What Is Social Loafing?

Social loafing can be defined as the tendency of putting less efforts on tasks when working in a group. This is because a person may perceive that people will slack off when working in a group, which gives them a reason to slow down, too. However, this idea does not apply to all tasks, but it is a common issue of concern.

Working in groups may be perceived as unproductive for some tasks. The different causes of social loafing include anonymity, lack of standards and people expect other group members to loaf. People who work in large groups may not be well familiar with each other thus encouraging loafing. Often, groups lack clear standards necessary for giving direction and ensuring work performance.

Social loafing can be reduced in group projects through improving group importance, classifying tasks basing on importance and group motivation. People tend to put on much efforts on tasks that are considered important, which helps to boost productivity. The group manager should also work on improving the importance of the group. This will make the members to work harder. Group motivation is also essential, especially in reducing the slacker effect, which breaks down as people slowing down in the jobs because other people have slowed down, too.