Have you experienced
social loafing or free riding in a team setting?
I have experienced social
loafing in a team was during my last semester “Information Security”. We are a
team of 5 and it was a good feeling (not so good) to see one team member taking
a free ride while me along with 3 other people in the team working hard to
complete the work.
When does this social
loafing takes place?
When the scope of the project changes or
If the project gets prolonged.
If the size of the team increases there is
a greater chance of social loafing.
When compared to instructor assigning
groups, students who pick their group will have low social loafing.
IF there is less or no social loafing in a
group there is a large probability of individuals contributing to the team.
No social loafing is equal to fair grades
to the team plus confidence plus satisfaction.
Why is free riding
For instance, you are
playing in a basketball team which consists of 5 people. Each and every member
in the team has a position to play if one member does a free riding, there are
two chances winning or losing the match but, at the end of the game they see
statistics of each person then it clearly shows that the person has done
anything to the team. End of the season they will fire him from the team. As
Michael Jordan said “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins
What could have been done
or can be done to avoid these effects?
1. Keeping the team small as possible if
a team grows beyond 5 members there is a high chance of social loafing. It is
always better to have less members. But if the project demands large group then
it is better to make sub groups of 3-4 people and assign the work. This
strategy will help to get the same result as small group.
2. Set the team goals and engagement
rules Always set goals for a team so that they will work
together to achieve the result on time. Set schedule times and rules so that
members will follow the rules and will engage at least once a day. See where
each and every one is on their respective tasks. Some of them are deadlines,
accountability and deliverables of a project.
3. Assigning distinct work for each and
every member one way to make people work without social
loafing is assigning distinct work to every person on a team. One way to do is
separating the project components to specific buckets. Example developers,
Information technology, Networking, Business Analyst etc. It not only solves
the social loafing but also lays a clear road map to the project as well as team.
Lazy team members … about social loafing and ways to prevent it in
your teams. (n.d.). Retrieved January
28, 2018, from http://www.ontheagilepath.net/2016/01/lazy-team- members-about-social-loafing-and-ways-to-prevent-it-in-your-teams.html
Michael Jordan Quotes. (n.d.). Retrieved January 28, 2018, from https://www.brainyquote.com/authors/michael_jordan
Solutions to Social Loafing. (2010, November 18). Retrieved January 28,
2018, from https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/effective-teaching-strategies/solutions-to-social- loafing/
3 Essential Steps to Discouraging Social Loafing. (2017, September 28).
Retrieved January 28, 2018, from http://www.blackenterprise.com/3-steps-discourage-stop-social-loafing-team- building- leadership-tips/