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Work Cultures and Social Loafing - Essay Example

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Work Cultures and Social Loafing

The study was important because it helps us to understand the behavior of people in different countries and different work culture and sought to find out remedies for this organizational menace.
Research was never conducted before about this subject and it assumes significance from the fact that work culture is often ignored and it is further important because work culture changes from country to country and it can't be altered / modified .
Research conducted in the United States indicates that members of cultures whose value emphases and social institutions have been characterized as "group-oriented" would tend to form more cohesive groups and be more likely to place group benefit over individual benefit than members of individualistic.(Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Vol. 14, No. 3, 368-384 (1983)
Social Loafing is a tendency or phenomenon of an individual, to work less when in group than when work alone. As such, group performance may not be satisfactory when compared to individual performance. Social loafing is the "tendency to reduce individual effort when working in groups compared to the individual effort expended when working alone" (Williams & Karau, 1991). "It is the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually" (Karau & Williams, 1993) Social Loafing- "the tendency of individual group members to reduce their work effort as groups increase in size as displayed by the inclination to "goof off" when performance is needed in a group, miss meetings, show up late, or fail to start or complete individual tasks". J. Dan Rothwell, "In Mixed Company: Communicating in Small Groups," 3rd. ed., Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Orlando, .83
In their meta-analytic review of social loafing, Karau and Williams (1993) found that the degree to which the participants' dominant culture emphasizes individualistic versus collectivistic concerns moderated the loafing effect. The magnitude of this effect was found to be larger for participants from individualist-Western cultures than for participants from collectivist-Eastern or oriental cultures. Consistent with this, individuals attach greater importance to group performance and achievement in collectivist cultures (Triandis, 1989), where conceptions of individuality insist on the fundamental relatedness of people to each other (Markus & Kitayama, 1991). An experiment conducted on French students revealed that self - beliefs related to one's feeling of uniqueness play a vital role in performance than in group ( Karau and Williams' (1993) Collective Effort Model).
Another research conducted by Kline, Ute-ChristineAnderson, Neil (2007) revealed that personality, cultural, social, and work- and organizational psychology of an employee not only affects social loafing but also addresses the motivational factors of situations that either foster or inhibit social loafing under typical vs maximum performance .
With the increasing focus on international ventures and management (Hofstede, 1980; Adler, 1986), it is important that organizational researchers understand intercultural similarities and differences, particularly ...Show more


In this research , we are making an attempt to compare and contrast work culture in different countries and its effect on Social Loafing . For this purpose, we have studied the prevailing work culture in India , US and Japan . Though human behavior is 'culturally mediated' (Cross Cultural Psychology , Berry, et al.2002, p.47), work culture has a role to play in social loafing…
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Work Cultures and Social Loafing essay example
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