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We discussed the phenomenon of social loafing in our class as a decline in individual productivity in group situations where accountability and motivation are lacking. Possible remedies included ensuring personal accountability, emphasizing group... more »We discussed the phenomenon of social loafing in our class as a decline in individual productivity in group situations where accountability and motivation are lacking. Possible remedies included ensuring personal accountability, emphasizing group pride and identity, and dividing the group into smaller units. This article goes into depth on group dynamics and describes how they actually change over time. Contrary to the concept of social loafing, during the first stages of group formation, contributions of individuals in a group setting is much higher than in the individual setting. However, in the middle and later stages, productivity in a group situation is less than in an individual setting. As time goes on, people tend to focus more on their own goals and interests, whereas the early stages are important for the development of a group dynamic, norms, and goals which promote a sense of cohesion and encourage people to work harder for the group. Personally, I can use this knowledge while coaching by constantly changing who people work with every day or every week so that people always remain the early stages of group development and do not drift into the final "decay" stage.
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