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"Credit and Blame at Work is a modern management masterpiece; one of the most well-crafted business books I have ever read..."

-- Robert I. Sutton, Stanford Professor and author of Good Boss, Bad Boss

About the Book:

For better or for worse, the dynamics of credit and blame are at the heart of every team and organization and make or break every career. Unfortunately, credit and blame are rarely assigned in an objective or fair manner, and individual psychology, team dynamics, and corporate culture all influence, and are influenced by, how credit and blame are given and received. Too often, people and organizations get caught up in "the blame game" and the wrong people get blamed for the wrong reasons at the wrong time. The result can be that people are demotivated and demoralized, focus more on organizational politics than on getting the job done, and are too afraid to speak up or experiment with new approaches.

In this book, we consider academic research and theory, as well as real world examples, that illuminate how human evolution, our own life histories, and our personalities impact how we assign credit and blame to ourselves and others, as well as how we react to the credit and blame we receive from others. Credit and blame are also at the heart of workplace relationships, and are critical in determining how teams will develop and interact with each other. We'll explore the situations in which we can all be susceptible to "the blame game" and will present recommendations for how we can win in our careers by refusing to play. By taking a more mindful approach to credit and blame, individuals, teams and organizations can overcome the "blame game" and successfully adapt to new challenges instead of remaining stuck in the past.


Chapter One: How individuals assign credit or blame to themselves, considering how we all tend to give ourselves undue credit when things go well and to shirk responsibility when things go badly, from individuals overestimating their contributions to group projects to CEO's making rationalizations in annual reports. Includes research about attribution theory and self-serving biases.

Chapter Two: Insights about how our family experiences, gender and cultural influences shape our ways of thinking about, and behaving in regard, to credit and blame. Covers both social psychology and psychoanalytic perspectives.

Chapter Three: How personality and personality types impact how individuals assign credit or blame to themselves and others, considering how tempting it is to hold others to a different standard and to cast blame away from ourselves. Based on years of research in personality psychology, includes most supported personality models and typologies.

Chapter Four: How situations influence how we perceive and react to credit and blame. Includes multiple perspective, including individual psychology, interpersonal psychology, and group psychology.

Chapter Five: Corporate cultures and how credit and blame is a key determinant of cultures, for better or for worse. Based on research and theories about functional and dysfunctional corporate cultures.

Chapter Six: Leadership- how leaders assign credit and blame, and how the atmosphere that they create influences their success or failure, as well as the success or failure of the organizations they lead. Includes leadership theories and examples.

Chapter Seven:
Builds on the preceding chapters to suggest practical ways individuals and organizational leaders can increase the chances that credit and blame will be a positive force for change and growth rather than a negative force for stagnation and failure.





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How Better Assessment Can Improve Individual, Team, and Organizational Success
by Ben Dattner
Free Press/Simon & Schuster: March 15, 2011; ISBN-10: 143916956X; ISBN-13: 978-1439169568; Hardcover/eBook; 256 pages

Available at: Amazon, BN.com, Apple iTunes

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