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Reducing Social Loafing Tendency Through Achievement Motivation Training

Case study

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International Journal of Management Science and Business Administration
Volume 4, Issue 1, November 2017, Pages 15-18

Reducing Social Loafing Tendency Through Achievement Motivation Training

DOI: 10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.41.1002
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.18775/ijmsba.1849-5664-5419.2014.41.1002

¹Ferry Novliadi, ²Rika Eliana

¹ ²Faculty of Psychology, University of Sumatera Utara, Medan, Indonesia

Abstract: This study aims to find the right strategy that a way of reducing the social loafing tendency among the students. The results showed the higher of achievement motivation will impact the lower social loafing tendency, and affected to student’s academic achievement. We conducted a study involving 91 students of Psychology Faculty of the University of Sumatera Utara and divided into 2 groups: the experimental group and the control group. The experimental groups were given a brief achievement motivation training, while the control group did not receive any treatment. The effectiveness of interventions seen through decreasing score in social loafing tendency in the experimental group. Application of achievement motivation training in more details could be one strategy to reduce social loafing tendency.

Keywords: Achievement motivation training, Experiment, Social loafing tendency

Reducing Social Loafing Tendency Through Achievement Motivation Training

1. Introduction

The introduction of the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) by the central government of Indonesia has motivated many universities in Indonesia to develop and apply teaching methods to facilitate students in achieving the goals of CBC. As the oldest university in Sumatera, many faculties in the University of Sumatera Utara (USU) has been shifting their teaching approach from the traditional lecturing class to cooperative learning approach. In cooperative learning, the role of a lecturer shifted from an ‘authority of knowledge’ to ‘facilitator of knowledge’. For example, the Medical Faculty in USU has been implementing the problem based learning (PBL) approach, in which lecturer assigned students to work in small cooperative groups to solve certain problems designed to stimulate learning.

Although a number of studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the cooperative learning approach, studies have also acknowledged that an uncontrolled implementation of cooperative learning may increase students’ likelihood to engage in social loafing. Social loafing, which refers to the circumstance in which individuals minimize their effort when assigned to work in a group has been known counterproductive for group performance. Thus, it is important for lecturers to take account the likelihood of social loafing when implementing a cooperative learning approach in their classes. Considering the importance of reducing the possibility of social loafing in a cooperative learning environment, the present research is aimed to answer two important questions: (1) To what extent do students’ motivations affect their social loafing tendency when assigned to work in a group, (2) and would a training designed to increase students’ motivation be effective in reducing students social loafing tendency in the implantation of cooperative learning.

1.1. Motivation and Social Loafing Tendency

Motivation refers to the internal state and condition that activate, energize, and direct behavior (Kleinginna & Kleinginna, 1981). It is a construct that drove people to act or behave in certain ways. In his book, David McClelland (1961; 1989) postulated three types of motivation: (1) Achievement, (2) power, (3) and affiliation motive. Based on McClelland’s explanation, several hypotheses may be postulated regarding the relationships of motivation and SLT. According to McClelland, people with high achievement motive have a strong need to seek and achieve realistically challenging goals. Therefore, it could be hypothesized that people with high achievement motive would be more likely to avoid social loafing, because social loafing may hamper them in achieving their goals.

McClelland also explained that people with high power motive have the urge to control and influence others. They enjoy status and recognition of others. Thus, people with high need of power would tend to avoid social loafing, because social.

2. Research Methods

A. Participants.

This study is an experimental study using pretest-posttest control group design.  Our participant is  91 people (male = 15 female = 71) students of the Faculty of Psychology, University of North Sumatra. They are students of Social Psychology courses. Students were distributed into two groups: the experimental group (EG) and the control group (CG).

B. Procedure and measures.

We conducted our achievement motivation training in several phases. In the first phase, we asked all participants to fill in the SLTQ (the same as in Study 1; α = .80).  Then we divided the participant in two group, 45 students in the experimental group and 45 students in the control group. The measurement of SLTQ was intended as a pre-training (pretest) assessment of the participants’ level of SLT. After confirming the participant’s consent and commitment, we asked the participants in the experimental group to participate in the achievement motivation training. In control group, we told them that training will be conduct three weeks after experimental group.

The training was conducted based on the training conducted by David Kolb (1965), in which we incorporate the key principles of identification, expectation, ideomotor response, and games.

The “Ring around the bottle” was a game designed to elicit participants with the insight about their achievement motivation. In the game, participants were instructed to form a team of 5 persons. Then, we asked them to take turn throwing a ring from three levels of distance (2 meter, 3 meter, and 4 meter), such that the ring should fall surrounding the bottle in the middle. A point will be awarded to the team if the ring was thrown from the 1-meter distance, 3 points if thrown from the 3-meter distance, and 5 points if thrown from the 4-meter distance. The participants were free to choose their throwing distance.Each of the teams had 3 minutes to play the game. The team with most points wins the game. This game was designed to elicit the participant’s insight about realistic goal setting.

Subsequent to the “Ring around the bottle” game, the facilitator presented to the participants about the concept of achievement motivation. The materials of the presentation were designed such that it described clearly about the characteristics of a high achievement motivation person. During the presentation, the facilitators also described their experience and also some tips and trick to maintaining their achievement motivation. In the final session of the training, participants were taught and practice the SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) analysis.

A week after the training, we re-measured (post-test) participants SLT by using the SLTQ. After completing the SLTQ, all the participants in EG and CG were thanked and debriefed about the research. Then after two weeks, we conduct the same training for CG.

3. Result and Discussion

We did t-test to see the difference due to the treatment is given to the experimental group, in this case, the provision of achievement motivation training. Based on the t-independent test of the respective groups: the experimental group (the control group) were as follows.

Table 1: Gain score difference in SLTQ

No. Group Mean SD t P
1 Experiment Group -.6893 .6393 -6.345 0,001
2 Control Group .0696 .4843


From the table above, it appears there is a difference between the experimental group and a control group of t (df = 88) = -6345, p = 0.0001 p <0.05).   In this study, we examined the role of personality aspects, specifically the motivation of the individual against the tendency social loafing.  People who have high achievement motivation always want to keep the quality of his work. Thus, they avoid behaviors that can degrade the quality of the workgroup.

Specifically, the level of social loafing current tendency in the experimental group before training (pre-test) is higher than after the students undergoing training at the following graph (post-test) was seen in the following graph:

Figure 1: Mean Score Differences between pre and post-test

The results indicated that the training has been successful in decreasing the participants level of Social Loafing Tendency. Despite significant influence but the influence of achievement motivation training is not too big only about 4%, r = -0240. This suggests that there is another aspect that is more instrumental in lowering the tendency of social loafing. The result of the intervention of the experimental group showed that there is a difference between students who received training achievement motivation training with a student who did not receive the training. This means that the achievement motivation training effect was consistent across the participants, which further indicated that participants’ decrease of SLT was due to the implemented achievement motivation training.

4. Conclusion

The conclusion of this paper is given that:

  1. There was the difference between a group of participants who received achievement motivation training with a group of participants who did not receive the training in social loafing tendency (SLT), which participants’ decrease of SLT was due to the implemented achievement motivation training.
  2. The achievement motivation training could reduce social loafing tendency among the participants.


Authors say thanks to those who helped this research, especially to DIKTI that provide opportunities and support. The author is also grateful for the support of students of Department of Architecture USU.


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