Social loafing is one of the well-documented limitations of groups. It can be a great problem for work groups and organizations , as it results in   productivity loss and can affect the performance of the organization. Most studies recognize that factors such as group size, cohesiveness, task visibility, interdependence of the task, member role difference, individual and social identity are linked with social loafing. There are a number of theories and approaches to social loafing which can help us look at ways to reduce its occurrence. Major works recognize that motivation plays a role in social loafing in various ways. In order to find ways of reducing social loafing, we will look at research on why social loafing occurs.
Research has shown that when performing a task collectively, individuals tend to put in less effort, this is known as the Ringelmann effect. Many experiments conducted prove this to be true, for example physical tasks such as pulling a rope in tug of war(Ingham, Levinger, Graves, & Peckham, 1974); clapping; cheering, individuals tend to put in less effort than they would individually (Sheppard, 1993 ) . The same has been seen with cognitive tasks such as creating uses for objects, evaluative tasks (eg. editorials) and perpetual tasks (eg. visual vigilance) (Harkins & Petty, 1982). Ringlemann notes that the more people there are added to a group, the less efficient the group becomes. This goes against the social facilitation theory that people are more effective at completing tasks in a group. A study by Norman Triplett in 1898 on cyclists showed that cyclists performed better when riding with other cyclists. Dogs in packs run faster than when they are on their own.
When members of a group are seen as a source of comparison, competitors or evaluators this generally leads to a increase in performance (Hogg & Cooper, 2007). In a group, members don't want to be seen as the weakest link, they want to be seen favorably.   Using the social identity...