Social Loafing: Why Does It Matter in Tourism Industry?

Social Loafing: Why Does It Matter in Tourism Industry?

Selcen Seda Turksoy
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1474-0.ch015
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The performance of an employee is quite important for the organizations encountering a severe competition in today's conditions. For the tourism establishments, in which the number of the employees is quite high, providing innovative and quality service, meeting the customer satisfaction, is directly related to the performance of the employee. However, a part of the employees cannot display the expected performance. In literature, this situation is explained as social loafing. In literature, social loafing is the tendency of individuals to expend less effort when working in groups than when working alone. This undesirable situation for the tourism establishments decreases productivity and performance of the business. In the study, firstly the concept of social loafing, the approaches explaining social loafing, the first researches in the literature, and social loafing in the workplace are summarized. Then, the social loafing phenomenon in tourism industry, the studies carried out regarding this subject, and the preventive suggestions for social loafing are given place.
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Today, organizations seek new ways to survive in economic fluctuations, downturns and competitive environment. They take steps to manage the wisely use of human resources and improve the productivity. They agree that the implementation of performance management systems in order to measure, evaluate and increase performance will help in the process. They follow new strategies both to increase the productivity of the current employees and for the recruitment of the new employees. They benefit from teamwork and collaboration for optimizing the productivity of the employees and finding solution to the problems which are hard to be handled alone. At this point, teamwork and collaboration are also important in the hospitality industry, bearing labor-intensive characteristic feature, to satisfy the customers whose preference, demand and expectations could change (and improve) continuously. Thus, the importance of teamwork in developed service delivery and customer satisfaction appear in literature (Ingram, 1998 as cited in Kusluvan, 2003).

Team work has positive effects on quality (David, Pearce, & Randolph, 1989; Montebello & Buzzotta, 1993), flexibility (Fraser, 2010), coordination (Cohen & Bailey, 1997, Campion, Medsker, & Higgs, 1993) and productivity (Guastello & Guastello, 1998) from the point of the employees and the employers. In hospitality industry, due to the knowledge and experience share among the team members, new and creative products or services can be developed and in this way, performance increase is provided with regard to the service innovation (Tepeci & Onag, 2013). To ensure such fruitful teamwork and collaboration is not always possible. The efficiency of the teamwork which has positive effects for the managements depends on a set of skills such as, ensuring trust among the members, making preparations about the duty and responsibility to be undertaken, learning to stick to the decision, action and plan, affective leadership, identifying role and responsibilities of the team members, creating suitable performance and rewarding systems, and focusing on group success (Sanyal & Mohammed, 2018). Otherwise, It gets harder to identify individual contributions in the team. While the teamwork is required for an effective performance, it defines how the duties and responsibilities are carried out within the context of the team as well (Salas, Shuffler, Shayer, Bedwell, & Lazzara, 2015). Herein, it also includes the individual effort of the members on the common output during the effectuating process of the duties and responsibilities within the context of the team.

As stated in literature, some employees can or cannot display the expected performance within the group. This withholding effort is defined as social loafing (making less effort within the group) and associated with the performance displayed within the group (Bennett & Naumann, 2005; Kidwell & Robie, 2003). Positive outputs of mutualization and cooperation are ensued in the context of reaching identified goals while working together. However, at this point, as well as supporting friendship and mutualization in terms of providing cooperation and collaboration in the managements, personal beliefs and attitudes, reward mechanisms, job description and organizational structure, the homogeneity of the group are also among the points that should be taken into consideration in detail (Furnham, 2005: 397) as lack of valid psychometric criteria regarding how the individuals behave within the team affects the detection of the concept (Furnham, 2005: 501).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Performance: Good results or success in business.

Productivity: The rate connected with the amount of production resources and the output produced.

Collective Work: Work done by every member of group members.

Teamwork: A group of employees that work in a coordinated manner to achieve goals for business purposes.

Hospitality: General term given to the accommodation, food and beverage, travel, leisure businesses that provide service to the guests.

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