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.