Social Loafing

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The common problem when working in a group is social loafing. “Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually.”(pg.299) The best way to discourage social loafers is limit the group size, holding each individual responsible for their part, and setting group goals. One of the common stereotypes about groups is that team work intimates individual effort and increases the groups’ capacity to achieve its goals. However, in late 1920s, German psychologist names Max Ringelmann did a rope-pulling experiment on groups. He assumed that the group of three would pull three times as much as one person, and group of eight would pull eight times as much as one person. He came to a conclusion that more people in the group may be better for the total productivity, but the individual’s productivity of each group member declines. I agree that social loafers do exist and most of us do experience social loafing. The cause of social loafing may be from other group members not doing their part. It could also be because of other group members being lazy and you reduce your effort. Another possibility is that because the result of the group cannot be attributed to any single person, the group’s output and the individuals input cannot be leveled. This is when the individual becomes a free rider because the individual’s efficiency will be reduced. Couple ways to prevent social loafing are; “1) Set group goals so that the group has a common purpose to strive toward; 2) increase intergroup competition, which again focuses the group in the shared outcome; 3) engage in peer evaluation so that each person’s contribution to the group is evaluated by each group member, and 4) if possible, distribute group rewards, in part, based on each member’s unique contributions.” (pg.301) 1) If group members end up “working around” shirkers, do you think this information should be communicated to the instructor so that...
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