Browse Definitions :
Definition

Ringelmann effect

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

The Ringelmann effect is a reduction in productivity per individual that tends to occur as the numbers of people involved in a workgroup increase. It might be expected that a team of six people could complete as much work as that number of individuals working separately -- or even more, given the synergistic potential of collaboration. Somewhat paradoxically, however, increasing the size of a group can actually make the whole group less productive.

Beyond the optimal number of participants, the efficiency of a team decreases as its size increases, to the extent that a small group can be more productive than a larger one working on the same task. As a result of the Ringelmann effect, determining appropriate sizes for workgroups can be challenging.

Maximilien Ringelmann, a French agricultural engineer, first observed the phenomenon while researching the relationship between performance efficiency and group productivity. Ringelmann claimed that the productivity losses had two main causes:

  1. Individuals became less motivated when more people shared the responsibility for a task
  2. Inefficiencies arose when more individuals had to coordinate their efforts and actions.

The reduction of individual motivation, which is often considered the main factor involved, is sometimes referred to as social loafing.

This was last updated in February 2019

Continue Reading About Ringelmann effect

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • orphan account

    An orphan account, also referred to as an orphaned account, is a user account that can provide access to corporate systems, ...

  • voice squatting (skill squatting)

    Voice squatting is an attack vector for voice user interfaces (VUIs) that exploits homonyms (words that sound the same but are ...

  • WPA3

    WPA3, also known as Wi-Fi Protected Access 3, is the third version of the security certification program developed by the Wi-Fi ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

  • business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR)

    Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) are closely related practices that describe an organization's preparation for ...

  • warm site

    A warm site is a type of facility an organization uses to recover its technology infrastructure when its primary data center goes...

SearchStorage

  • cache memory

    Cache memory, also called CPU memory, is high-speed static random access memory (SRAM) that a computer microprocessor can access ...

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

Close