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ERIC Number: EJ1175830
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018-Apr
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1552-9045
Celebrities and Slackers: A Grounded Theory of the Dynamics of Social Loafing on Student Teams
Boren, Amy E.; Morales, Sarahi
Journal of Leadership Education, v17 n2 p42-59 Apr 2018
The purpose of this study was to explore how team members identify the social loafers on their teams and how they explain and manage social loafers' behavior. The participants (n = 49) in the study included members of student teams participating in a service project as a part of their coursework. We collected multiple sources of information: in-depth interviews, reflection journals, peer evaluations, and observations of team members interacting. Using attribution theory and status characteristics theory we describe how team members identify social loafer and explain the causes of their behavior. We also explore how those attributions affect team members' interactions with the social loafers. The status of social loafers in the eyes of their teammates affects teammates' willingness to accommodate or reject the social loafer. We identify strategies used by team members to manage the behavior of social loafers. We conclude with recommendations for practice and future research on social loafing.
Association of Leadership Educators. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A