Orange County Community College Group Processes and Social Loafing Discussion

Orange County Community College

Question Description

Need help with my Social Science question - I’m studying for my class.

  1. Identify and describe a time when you experienced social loafing in a group (in a class, at work, or within another organizational group context.
  2. Describe aspects of the situation that caused social loafing to occur.
  3. Provide specific suggestions your instructor, boss, or supervisor relevant for the context could have done to decrease social loafing.

If you cannot identify a personal example, respond to the following questions:

  1. Explain the concept of social loafing in a group and provide an example.
  2. Describe at least two factors that make social loafing more likely to occur.
  3. Describe at least two strategies that can be used to prevent social loafing from occuring.

Be sure your responses cite and discuss specific supporting information from the assigned readings in support of your discussion with proper paraphrasing, citations, and list of references.

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Chapter 12 GROUP PROCESSES AND WORK TEAMS In This Chapter ▪ Groups Versus Teams ▪ Special Influence in Groups ▪ Group Decision Making ▪ Work Teams of the 21st Century ▪ Current Trends Groups versus Teams ▪ Work group ▪ Interdependent collection of individuals who share responsibility for specific outcomes for their organizations ▪ Interchangeably with term team Groups in Organizations ▪ All organizations have formal and informal groups ▪ Formal groups ▪ Informal groups Functions of Informal Groups ▪ Satisfy social needs such as friendship and companionship ▪ Satisfy security needs; make employees feel safe and connected ▪ Facilitate cooperation among employees ▪ Regulate social and task behaviors Social Influence in Groups: Overview ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Norms Roles Conflict Cohesion Group development Social loafing Social Influence in Groups ▪ Norms ▪ Shared expectations about appropriate ways of responding in a group ▪ Descriptive norms ▪ Prescriptive norms ▪ Developed gradually, passed down, and adjusted to by new members ▪ Group norms and other team processes interact with individual-level variables to impact the frequency of CWB Social Influence in Groups ▪ Roles ▪ Set of behaviors expected of a person who occupies a particular position in a group or organization ▪ Role concept ▪ Perception of the various situational forces acting on a person ▪ Role differentiation ▪ Process by which a group or organization establishes distinct roles for various group or organization members Social Influence in Groups ▪ Conflict comes in three different forms ▪ Relationship conflict ▪ Task conflict ▪ Process conflict Social Influence in Groups ▪ Cohesion ▪ Strength of members’ motivation to maintain membership in a group as well as the links or bonds that have developed among members ▪ Viewed as ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Binding and combative force Group unity, group goals above individual goals Special type of interpersonal attraction Aspect of teamwork Cohesion (continued) ▪ Positive and negative consequences for groups and organizations ▪ Cohesive groups are more satisfied than noncohesive groups ▪ Group cohesion is positively linked to performance (based on meta-analytic analysis) Social Influence in Groups Tuckman’s Five Stages of Group Development Stage Group Processes 1. Forming Members get acquainted. Interactions are polite, tentative, exploratory and sometimes guarded. 2. Storming Interactions are characterized by disagreement. Members question one another more pointedly. Some conflict emerges. 3. Norming Unity is established. Members become more cohesive. Roles, standards, and relationships develop. Trust increases. 4. Performing Members become focused on productivity and goal achievement. Task orientation is high. 5. Adjourning Roles are terminated. Relationships weaken, and members become much less dependent on one another or the group. Some degree of stress or tension is likely. Social Influence in Groups ▪ Gersick’s work ▪ Punctuated equilibrium: Alternative model in which groups fluctuate more quickly between the stages of development ▪ Recent research ▪ Punctuated equilibrium describes discontinuous changes in a group’s pacing and task activities over time, but the stage model describes the continuous manner in which a group’s structure changes over time Social Influence in Groups ▪ Social loafing (Zaccaro) ▪ Reduction in individual effort that occurs when people work in groups ▪ People are less likely to “loaf” when ▪ They believe their individual efforts will be identified ▪ Others are going to be personally affected by their effort Social Loafing ▪ Social loafing ▪ Free riding ▪ Happens when employees perceive their efforts are not necessary to group success and rewards ▪ Sucker effect ▪ Occurs when group members decide they will no longer be a “sucker” and reduce their effort Five Steps to Effective Group Decision Making 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Diagnose the problem Generate solutions Evaluate solutions Choose a solution Develop an action plan and implementation of solution Brainstorming ▪ Brainstorming technique used in which all members of a group generate potential solutions without fear of having their suggestions criticized by other members ▪ Early research: Worse performance than that of nominal groups ▪ Recent research: Challenge negative findings ▪ Electronic brainstorming allows anonymity and reduces production blocking Ineffective Decision Making ▪ Process loss ▪ Any nonmotivational element of a group situation that detracts from the group’s performance ▪ Actual productivity ▪ Potential productivity – Losses due to faulty processes Ineffective Decision Making ▪ Shared versus unshared information ▪ Shared – Information held by all group members ▪ Unshared – Information held by only one group member ▪ Groups are ineffective at pooling unshared information; group decisions tend to be determined more by shared information Ineffective Decision Making ▪ Groupthink ▪ Mode of thinking that individuals engage in when the desire to agree becomes so dominant in a cohesive group that it tends to override the realistic appraisal of alternative courses of action ▪ Antecedents ▪ Cohesion; isolation from dissenting opinions; strong, biased leadership; high decisional stress Groupthink ▪ Symptoms ▪ Belief in invulnerability, unanimous beliefs, pressure on dissenters, appointing of mindguard (member who protects group from outside information inconsistent with the group’s view) ▪ How to eliminate or prevent groupthink? ▪ Steps to effective decision making mentioned earlier Work Teams of the 21st Century ▪ Growing organizational trend->increase in work groups ▪ Collaboration ▪ Work teams Mental Models ▪ Mental model ▪ Organized knowledge structure that enhances interaction