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Social Loafing and Recommendations on How to Reduce Its Occurrence within Groups Working on University Poster Presentations

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Introduction

Social Loafing and Recommendations on How to Reduce Its Occurrence within Groups Working on University Poster Presentations. Abstract Social loafing occurs in groups and reduces group effectiveness and productivity. Various literatures on social loafing reviewed suggest that the group size, the identifiably of the participants, the evaluation of their performance, people's beliefs about their feelings of uniqueness, envy, task difficulty, how people's beliefs about their feelings of uniqueness and expectations of co-workers are variables that influence social loafing in a group. Based on the literatures, a better understanding of social loafing was reached and some recommendations on how to reduce its occurrence within a groups working on University poster presentations were presented. However, most of the existing literatures reviewed were from experiments on proving variables that influence social loafing. Therefore, more research to find out methods that effectively reduce or eliminate social loafing needs to be done. Social Loafing and Recommendations on How to Reduce Its Occurrence within Groups Working on University Poster Presentations. Groups are used to enhance productivity and to accomplish tasks that require more than one individual. Committees, sports teams, government task forces, study groups and symphonies are examples of groups that require combined individual efforts. ...read more.

Middle

Charbonnier et al. (1998) looked at personality characteristics as a function of social loafing. Their study measured how people's beliefs about their feelings of uniqueness affected their inclination to socially loaf. Their findings suggest that people who scored high on feelings of uniqueness were more likely to expend less effort when working as a group. Duffy and Shaw (2000) carried aa study, in which the participants were 566 upper-division undergraduate students enrolled in group-based classes. The participants were grouped into 143 groups ranging from three to seven members and were assessed over a 16-week term. They found that envy in a group would increase social loafing and diminish group cohesion and potency that would, in turn, diminish group effectiveness. Parrott and Smith (1993, as cited in Duffy and Shaw 2000) believe that envy include avoidance of the comparison person(s), hostility, and attempts to prevent a rival's successful performance. Social loafing in relation to this represents an ideal method of simultaneously sabotaging a rival's performance within the group and manifesting hostility in a passive-aggressive manner (Duffy and Shaw 2000). Harkins and Petty (1982, as cited in Charbonnier et al. 1998) found that as tasks become more difficult and participants perceive they can make a unique contribution to the task, social loafing decreases. ...read more.

Conclusion

Additional tasks that require individual effort such as writing a personal reflection on the assignment or requiring group members to design a resource each that compliments their group's poster, can be added to their assessment. This would allow the group members to be accessed as a group and individually. Rewards can be used as incentives to motivate the group members thus reducing social loafing. Examples of this would be allowing posters from groups with presentations of exceptionally good standards to be placed in allocated places to be viewed by fellow colleagues or the public, or rewarding them with chocolates or something else that the group would find to be beneficial . Evaluators (e.g. lecturers) can also reduce the occurrence of social loafing by encouraging group members to consult them frequently regarding problems or if they find members of their groups social loafing. This would allow the evaluators detect envy (which leads to social loafing) or social loafing and prevent or overcome it before it further progresses. In summary, social loafing can be reduced within a group working on University poster presentations or in any other settings. However, most of the existing literatures available were from experiments on proving variables that influence social loafing. Therefore, more research in the future should be done to find out methods that effectively reduce or eliminate social loafing. ...read more.

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