Organizational Behavior

Social Loafing

Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually. It directly challenges the logic that the productivity of the group as a whole should at least equal the sum of the productivity of the individuals in that group.

There are several ways to prevent social loafing:

  • Set group goal so that the group has a common purpose to strive toward.
  • Increase intergroup competition, which again focuses the group on the shared
  • Engage in peer evaluation so that each person’s contribution to the group is evaluated by each group member; and
  • If possible, distribute group rewards, in part, based on each member’s unique

Although none of these actions is a “magic bullet” that will prevent social loafing in all cases, they should help minimize its effect.