Many tasks at work are designed to be performed by a group of employees, with the expectation that groups are more efficient and effective than individuals. Yet group performance is not always synonymous with great performance. One reason is that some group members do not work as hard as they should. In these cases, social loafing or free riding is said to occur.

Although a number of definitions of social loafing are available, the one proposed by Steven Karau and Kipling Williams is arguably the most complete. These authors define social loafing as the reduction in motivation and effort that occurs when individuals work on a collective task as opposed to coactive or individual tasks. Collective tasks are those that most people would intuitively call a ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles