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Free riding refers to enjoying the benefits and rewards associated with membership in a group without making full contributions to that group. Free riding can occur in a range of group and team contexts varying in size, membership type, and purpose. For example, individuals can free ride in a larger group or societal context by failing to make contributions to shared resources and public goods, such as libraries, blood donation centers, recycling units, and public broadcasting networks. However, they can also free ride by withholding their efforts from a small project team and relying on the work of others. Free riding (also sometimes referred to as the free-rider effect or the free-rider problem) may undercut a range of group, collective, and societal initiatives intended to ...

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