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Social Loafing and Striving During Group Work Essay

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2021

Working with a group has both advantages and challenges. Careful analysis of the patterns of social loafing and social striving is the key to finding effective methods of ensuring that all members of the group contribute to the project equally.

While working to complete a project in a group, I noticed patterns both of social loafing and social striving. Social loafing is the phenomenon of decreasing activity when working in a group compared to the individual’s efforts when working alone (Meydan, Kahraman, & Bazar, 2014). Social loafing has certain general causes, as it appears to be typical for most people because of our disposition to put more effort into doing some tasks when we are alone.

Particular personal characteristics contribute to the person’s inclination to social loafing. People with unique knowledge and skills often appear to be not willing to share them with the members of the group and behave passively. However, the same people put much effort into the tasks suggesting individual work and demonstrate a high level of creativity in such situations. Cultural and educational background also influences the patterns of behaving while working in a group.

People coming from more individualistic cultures demonstrate less willingness to work in a team. Social striving is the inclination to put more effort when working in a team compared to the efforts put when working alone. Such a pattern is more common among people coming from countries with conformist culture, as collectivism has been an essential part of their everyday life. Some individual characteristics and skills also influence the disposition of social striving. Sociability and well-developed skills in organizing the work of a group stimulate the person’s willingness to put much effort into teamwork.

While social striving contributes to the effectiveness of teamwork, social loafing puts a threat to the successful results of group projects. Therefore, group leaders and project managers need to find effective solutions for dealing with the problem of social loafing, as it directly affects the group performance (Ying, Li, Jiang, Peng, & Lin, 2014). Providing a friendly atmosphere in the group is one of the keys to promoting the people’s willingness to cooperate while completing the project. Organizing activities aimed at encouraging the members of the team to communicate in an informal atmosphere can contribute to eliminating social loafing.

If good results of the group benefit each of its members, the motivation to put more effort into achieving these results will also raise. Therefore, defining the real benefits of effective work in a team for each of the individuals in a clear and comprehensible manner can also decrease social loafing. Regular collective assessment of the contributions of each of the members of the team to the successful completion of the tasks can also motivate people to participate in group work more actively.

Promoting the motivation of people to participate in group work is the key to eliminating social loafing. Proper activities help to ensure that all individuals contribute equally and do their best to achieve the goals of the teamwork.

References

Meydan, H., Kahraman, A., & Bazar, U. (2014). Social loafing and impression management in an organizational context. International Review of Management and Marketing, 4(3), 201-206.

Ying, X., Li, H., Jiang, F., Peng, S., & Lin, Z. (2014). Group laziness: The effect of social loafing on group performance. Social Behavior and Personality, 42(3), 465-472.

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IvyPanda. "Social Loafing and Striving During Group Work." March 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-loafing-and-striving-during-group-work/.

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IvyPanda. 2021. "Social Loafing and Striving During Group Work." March 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/social-loafing-and-striving-during-group-work/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Social Loafing and Striving During Group Work'. 30 March.

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