Attribution Theory Paper - Team V - Week 2

Attribution Theory Paper - Team V - Week 2 - An important...

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“An important assumption of attribution theory is that people will interpret their environment in such a way as to maintain a positive self-image .” (Bempechat, 1999) The attribution theory includes situations which may be positive or negative depending on a person perception of the situation. Typically a person likes to succeed in any venture he/she takes. They will attribute their success on their own ability or some external factor such as “good luck”. On the other hand, if a person fails, they will attribute their failure on an external force in which they had no control over, such as another person’s actions or “bad luck”. This paper will explore the attribution theory in more details, outlining a clear explanation, examples and implications of the attribution theory for human resource development professionals and change agents. Attribution Theory Interworking The attribution theory is a through theory which explores how individuals explain their value in an organization based on how their actions affect other events. This theory is a social psychology theory that was created by Fritz Heider, Harold Kelley, Edward E Jones, and Lee Ross. The theory bases the actions of an individual based on internal factors, involving an individual’s perception of a situation and external factors which include things in the external environment that control events. The way this theory works is a person measures their current and future successes in a situation to see if the individual considers themselves a failure and whether or not they will succeed in the future at the same event. One factor of this theory is a measure of a person’s self esteem and shows how that self esteem can have an impact on how that person sees the future in regards to their actions. This theory also looks at whether or not a person can control the causes for the outcome of a given situation. If the person succeeds at an event, the individual may have a sense of pride. If the person fails, they may feel responsibility
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for the failure and feel guilty, and if a person cannot succeed at a task and the task is out of the individual’s control, they may feel shame or even anger. Examples of the Attribution Theory There are many examples one could give for the attribution theory, depending on how an individual observes a situation while it is happens. “ An important assumption of attribution theory is that people will interpret their environment in such a way as to maintain a positive self- image. That is, they will attribute their successes or failures to factors that will enable them to feel as good as possible about themselves. In general, this means that when learners succeed at an academic task, they are likely to want to attribute this success to their own efforts or abilities; but when they fail, they will want to attribute their failure to factors over which they have no control, such as bad teaching or bad luck.” (David A. Gershaw, 2002) Let take a look at this example:
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This note was uploaded on 03/25/2010 for the course MBAC 6605 taught by Professor Smith during the Spring '10 term at Baylor.

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Attribution Theory Paper - Team V - Week 2 - An important...

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