Office Magic Newsletter
Dynamite Your Status-Quo to Achieve Breakthrough Success.
In This Issue
-- Team Spriit or Individual Responsibility?
-- Testimonial of the Month
-- What Causes Social Loafing?
-- Coming Next Month
Does your practice suffer from social loafing? Read on and find out.
This month's issue was not written by us, but was compiled from a variety of sources.
Team Spirit or Individual Responsibility?
A common stereotype about groups is that the sense of team spirit spurs individual effort and enhances the group's overall productivity. However, the phenomenon known as "social loafing" directly challenges this logic that the productivity of the group as a whole should at least equal the sum of the productivity of all the individuals in that group. Social loafing is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually.
In the late 1920s, a German psychologist named Ringelmann compared the results of individual and group performance on a rope-pulling task. He expected that the group's effort would be equal to the sum of the efforts of individuals within the group. That is, three people pulling together should exert three times as much pull on the rope as one person, and eight people should exert eight times as much pull.
Ringelmann's results, however, did not confirm his expectations. Groups of three people exerted a force only two-and-a-half times the average individual performance. Groups of eight collectively achieved less than four times the solo rate. As you added more and more people to a group pulling on a rope, the total force exerted by the group rose, but the average force exerted by each group member declined.
Replications of Ringelmann's research with similar tasks have supported his findings. Increases in group size are inversely related to individual performance. More people may be better in the sense that the total productivity of a group of four is greater than that of one or two people, but the individual productivity of each group member declines.
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Testimonial of the Month
"I can't thank you enough for the valuable resource that KEEPS ON GIVING -- the Practice Explosion System from Office Magic!! All materials were very well organized and EXTREMELY EASY to implement. Our production has dramatically increased, and the feeling of well being from practice success is almost euphoric. My wife sees the satisfaction and well, things have virtually exploded in our personal life as well."
-- Timothy J. Kitzmiller, DDS, Loveland, Ohio
Practice Explosion System
What Causes Social Loafing?
What causes this social loafing effect? It may be due to a belief that others in the group are not carrying their fair share. If you see others as lazy or inept, you can reestablish equity by reducing your effort.
Another explanation is the dispersion of responsibility. Because the results of the group cannot be attributed to any single person, the relationship between an individual's input and the group's output is clouded. In such situations, individuals may be tempted to become "free riders" and coast on the group's efforts. In other words, there will be a reduction in efficiency when individuals think that their own contribution cannot be measured.
Social loafing is naturally a threat to a group's performance. Tests have shown that it is possible to eliminate social loafing if things can be arranged so that an individual member's contribution to the group effort is identifiable.
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Coming Next Month
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