Introducing a new interactive blog series: Credit and Blame at Work

Credit and blame make the workplace go 'round

Posted Jun 20, 2009

Dear Readers,

I am pleased to launch a new interactive "series" on this blog: "Credit and Blame at Work".

I'm currently working on a book about credit and blame, and will give due credit to anyone who can post an interesting response or a helpful link in response to the topics that we will be exploring together.

Why credit and blame? Because in my experience as an organizational psychologist, consultant and executive coach, the dynamics of credit and blame are at the heart of every workplace, for better or for worse.

Credit and blame is where "the energy is", and can either be a source of cohesion and commitment or anger and resentment.

We'll be looking at the various ways in which people piss each other off in the workplace by the manner in which they either hog credit or deny blame. We'll explore the individual psychology, relationship dynamics, team dynamics, and organizational culture factors that help determine how credit and blame play out. Although we will often talk about how bosses use and abuse credit and blame, we will also talk about how peers or even subordinates can have a role in playing the blame game.

Ultimately, I will be developing an assessment that individuals and teams will be able to use to get a "360 degree" perspective on how well they do in assigning credit and blame. This assessment will have items like:

- Takes a balanced and fair view of credit and blame


- Is totally self serving in assigning credit and blame.

If you have a great boss or colleague who represents the paradigm of fairness when it comes to credit and blame, please describe how he or she accomplishes that.

If you have a boss who is totally self serving in assigning credit and blame, here is your chance to vent.

In either case, please make sure not to post company names, real names of any individuals, or any other identifiying information. That way, we can share, discuss and debate different kinds of credit and blame without ourselves getting blamed for any negative real-world impact on anyone.

Thank you in advance for making this an interesting and engaging series.