BUSI310 Discussion Board Forums Fall Lastest 2015 October

| January 31, 2017

Discussion Board Example

Below is an example of a Discussion Board Thread. Although this example does not meet the requirements of the assignment in this class, it provides an excellent starting point for your discussion board thread.

Discussion Board Thread

Re: Social Loafing

Definition:

“Management: A Practical Introduction” defines social loafing as “the tendency of people to exert less effort when working in groups than when working alone.”

Williams, B., & Kinicki, A. (2006). Management: A practical introduction. (2nd ed.).New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Summary:

Dorothy Cotton is a respected psychologist and a frequent contributor to publications in her field of study. In her article, “Social loafing is the bane of work groups,” Cotton discusses some real life examples of social loafing and its effects on group production. The author investigates some possible reasons for the phenomenon of social loafing. Cotton makes mention that each member in a group has less accountability and that group members are less personally invested in the project, resulting in less concern for the final product. Cotton also lists some people groups that tend to be more prone to social loafing. An interesting fact is that those who feel they have superior skill tend to produce less in a group. The author concludes her article by recommending some suggestions for combating social loafing in groups. Firstly, each group member should be chosen carefully by picking people who are invested in the project. Secondly, each member should be accountable for a specific assignment. It is important for groups to minimize social loafing as much as possible in order to increase productivity and maximize the potential of each contributing group member.

Discussion:

Social loafing is a very relevant topic in the business field as it relates to groups of employees and the performance a manager can expect from that group. For each task, there are an optimum number of employees needed to maintain efficiency while completing the task as rapidly as possible. Managers must calculate the right combination of workers for the project at hand so that each member is invested in the task and each is accountable for his contribution to the group. For example, my manager at a landscaping maintenance company I worked for knew exactly how many workers were needed for each specific job site we maintained. For residential sites, two workers were most efficient; while on commercial job sites, typically three workers were involved. The significance of these numbers was evident on Saturdays, when all twelve employees would work the same commercial property and be finished in half a day when it would take three employees one full day to accomplish the same work. While it may be easier for each employee to do his work because some responsibility is shifted to the extra employee, it would be more efficient to use less man hours to accomplish the task and save the company more money.

I agree with Dorothy Cotton that a major factor of social loafing is the shift of accountability for each of the members. It is easy for group member to think that the more people involved the less of a contribution each person needs to make. This opinion represents an attitude that shows a lack of personal responsibility and personal investment in a project. In order for a group to function properly, each member must feel that his individual input contributes to the success of the project as a whole. In this way, each member plays a critical role in the completion of the project, requiring accountability of each member.

In her article, Dorothy Cotton also suggested that superior workers tend to produce less in a group setting because they feel they should not perform at their normal level if others in the group can not match that standard. From personal experience, I think that this situation is not always true. At the risk of sounding arrogant, I feel as though I have been in a similar situation in a Business 101 course group project. I found myself as an upper classman having to exert extra effort to maintain the quality of our project by editing the work of several freshmen who had less experience writing college level papers and whose study habits were not fully formed. In this way, because my grade in the course was at stake, I made extra effort to maintain my normal quality level. In this situation, social loafing may not have been evident in the final product but when the process leading to that end result is examined, the effects of social loafing were certainly seen. Social loafing is definitely an issue that managers should understand and be prepared to combat. If this phenomenon is not accounted for it could have devastating effects on the business and the individual group members.

References:

Cotton, D. (2005). ‘Social loafing’ is the bane of work groups.The Standard, B3.Retrieved November 07, 2006, from LexisNexis Academic.

Atoum, Adnan Omar, & Farah, Adnan M. (2003) Social loafing and personal involvement among Jordanian college students. In The Journal of Social Psychology, 133, p785. Retrieved November 07, 2006, from Expanded Academic ASAP via Thomson Gale:

Chidambaram, Laku, & Tung, Lai Lai. (2005) Is out of sight, out of mind? An empirical study of social loafing in technology-supported groups. In Information Systems Research, 16, p149. Retrieved November 07, 2006, from Expanded Academic ASAP via Thomson Gale:

Williams, B., & Kinicki, A. (2006). Management: A practical introduction. (2nd ed.).New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin

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