Social Loafing In Organisations

Social Loafing In Organisations

Length: 1631 words (4.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Organizations in today’s society are adopting a team based structure in their approach to tackle company’s challenges, problems and issues. Team based success stories include Hallmark who had a 200% reduction in design time, which allowed for the introduction of 23,000 new card lines in a single year (Janasz, Dowd, Schneider, 2006). But in saying all this there is a factor which causes the positive effect of team work and team cohesiveness to be affected and that is social loafing. Social loafing is more likely to occur in large teams from 3 members onwards, and is where members in the team apply less effort than when working as an individual. Social loafing appears within every team one way or another, even if it’s in a high functioning or dysfunctional environment (Murphy, Wayne Linden, Erdogan, 1992). Research has shown that a combined team performance required less effort by individuals than if they were to work alone, and therefore the social loafer in the team is able to profit from the work of the others without exerting any of their potential. “Loafers and free riders are allowed to benefit because, in each case, the outcome of the group performance…is shared equally by all group members, regardless of their input.” (Weldon and Mustari 1988, p.33)
The reason why social loafing is a problem in organisations is because individuals minimize their contributions because they feel that the efforts are not noticed by others in the group (Kerr, 1983). Members may feel that they are able to “hang at the back” or in turn free ride and avoid all the consequences of not contributing any work. In saying that a team member may feel left out and may feel they are not able to gain the recognition to contribute, therefore feeling their efforts are not needed or will not be recognized (Brooks, Ammons, 2003).
In a team environment individuals lack the motivation to fulfill their full potential because there is no internal or external evaluation for their contributions, so they rely on others. Social loafers will tend to exert less work towards a task because the final evaluation does not just result on the individual but the team itself, which leads to less self awareness (Curt, 2007). An example of this is a sales team at Foxtel, that needs to exceed a certain expectation in the month sales, but they are not evaluated or assessed or an individual basis but a team.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Social Loafing In Organisations." 123HelpMe.com. 26 Aug 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=167326>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Social Loafing in the Workplace Essay

- The development of teams has become the essential element of many successful businesses. Teamwork helps increase the effectiveness, competitiveness, and productivity of organizations. Professional work teams are seen as being more efficient. Now studies are showing that individual’s typically fall short of their usual performance, when working in groups versus working alone. Teamwork can actually inhibit or even damage productivity. Professional Work Teams Most of today’s organizations use work teams to increase productivity....   [tags: coworker loafing,teamwork,group cohesiveness]

Research Papers
1034 words (3 pages)

The Problem Of Social Loafing Essay examples

- Social loafing is manifested when an individual offers less effort when he or she are a part of a group. It is expected that all members of a group project share their efforts to achieve a common goal, the social loafer contributes less than he or she would if the project at hand required independence. For instance, suppose that a counselor, superior assigned an employee to work on a project with a group of ten other counselors, to research new methods for counseling to assist clients more effectively....   [tags: Sociology, Social psychology, Research]

Research Papers
1333 words (3.8 pages)

Essay about Working in Groups and Social Loafing

- ... Materials • Stop watch/timer • Many small pieces of paper (for participants to write uses) • 4 shoe boxes with hole for participants to put responses in • 4 different coloured pens • Data record sheet Procedures It should be noted that the study had ethical clearance approved by the University Human Research Ethics Committee (QUT reference number 0900001406). To examine the effect of the independent variables Coactive or Collective groups on the dependent variable number of responses generated, an independent group experimental design was used....   [tags: individual less effective in collective settings]

Research Papers
1818 words (5.2 pages)

The Effect of Social Loafing on Participants in Collective and Coactive Conditions

- Social Loafing is an important concept that can be identifiable in our day to day lives such as through school work, household chores, employment and even sporting activities. The current research investigated the effect of social loafing on collective and coactive conditions through an experiment which asked participants to complete a brainstorming task asking them to list as many ways to use a pencil as they could. The results indicated that social loafing was non-significant in both collective and coactive conditions....   [tags: performance, study]

Research Papers
1866 words (5.3 pages)

Differences Between Groups and Teams in Organizations Essay

- Groups and Teams Groups and teams are an important part of organisational infrastructure (Beersma, Hollenbeck, Humphrey, Moon, Conlon and Ilgen, 2005). Organisations form groups and teams in order to achieve organisational efficiencies and to aid in the growth and development of employees because they are found to be better than individual efficiency (Watson and Gallagher, 2005). However, groups and teams are often mixed up and confused for one another even though they are different. This paper is an attempt to understand the differences between groups and teams, the reasons for such an existence, and the importance of understanding this difference, before drawing conclusions from the analy...   [tags: organizations, behaviors in small groups]

