1. What can a manager do to discourage social loafing in a group? A. Focus on recognizing the group's performance as a whole. B. Create large groups. C. Downplay individual contributions. D. Assign specific tasks to group members and hold them accountable for their performance. 2. When members of a special task force are asked to develop a proposal for increasing the international sales of a new product, this problem most likely requires ____ decisions. A. nonprogrammed B. routine C. crisis D. programmed. 3. A member of a group challenges the decision toward which the group is leaning so that the group considers carefully all of the unacceptable possible outcomes of the alternative that the group is considering. This is known as: A. advocacy. B. groupthink. C. programmed decision-making. D. dialectical inquiry.

To discourage social loafing, a manager should emphasize individual contribution and hold employees accountable for their performance.

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Although work teams are considered more productive than individuals, they are not the best way to gauge worker performance. Just because someone is in a high-performing work team doesn’t mean they are hardworking. Some workers sit back and let others do all the work. This habit is known as social loafing. Without maximum effort from all members, the group becomes inefficient. As a team leader, you should give everybody an equal chance to contribute. Insist that everyone contribute, and hold them accountable so that they can feel responsible for the group’s performance.

Away from group problems, there are some decisions managers have to make based solely on new information. These are known as nonprogrammed or nonroutine decisions. Take the example of a new product launch. The company has never sold that product before, so it relies on the manager to come up with a sales and marketing plan. Since the manager has never sold the item before, they cannot rely on their gut feeling or intuition to make the decision. Extensive research is needed for comprehensive decision-making.

As individuals form synergy and get used to each other, they become susceptible to groupthink. They think alike and have the same ideologies and beliefs. As a result, group discussions and meetings become less effective, because the decisions are biased and not carefully examined. To improve the quality of those discussions, the group leader can ask one person to play the role of devil’s advocate. They are supposed to critique every decision without fear or bias. That forces team members to rethink their strategies and come up with more effective solutions.

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