Prior research has identified team size and dispersion as important antecedents of social loafing in technology-enabled teams. However, the underlying mechanisms through which team size and team dispersion cause individuals to engage in social loafing is significantly understudied and needs to be researched. To address this exigency, we use Bandura’s Theory of Moral Disengagement to explain why individuals under conditions of increasing team size and dispersion engage in social loafing behavior. We identify three mechanisms—advantageous comparison, displacement of responsibility and moral justification —that mediate the relationship between team size, dispersion and social loafing. Herein, we present the theory development and arguments for our hypotheses. We also present the initial findings from this study. Implications of the expected research findings are also discussed.
Srinivasan, Sankara-Subramanian; Maruping, Likoebe M.; and Robert, Lionel P., "Mechanisms Underlying Social Loafing in Technology Teams: An Empirical Analysis" (2010). ICIS 2010 Proceedings. 183.