Exploring the impact of team-building strategies on social loafing in Ashesi University student teams

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Despite the importance of developing team-based competencies, students in higher education institutions engage in social loafing during their academic teamwork experiences. Various researchers have proposed team-building strategies as a remedy. However, these strategies' effectiveness has been debatable, with little insight into the why behind the conclusions. Therefore, this study sought to qualitatively explore the phenomenon as it occurs in Ashesi University using Tuckman's Stages of Group Formation as the guiding theoretical framework. The study employed semi-structured interviews to gather in-depth information from twenty-five participants comprising twenty students and five faculty of Ashesi University. The interviews addressed: (1) faculty and students' perception of social leafing in student teams, (2) the strategies they initiate during each team-formation stage, and (3) the strategies' impact. Through a thematic analysis, the study found that the strategies employed in Ashesi University student teams are role clarification, feedback systems, and interpersonal relationship-building. However, the central insight from this study was that these strategies are more effective when they are executed in sequence to provide a mutual reinforcement than when they are executed individually. Thus, the study recommended that higher education institutions shift the focus to sequential strategy execution instead of individual strategy execution.
Undergraduate thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, May 2022
collaborative learning