of an individual with his/her environment ▪ Allows people to make sense of the world around them—describe, explain, and predict the attitudes and behaviors of team ▪ Shared mental model ▪ Organized structures combining knowledge, beliefs, and understandings of two or more individuals that help coordinate their efforts Types of Work Teams ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Production teams Management teams Service teams Project teams Advisory teams Self-Managed Work Teams (SMWT) ▪ Monitor and control the overall process or product; also dole out specific tasks to team members ▪ Function because autonomy and empowerment are positively related to team effectiveness; however, team conflict can lead to ineffectiveness ▪ Fit sensemaking framework Work-Team Effectiveness ▪ Work-team effectiveness dimensions (Cohen): ▪ Team performance ▪ Attitudes of team members ▪ Withdrawal behaviors ▪ Types of team behaviors (McIntyre & Salas, 1995): ▪ Taskwork ▪ Teamwork Predictors of Work-Team Effectiveness Organizational context Rewards Goals and feedback Training Group composition and size Cognitive ability of group members Personality traits of group members Demographic characteristics of group members Group work design Member task interdependence Member goal interdependence Intragroup processes Group cohesion Group efficacy or communication processes External group processes Communication outside the group External interaction patterns Work-Team Effectiveness ▪ Group composition ▪ Role of team member personality traits ▪ Teams with high variability on extraversion and low variability on conscientiousness are most effective ▪ When an individual perceives a team member needs help (backup behavior), the personalities of the helper and recipient play a role Work-Team Effectiveness ▪ Group composition effectiveness ▪ Team performance improves when members have high cognitive ability, favorable personality traits, and relevant experience ▪ Demographic diversity among team members is unrelated to team effectiveness ▪ However, diversity related to the task (expertise, education) is positively related to team effectiveness Current Trends ▪ Continued use and expansion ▪ Use of work groups will continue to expand in areas of service, production, project completion ▪ Work teams will continue to become more fluid ▪ New and interesting team uses ▪ Virtual teams ▪ Team member selection Virtual Teams ▪ Definition ▪ Composed of members who work in different cities or countries and communicate via e-mail, fax, web pages, and videoconferencin ▪ Most larger organizations in the United States and other parts of the world employ virtual teams ▪ Major advantage ▪ Team members can communicate, collaborate, and create regardless of location, time zone, weather, etc. Virtual Teams ▪ Requirements to categorize team as virtual ▪ Use computer-mediated communication ▪ Geographically dispersed ▪ There are gradations of virtuality ▪ Tipping point ▪ When about 90% of communication is computermediated, virtual teams become less effective ▪ Even a small amount of face-to-face time may enhance virtual team performance Virtual Teams ▪ Future research opportunities ▪ In addition to studying knowledge-intensive workers, there is a need to better understand how virtual teams operate with team members at other skill levels and in other industries ▪ Use of longitudinal approach would allow modeling of causal effects ▪ New, sophisticated, comprehensive research on computer-mediated communication (CMC) may impact efficiency and effectiveness of work team Team Member Selection ▪ Group preference appears to be a stable individual disposition and can be used to select individuals for group membership ▪ Selecting team members based on general mental ability and certain personal traits improve team performance Team Member Selection ▪ Instruments designed to identify individuals likely to be successful in a team environment: ▪ Teamwork Test: Situational judgment test that identifies KSAOs that more effectively predict teamwork than taskwork ▪ Team Role Test: Intended to tap into knowledge about team roles, including in which situations certain roles are more important ▪ Team Role Experience and Orientation (TREO): Improves upon TRT Multiteam Systems (MTS) ▪ Tightly coupled teams that work on collective goals ▪ Increasingly common in various industries as major work component ▪ May include hierarchically-oriented, individual subgoals with the superordinate goal requiring interdependent activity among the MTS component teams Group Processes and Work Teams This chapter introduced the concepts of work groups and work teams and discussed the processes involved in the use of such groups in organizations. The chapter began with a definition of work groups and a review of group processes.It then discussed social influence in groups in the context of norms, roles,conflict, cohesion, and social loafing, applying those elements to organizational functioning. Tuckman’s model of group development and the popular punctuated equilibrium model, as well as theories that seek to combine these models were then presented. Group decision making was another area emphasized in this chapter. Because groups are entrusted with important organizational decisions, considerable time was spent discussing a process that, when followed, is likely to result in effective decision making. This five-step process emphasizes the quality of the social interaction among group members— an issue that was discussed in connection with some of the common mistakes made at certain points in the process. This topic led logically to ineffective decision making, with a particular emphasis on groupthink. Here the chapter presented historical examples of groupthink and discussed its antecedents and symptoms in light of organizational situations. The last section focused on work teams, which have become incredibly popular in modernday organizations. The chapter discussed various types of work teams and gave examples of each, placing particular emphasis on self-managed work teams both because of their prevalence in organizations and because of their inherent complexities.A few examples of organizations currently using work teams were provided, the idea of shared mental models was introduced, and the determinants of work-team effectiveness were identified. The chapter concluded with a discussion of current trends,including virtual teams and multiteam systems. ...
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Group Processes and Social Loafing
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Group Processes and social loafing
Social loafing occurs in a group or a team when an individual or individuals in the team
reduce their participation or efforts in that particular group. Expectancy theory of motivation
plays an important role in the explanation of loafing. Many people who socially loaf don't expect
their effo...

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