Montcalm - What To Do About A Free Rider?

Prepared by W. Morley Lemon

You are Professor Fenella and teach an accounting class at Montcalm University. You have heard, through the grapevine, that John quite frequently has excuses for not being at group meetings and that, when asked to do parts of the group project, his work is inevitably not of a very high quality. In this particular course, there is a lot of group work and a substantial portion of the grade is based on this group work. You have consistently given good grades, in the range of A to A-, to John’s group for their assignments. Upon reviewing the grading records, you find that John’s performance on individual activities is much below par and obviously his grades on the group assignments are substantially better than his other grades. In addition, he rarely attends class and never volunteers answers. When you ask him a question, he is rarely able to provide an answer. This being the case, you know that the "grapevine" is correct and that John’s contribution has been small or none and yet John is benefitting from the grades you have given his group. John is a well known malingerer but the members of John’s group are too nice to complain about John themselves. Instead, they are simply picking up his slack.

What should you do?

Other Montcalm cases: