Chapters of Blame

Seven chapters of blame and blaming in the workplace

Posted Jan 25, 2011

Here's a preview of the chapters in my forthcoming book, The Blame Game: How the hidden rules of credit and blame determine our success and failure (Free Press, March 15, 2011)

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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