Research Papers
1029 words (2.9 pages)

Essay Social Loafing

- What is Social Loafing. Social Loafing is something everyone has experienced. Most likely if you do not like group work this is one of the main reasons why. “Social loading describes the tendency of individuals to put forth less effort when they are part of a group. Because all members of the group are pooling their effort to achieve a common goal each member of the group contributes less than they would if they were individually responsible” (Cherry). This challenges the common belief that group work will be more productive....   [tags: Organizational Behavior]

Research Papers
1407 words (4 pages)

Essay on The Study of Social Services Organizations

- The study of social services organisations, their structure, strategy and the quality of services they provide is significant to outcomes for service users and to professional development. A sociological perspective defines an organisation as a “social unit” constructed to carry out a specific function in order to reach a specific goal (Fulcher and Scott, 2007). How the organisation reaches its goals is dependent entirely upon the type of membership, mechanisms and motivations behind the function....   [tags: social services organizations,]

Research Papers
1849 words (5.3 pages)

Professional Organizations : Professional Organisations Essay

- Professional Organisations Having an understanding of professional organisations can help a manager effectively manage dire situations or reactions from staff. As Shell (2003) explained professionals are a different group of people, they are experts in their own field giving them expert power and therefore must be managed differently. Professionals are highly autonomous therefore they expect a high degree of control and the freedom to exercise their independent professional judgements. They act to serve their own primary interest, and not necessary the organisation’s....   [tags: Management, Organization, Organizational studies]

Research Papers
880 words (2.5 pages)

Social And Private Sector Organisations Essay

- INTRODUCTION In the last two decades both the public and private sector organisations have experienced incredible changes in their management processes (Hassard et al 2013). Some of these changes in the world of work have been influenced by technology, demography, globalisation to name but a few. These changes are occurring at different areas and levels thus posing a challenge for the management of organisations (Burke and Cooper 2006), hence the importance of using theoretical approaches in organisational development....   [tags: Management, Theory, Organization]

Research Papers
1134 words (3.2 pages)

Social Loafing Essay

- Social Loafing A major component of Social Psychological research is based on social loafing. Social loafing can result in diverse possibilities and also not only affects the individual who is conducting the social phenomenon but also group members are subjected to exposure. Discussion regarding the reasons of social loafing as an occurrence will be based primarily on evidence from literature regarding the specific component, envy. Possibilities of outcomes range from members being awarded unfair workloads or dissatisfaction, to group performance being decreased....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1314 words (3.8 pages)

Social loafers will tend not to meet targets on the mentality that other team members will do all the work.
Perceived loafing by other group members may cause individuals in the group to become loafers themselves. Members decrease their own effort in the group because they don’t want to be taken advantage of by the real social loafers in the team. Group members may loaf because the desires to preserve equity by not having others gain from their efforts without expending effort themselves (Comer, 1995). This follows on to individualism where team members call attention to their own goals rather than the team goal, whereas collectivist members position themselves to achieve group goals ahead of there own self interest. Collectivist societies feel responsible for the group’s success and put that burden on themselves to try and deliver the best performance for the team (Comer, 1995).

Social loafing does not help anyone in an organisation especially employers and the employees that consist within the company. Employers are able to witness that by social loafing occurring within a team the overall result will be at sub standard and never be able to reach its maximum. The reason for this is because if a team has a social loafer this can cause side effects to the other members within the group (Comer, 1991). It can cause other issues within the business where conflict between employees occur, therefore leading to a lack of job satisfaction, disappointment and depression as the result looks bad at the non social loafers in the team. A negative effect and a decrease in morale within the work place effects the overall performance of the orgainisation as a whole, because with all these side issues occurring due to social loafers world competitors are moving forward in the market therefore leaving behind the company with the issues (Comer, 1991).
Factors to prevent social loafing in organisations include minimizing teams where you can, as there are less people to spread responsibility to. By minimizing teams you are then able to create individual evaluation within the team and it makes the members work harder to achieve a good result in the final evaluation. Smaller groups also helps to manage individual accountability by allocating tasks to members to focus on and set due dates for tasks to be completed. In cases like this individuals will avoid the embarrassment and consequences of being held accountable for poor or minimal work (Strong, Anderson, 1990).
Team loyalty is also a key to bring any success to an organisation. Social Loafing is not experienced by all such as in countries like China. They have what is called social striving, and this is where individual performance is improved by entering into a team environment. The members of the team care more on the success rather than there own individual success. The teams’ goals are outlined and the teams loyalty is formed by individual awareness of the teams desire to achieve the goal (Latane, Wang, Gabrenya, 1985).
The makeup of the team needs to be chosen carefully, members of the team that are chosen need to be able to “bring something to the table”. Whether it is skills, knowledge or work ethic they need to be able to contribute to the team and the task ahead. The team member’s personality is vital as they need to complement the other members to avoid any serious conflict which may jeopardize the overall final result of the task. A team that is able to form a professional relationship allows opportunities for group members to learn about each other and gain a sense of trust between group members. Relationships base foundations for teams to work more effectively and efficiently and deliver a more desirable outcome. (Schnake. 1991).

