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Social loafing in group-based learning: student-created and instructor-created group perspectives

Rajaguru, R ORCID: 0000-0001-8262-368X, Narendran, R ORCID: 0000-0002-9707-5863 and Rajesh, G 2020 , 'Social loafing in group-based learning: student-created and instructor-created group perspectives' , Education and Training, vol. 62, no. 4 , pp. 483-501 , doi: 10.1108/ET-01-2019-0018.

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Purpose: Social loafing is a key inhibitor in group-based student learning and is a key challenge inadministering group-based assessments in higher education. This study examines differences in the effects ofantecedents of social loafing (disruptive behaviour, social disconnectedness and apathy) on work quality bycomparing student-created and instructor-created groups. The study also investigates how group members’efforts to “pick up the slack” of social loafers in the two kinds of groups moderate the effect of antecedents ofsocial loafing on work quality.Design/methodology/approach: Post-graduate students from two different sessions of the MarketingManagement unit participated in the study: 95 students from session 1 and 90 students from session 2. Onesession represented student-created groups and the other session represented instructor-created groups. Eachgroup consisted of five students. Partial Least Square (PLS) estimation using SmartPLS was used to assess thedirect and interaction effects.Findings: The results indicate differences in the effects of the antecedents of social loafing such as apathyand disruptive behaviour on work quality for both student-created and instructor-created groups. Socialdisconnectedness was found to have no significant effect on work quality. Interestingly, the study foundsignificant differences in the effects of “pick up the slack” on the work quality of student-created andinstructor-created groups. Members of student-created groups who picked up the slack of social loafersimproved the work quality for unit assessment. This effect was not significant for instructor-createdgroups.Originality/value: Extant literature on social loafing predominantly focusses on its effect on students’ workquality and educational achievement. This study contributes to the literature by investigating how the studentcreated and instructor-created group members’ efforts to pick up the slack of social loafers moderate the effectsof the antecedents of social loafing on work quality.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Rajaguru, R and Narendran, R and Rajesh, G
Keywords: perceived social loafing, student-created groups, instructor-created groups, group work quality
Journal or Publication Title: Education and Training
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN: 0040-0912
DOI / ID Number: 10.1108/ET-01-2019-0018
Copyright Information:

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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