company. Perhaps this is a science company called Smith Labs, for example. In this company, scientists work in small teams do research projects. Each team is made up of equals, or people who are considered to be on the same professional level. Each manager runs several different teams, but he or she does not actually work on any team.
Now imagine that one team has a member who is consistently an underperformer. This person is talented and bright, but does not contribute even half of what they should to each project. The nature of the work, and the required division of labor mean that the under performer can never clearly be caught out for their lack of participation.
When members of the team press the under performer about the lack of participation, this individual makes vague noises about "depression" issues. Now a split emerges between the other members of the team. Should they press management about this continuing problem person, or should they respect the difficulties of living with depression and put up with the problem for good?