Teams might also designate a team leader who oversees the whole project, in doing this the leader will have a chance to clarify the importance of the task and will be able to delegate work across the members in the group. The team can also develop expectations from each other by using measurable outcomes like due dates. It is also important to refresh the mind of the members so they are able to keep up to date on what they have to do and when they have to do it by. Motivation is also imperative, because not all tasks suit the expectations of employees, and a decrease in the morale to un-motivated tasks will have major effects in the future (George, 1992).
Another away to attack social loafing is to approach the social loafer in a form of communication whether it is private communication where a leader or a selected member approaches the loafer face to face in a formal matter and discuss the reasons for his/her behaviors and work out ways to overcome them, or even with a group confrontation where the matter can be discussed at a team level and everything can be brought out in the open such as any concerns, expectations or conflict. If communication directly to the loafer fails then the team will need to seek advice from a superior whether it would be a boss, manager or teacher. The superior authority might say to use circumvention and that is to reorganize the responsibilities and tasks in a manner that enables the social loafer to be more associated to the team and be able to contribute their knowledge and skills. If all this fails the best option is to eliminate the loafer from the team and look at other options such as a replacement or another approach to the task (Comer, 1991).
Social loafing has a major affect on any organisation, whether it is internally or externally at a global level. It is paramount that social loafing is removed from any team so that work can be conducted in an environment of cohesiveness to get the best result for all parties within the company. Social loafing as mentioned has many ways to be addressed to minimize the impact and increase the overall success of the team. By combating the effects of social loafing it enables the organisation to keep in touch of their competitors and challenge them on a global stage.

References
Comer, Debra R. Human Relations. New York: Jun 1995. Vol. 48, Iss. 6; pg. 647, 21 pgs
Comer, D. Orgainisational newcomersacquistions of information from peers, Management Communication Quarterly, 1991, 5(1), 64
Charles M Brooks, Janice L Ammons. Journal of Education for Business. Washington: May/Jun 2003. Vol. 78, Iss. 5; pg. 268
Curt J Dommeyer. Journal of Marketing Education. Boulder: Aug 2007. Vol. 29, Iss. 2; pg. 175, 12 pgs
George, Jennifer M.. Academy of Management Journal. Briarcliff Manor: Mar 1992. Vol. 35, Iss. 1; pg. 191, 12 pgs
Janasz, S.C, Dowd, K.O & Schneider, B.Z (2006). Interpersonal Skills in Orgainisations, 3rd ed., New York, America: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, page 206
Kerr, N. Motivation losses in small groups: A social dilemma analysis. Journal of personality and social psychology, 1993, 65(4), 681-706
Lantane, B, Wang, Y & Gaberenya, W: Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 16, No. 2, 223-242 (1985)
Schnake, M. Equity in effort: The “ sucker effect” in co acting groups. Journal of Managemnt, 1991, 17, 41-55
Strong, J.T, & Anderson R.E Free Riding in group projects: Control Mechanisms and preliminary date, Journal of marketing education, 1990, 12, 61-67
Susan M Murphy, Sandy J Wayne, Robert C Liden, Berrin Erdogan. Human Relations. New York: Jan 2003. Vol. 56, Iss. 1; pg. 61
Weldon, E., & Mustari, E. L. Felt dispensability in groups of coactors: The effects of shared responsibility and explicit anonymity on cognitive effort. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 1988, 41, 330-351.
Return to 123HelpMe.com