[Unlocked] Scheduled Conference Calls Twice
offer additional suggestions. Be sure they are informed by social psychology theory and research.
Before coming to Walden I completed an MBA program that was online. Every class in my two year program required group projects. Many times there were social loafers. The final class of my program was a capstone project that required creating a business. This was the worst time to have a social loafer (in hindsight it may have also been the best because the finish line was in sight). Everyone in our group of six took a different role in creating our mobile salon business. Everyone started with eager and enthusiasm. Each week we noticed one of our peers doing less and less. We had scheduled conference calls twice per week, sometimes three times depending on the workload. We noticed that he was absent more frequently. We nominated a CEO and requested that person contact the offender directly. The behavior did not change and the rest of us picked up his slack to ensure our grades were not impacted. Ultimately, we had to let the professor now that he was not contributing. This was probably not a surprise because we were also completing survey’s in which we graded our team members on their performance that week.
Reflecting on this experience causes me to think that our group handled this loafer well. It is certainly aligned with business expectations: confront the offender first and if that does not work then call HR. In our case the professor was HR. After reading Chapter 9, I am not surprised that his performance progressively worsened because arousal enhances performance on simple tasks but impairs performance on more complex tasks (Jackson & Williams, 1985). At the onset of class the assignments were easier than toward the end of class, where they became more complex. One strategy that we did not try was confronting his behavior during the calls. Specifically when discussing the surveys. We would often tell one another how we would rate the others when the rating was high. We did not discuss low ratings in a group setting. That may have been a reminder and motivator for him to contribute