As you have learned in the text, social loafing occurs when some members of a team do less work and do not live up to their team responsibilities. When this occurs, typically other team members pick up the extra work to meet the timeline, and often times end up frustrated with the whole team process. One way to prevent social loafing from occurring is to create a team charter. A team charter allows members to break down responsibilities, set goals and timelines for work to be accomplished before it begins. For example, the charter may include the following:
- Setting goals
- Who will be responsible for what segment of the project?
- When are these deliverables due from each member?
- How will the team communicate? e-mail/online meetings, face to face meetings?
- How often will team members meet?
- What is the team project timeline to be able to finish the project on-time?
- If there are any disagreements or differences of opinion, how will these issues be resolved?
For this Discussion you will be asked to pretend you were placed on a team of four for a school project due in 5 weeks. The project is to write a research paper on group process and respond to the following questions:
- What information would you be sure a team charter covered and why?
- How might you prevent social loafing and group think in your team?
- Where do you think most teams have problems in the group development process and what suggestions might you make to optimize their performance?