The Blame Game

The Blame Game

How the Hidden Rules of Credit and Blame Determine Our Success or Failure

Free Press, 2011 more...

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  • Innovative
  • Applicable


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.


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...

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.

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