Description: The concept of social loafing is important with regard to organizational effectiveness particularly as organizations are relying on teams as a means to drive productivity. The composition of those teams is likely to reflect the current movement of racial and ethnic minorities in the work place. The primary purpose of this research was to determine the role cultural diversity plays in enhancing performance and thereby eliminating social loafing. The research study is significant because 1) it is among the first to use culturally diverse work groups while examining the social loafing phenomenon, and 2) the groups were intact project teams, rather than ad-hoc groups commonly found in social loafing experiments. It was anticipated that the members of culturally homogeneous groups would engage in social loafing when their individual efforts were "buried." However, subjects in both culturally diverse and culturally homogeneous groups resisted social loafing behaviors. Additional statistical analysis revealed that as group orientation increased, performance levels increased as well. Group orientation, then, appears to be a more powerful determinant of performance than group composition. It is expected that the time these groups had together and the performance feedback opportunities provided them, prior to the experiment, contributed significantly to these results. Future research suggestions were made that could help establish a causal relationship.
Date: May 1997
Creator: Heller, Deanna M. (Deanna Marcell)
Partner: UNT Libraries