Sunday, December 22, 2013

Performance: Attribution 2

In the last byte, we looked at a graphical representation of attribution and the change in behavior that could be associated with it. In today's byte, we attempt to understand the graphical model further.

A simple explanation to the diagram displayed in the last byte could be as follows:

A manager could observe a poor performance and immediately take cues (which would be as described earlier - consensus, consistency or distinctiveness) depending on the interpretation of these, the manager could attribute the poor performance to either internal or external causes. The internal sources attributed to could include - low effort, lack of commitment or lack of ability. External attribution could be towards the equipment failure or unrealistic goals etc. Based on the understanding, the manager could detect the source of the problem and tries to correct it.

The response of the manager could vary ranging from expressing personal concern to sending the employee back home!

It could be sensed that a manager who attributes the poor performance to a person would react more harshly than a manager who would attribute it to situational causes. In all this, the manager should be aware of 2 attribution errors we have already discussed:
  1. Fundamental Attribution Error
  2. Self-serving Bias

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