Personal and Organizational Predictors of Social Loafing in Information Technology Sector

Author: Moona Mansur
Supervisor: Naumana Amjad, PhD
Degree: MPhil
Year: 2013-2015
University: Institute of Applied Psychology, Punjab University, Lahore, Pakistan

Present research was carried out to find out different predictors of social loafing in organizational settings. It comprised of two studies. Study-I was a cross-sectional survey which investigated the personal (personality traits and need for cognition) and organizational (organizational justice and workplace friendship) predictors of social loafing in Information Technology (IT) sector. It was hypothesized that; (a) personality traits (conscientiousness, openness to experience and agreeableness), need for cognition, organizational justice (procedural, distributive, and interactional), and workplace friendship (friendship opportunity and friendship prevalence) will negatively predict social loafing in organizational settings; (b) Need for cognition will moderate the relationship of social loafing with organizational justice (procedural, distributive, and interactional) and workplace friendship (friendship opportunity and friendship prevalence). Sample was selected through convenient sampling technique. It comprised of 150 IT employees including both men and women working in different IT organizations of Lahore. The assessment measures included, Social Loafing Scale adapted from George’s (1992) Scale, Big Five Inventory‐10 (BFI‐10; Rammstedt & John, 2007), Need for Cognition Scale (Cacioppo, Petty, & Kao, 1984), Organisational Justice Questionnaire (Niehoff, & Moorman, 1993), and Workplace Friendship Scale (WFS; Nielsen, Jex, & Adams, 2000). Measures were translated in Urdu according to the Mapi guidelines. Results indicated that conscientiousness, distributive justice, procedural justice and overall workplace friendship significantly predicted social loafing. It was also found that need for cognition significantly moderated the relationship of social loafing with distributive justice and overall workplace friendship. Following this a qualitative study was conducted to obtain in depth information on phenomenon of social loafing in organizational settings. Structured interviews were conducted consisting of three open ended questions were conducted. Sample consisted of six supervisors/team leads from different IT organizations. The study explored the perceptions of supervisors regarding phenomena of social loafing and its consequences. Thematic analysis was carried out. Three central themes emerged; (1) perceived reasons of social loafing; (2) supervisor’s observations of social loafers; (3) perceived consequences of social loafing. Overall this research has highlighted the phenomenon of social loafing and provided further exploration of reasons and consequences of this phenomenon.

Keywords: Organizational Justice, Personality Traits, Social Loafing.
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Corresponding Address: Department of Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. Email:, Phone: 92-42-9231245

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