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Phenomenons related to individual performance

Individual performance

Social Loafing (Ringelmann effect)
is a concept that describes that people are prone to put in less effort in a team rather than when working individually. Ringelmann made an experiment with a large group of people pulling the rope. The bigger the group, the less effort every participant will put in. There are many reasons to lack motivation while working in a team:

Social Loafing
Social Loafing

Free-rider-effect – some people may just lay back knowing that others will do the work, hiding back their ideas and actions thinking that others are stronger and better and can get the job done better. Having one free-rider in the team may affect the motivation of all the members. If this happens repeatedly, others can get a feel of being exploited and unsatisfied.

The Sucker Effect – when one of the team members refuses to do the work and leaves from the team. He leaves the team because he doesn’t want to be the sucker.

How to avoid social loafing:

-       Limit the group size – if you want great ideas for brainstorming, make a big group. But if you want to get things done, make small group

-       Set clear and challenging goals – if the task is too easy, chances of loafing increase

-       Benchmarking with another group – take other teams as an example

-       Make individual contributions identifiable

-       Increase involvement – point out the importance of the individual effort


Individual Performance
Individual Performance

Risky Shifting

An individual is less likely to take any risky action when alone, because of risk factors and the responsibility falls entirely on the individual.

When there is more than one person, as a group they are more likely to act risky as the responsibility and risk factors will be evenly distributed amongst all in the group. Therefore lessening each individual’s sense of responsibility for the action.  


When agreeing with the group leads to dangerous results. Sometimes you will agree not because you have the same opinion, but because you do not want to feel like an outsider.


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