Employees (observer) Attributional Processes

Employees, too, attribute certain causes to their leader's behavior. Employees tend to view their leader as having an affect on their performance. When a team is unsuccessful, employee will try to distance themselves from their leader.

The complete model of the attribution process from the leader's perspective is illustrated in Figure 49.

Two important linkages are emphasized in Figure 49.

At the first linkage point, the leader attempts to make attributions about poor performance. These attributions are moderated by the three information sources distinctiveness, consistency, and consensus.

The second linkage point suggests that the leader's behavior or response is determined by the attributions that he makes. This relationship between attribution and leader behavior is moderated by the leader's perception of responsibility.

The attribution approach to leadership has begun to attract increasing research. G. H. Dobbins & J. M. Russel, "The biasing effects of subordinate likeableness on leaders' responses to poor performers: A laboratory and field study," Personnel Psychology, 39 (1986), pp. 759773; T. R. Mitchell & L. S. Kalb, "Effects of job experience on supervisor attributes for a subordinate's poor performance," Journal of Applied Psychology , 67 (1982), pp. 123188.


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