Summary of The Blame Game

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No one likes to be blamed when something goes wrong. Unfortunately, far too many people are quick to point fingers when the company misses a deadline or a project falls short of expectations. A work culture where employees hesitate to make decisions or don’t believe that they receive enough credit creates dysfunction, prevents a firm from operating efficiently and stifles growth. Psychologist Ben Dattner’s first-rate analysis of the dynamics of “the blame game” is pertinent reading for employees everywhere, from CEOs to receptionists. getAbstract believes this meaningful book will compel you to reassess your business environment, your relationships with co-workers, and, most important, your own motives and behavioral patterns. If you fail to take advantage of this bountiful knowledge, well, you have only yourself to blame.

About the Authors

Ben Dattner, founder of Dattner Consulting, is an adjunct professor of psychology at New York University. Darren Dahl, contributing editor at Inc. magazine, has collaborated on several business books.



A Damaging Combination

Many factors can cause workplaces to be dysfunctional, but misplaced blame and unfair allocation of credit may be the most damaging. Aggravation, anger and resentment often plague employees who work in this type of poisonous environment. Bosses who refuse to take responsibility when something goes wrong and insecure co-workers who insist on stealing the spotlight typically create an atmosphere of distrust, disillusionment and fear. The problem becomes magnified during difficult economic times when people worry about keeping their jobs.

The “blame game” is typically at the root of many organizational issues. The way individuals deal with credit and blame affects their productivity and relationships. Failed managers tend to handle interpersonal dealings poorly, frequently overlooking those who deserve credit while refusing to accept personal responsibility when things go amiss. Blaming other people is counterproductive, and the person placing the blame can suffer as a result. Researchers found “when individuals blamed others they were actually worse off for doing so – both emotionally and physically.” A person who becomes known as a “credit hog...

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    N. M. 8 years ago
    Invigorating to say the least...
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    P. J. 8 years ago
    I do agree with the author about blame game leading organisation disfunctinal and people or members of the team under productive. It is simple that BLAME IS TO BE ANALYSED for the improvement of the organisation as a whole. IT SHOULD BE A LEARNING POINT TO ALL FROM THE MISTAKE, IT IS NOT FOR THE PASSING THE BUCK. Blaming is just like I am ok and u are not ok type transaction which is damaging in nature. rather blame should be analysed and the point of mistake to be owned without hesitation for the interest of all concerned.
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    A. 8 years ago
    perfect, it is a hard lecture
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    A. 8 years ago
    The topic is really quite painful, especially nowadays when unemployment trend is so high over the world and people are afraid about loosing the job. But at the same time the it makes the internal competition even more sharp and even acquiring ugly forms of aspersion and betrayal.That is why some people intentionally hide the truth or dangerous information behind the back in order not to be blamed for "bad weather forecast", but later when the storm breaks down they are trying to find the other victims in order people will not find that they know the reasons of the catastrophe.
    Having been evident of several cases like that I would recommend to the top management the following:
    - create as friendly and supportive atmosphere inside the company,( team, group, etc),as possible. People shouldn't be afaraid of each other and especially of the boss. They have to be confident and beleive that they are doing the common job and whatever the situation is there are shoulderswho can share with you the responsibility for mistake or rejoice the victory. The people should feel and really have corporative responsibility and avoid the repeated mistakes of so many companies when there are special heroes to get the prize and special victims to be punished.