Social compensation is superior effort exerted when an individual works on a collective task as compared with working individually or coactively. Collective tasks involve combining all group members' contributions, which means that members are evaluated together. Coactive tasks involve individuals working in the presence of others but not combining their contributions, which means that evaluations can be made individually. Social compensation involves working hard to make up for other group members whose performances are expected to be inferior.

For example, a group of product executives might be asked to generate as many uses as they can for a new product. If someone believes that other group members are not capable of or willing to perform well at this task, and the outcome of this collective task ...

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