Loafing in the digital age: The role of computer mediated communication in the relation between perceived loafing and group affective outcomes
Teamwork has become a central practice for the organization of the 21th century. While effective teams can create synergies which boost innovation and performance, ineffective teams become a great burden for organizations. Empirical research has consistently shown that some psycho-social factors such as social loafing negatively impact team effectiveness. We predict that team members who perceive that others withhold effort in common task, will report lower levels of cohesion and satisfaction. In addition, we predict that when working in CMC (computer mediated communication) groups, the loss of media richness will create additional constraints for evaluating other members’ contributions and will therefore increase the negative impact of perceived social loafing. A laboratory study with 44 groups of 4 members each, who worked on a project in four sessions over a one-month period, in either high (face-to-face) or low (CMC) media richness conditions was conducted to test the hypotheses. Results show that the communication media condition moderates the effect of perceived loafing with an increased negative effect on group cohesion and work process and results satisfaction for the CMC condition.
Monzani, L., Ripoll, P., Peiro, J.M., & Van Dick, R. (2014). Loafing in the digital age: The role of computer mediated communication in the relation between perceived loafing and group affective outcomes.Computers in Human Behavior.