Intention, Education and Orientation
Edited by Susana C. Santos, António Caetano, Craig Mitchell, Hans Landström and Alain Fayolle
Chapter 7: Social loafing in student entrepreneurship teams
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.
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