Social Loafing in Sport

social loafing and cohesion

In competitve sport maximise performance or ‘winning are often regarded as the main goals. In group settings there are several factors that contribute to social loafing

Actual productivity = potential productivity – losses due to faulty group processes

Two main losses result from coordination and motivation (desire to achieve)

Ringlemann effect – individual performance decreases as the number of people in the group increases.

Social loafing is described as a social disease which has negative consequences for individuals, groups and societies (Latane, Williams and Harkins 1979)

Causes of social loafing – own perception of contributing to the group (if you don’t think you are contributing or actively involved you are more likely to social loaf/ step back and let other people do the work). Size of the group also impacts on the likeliness of social loafing (eg nine people one extra person than Belbins theory of 8 roles). Weather the task is attractive and fun or weather the task is boring or unattractive.

De-individuation – make everyone feel like an individual within the group so that people social loaf less.

The sucker effect  - if one person starts social loafing more group members will then social loaf

Social loafing and group norms. If it is an accepted norm not to social loaf the social loafer can be called out and individualised and told to contribute more

social loafing may be contributed by people having distracting thoughts eg financial problems How to communicate with social loafers - I message (start a question by observing what you see and then asking how they are going) – delegate (gives them responsibility, inclusion, involvement, motivation, aim, giving the feeling that they can contribute, they can feel important)