Social loafing on group projects: Structural antecedents and effect on student satisfaction

Praveen Aggarwal, Connie L. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

181 Scopus citations


To respond to the expectations of the industry and business school accreditation bodies, marketing faculty have been making extensive use of group projects in their curricula. A common problem with the use of student groups, however, is that of social loafing. In this study, we identify some easy-to-implement project set-up factors and examine their impact on reducing the incidence of social loafing. We find that the incidence of social loafing increases with the scope of the project and the size of the student group assigned to the project. We also find that having multiple peer evaluations during the course of the project reduces social loafing. We study the impact of social loafing on students' satisfaction with group members' contribution and the perceived fairness of the project grade. Recommendations for reducing social loafing and increasing students' satisfaction with group projects are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)255-264
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Marketing Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008


  • Free riding
  • Group dynamics
  • Group projects
  • Social loafing
  • Student satisfaction


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