In the team literature there is much discussion about free-riding as a main obstacle for teams to achieve quality performance. Given its importance to team success, however, empirical study of the free-rider problem has lagged behind the conceptual work. So far, little research has been conducted in field settings to measure the scale of free-riding and investigate how the problem may deteriorate the productivity of collective actions. This study intends to examine the free-rider problem in project teams. 44 student software development teams participated in the study. An instrument was developed to capture the most salient free-riding behavior from team members; a research model with team morale and team size as the antecedents, and team cognition and team performance as the consequences of free-riding, was tested. Implications to both research and team practices are discussed.
He, Jun, "Free-Riding in Student Software Development Teams: An Exploratory Study" (2009). AMCIS 2009 Proceedings. 575.