In instances where students work together in teams, social loafing is a phenomenon whereby students fail to contribute fairly. This chapter assesses the level of social loafing which occurs in an entrepreneurship education context, using a sample of 269 student teams (232 undergraduate and 37 postgraduate) from an Irish university. Social loafing was discussed using the Collective Effort Model as the theoretical model, where it was hypothesized that the effort the team invested in the creation of the team governance contract (‘the team signatory code’) would predict performance and social loafing. Results indicated that for both groups collective effort significantly predicted team performance. Social loafing did not have a significant relationship with performance in the undergraduate class group; however, a significant and negative relationship was viewed with the postgraduate group. This may be an indication that there may be more students willing to do more than their fair share to prevent overall poor team performance in younger cohorts. The chapter adds to the growing body of knowledge surrounding teamwork in entrepreneurship education, and offers findings supporting the use of the team-signatory code in this context.
Steve Talbot, Ciarán Mac an Bhaird and Geoff Whittam
Legislative change introduced in 2012 facilitates lending to the small firm sector by credit unions in the United Kingdom (UK). Policymakers introduced this supply side measure partly to alleviate the dual effects of a credit crunch and recessionary trading environment for small firms. As community based organizations with detailed local knowledge, credit unions are ideally positioned to overcome the greatest barrier to small firm lending, information asymmetries. The legislative change also provides credit unions with an opportunity to overcome impending problems of low profits and declining loan to assets ratios. Credit unions have been slow to embrace this new role, as lending to small firms is negligible. In this chapter, we seek to ascertain why credit unions are not lending to small firms by interviewing chief executive officers of four of the largest credit unions in the UK.