Increasing Productivity through Social Structure: An Examination of Social Loafing in a Computer-Mediated Environment.
Final technical rept.,
NORTH CAROLINA UNIV AT CHAPEL HILL INST FOR RESEARCH IN SOCIAL SCIENCE
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The social loafing phenomenon has been demonstrated in a variety of contexts and cultures, but most of the studies have involved tasks based on physical effort. In this group of seven studies, we examined social loafing in cognitive tasks, and refined some of the questions on physical effort and social loafing. The specific questions we addressed were Can social loafing be demonstrated in an electronically mediated group setting Can social loafing be demonstrated for cognitive tasks as well as physical tasks Does social loafing affect the quality as well as the quantity of work How does social loafing impact on decision-making strategies and how does it affect the quality of decisions Does the magnitude of the social loafing effect vary with the difficulty of the task What is the effect is the effect of contingent monetary incentives on social loafing Does the effect depend on the perceived redundancy of effort in group settings Does social loafing occur in standing groups as well as in ad hoc groups of anonymous individuals Does the magnitude of the loafing effect vary with the size of lthe party affected by the output We demonstrated a social loafing effect in an electronically mediated group setting. Our research indicates intriguing possibilities for improving group productivity.