The Blame Game

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

The Blame Game

Now in paperback, the acclaimed guide by a leading workplace expert that offers essential advice about how to succeed at work by avoiding the pitfalls of pervasive credit-grabbing and finger-pointing.

In this important book, praised by bestselling management expert Robert Sutton as “a modern management classic; one of the most well-crafted business books I have ever read,” psychologist and workplace consultant Ben Dattner reveals that at the root of the worst problems at work is the skewed allocation of credit and blame. It’s human nature to resort to blaming others, as well as to take more credit for successes than we should. Many managers also foster a “blame or be blamed” culture that can turn a workplace into a smoldering battlefield and upend your career. Individuals are scapegoated, teams fall apart, projects get derailed, and people become disengaged because fear and resentment take hold. But Dattner shows that we can learn to understand the dynamics of this bad behavior so that we can inoculate ourselves against it. 

In lively prose, Dattner tells a host of true stories from individuals and teams he’s worked with, identifying the eleven personality types who are especially prone to credit and blame problems and introducing simple methods for dealing with each of them. The rich insights and powerful practical advice Dattner offers allow readers to master the vital skills necessary for rising above the temptations of the blame game, defusing the tensions, and achieving greater success. 
  • Free Press | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439169575 | 
  • February 2012
List Price $18.99


Does THE BLAME GAME help or hurt you?

Workplace consultant reveals how blaming and credit-claiming damages careers and business results and shows how to protect against such practices.

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About the Author

Ben Dattner
Seth Dinnerman

Ben Dattner

Ben Dattner is the founder of Dattner Consulting, a workplace consulting firm that helps corporate and non-profit organizations sort through their credit and blame issues in order to enhance individual, team and organizational performance. His clients include companies ranging from small start ups to global corporations, non-profit and educational institutions, and government agencies. Dattner is also an Adjunct Professor at New York University, where he teaches Organizational Development in the Industrial and Organizational Psychology MA Program in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. He has also taught Strategic Career Management in the Executive MBA Program at NYU Stern Business School. Ben received a BA in Psychology from Harvard College, and an MA and Ph.D. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from New York University. He lives in New York City and his website is

Darren Dahl has worked as a collaborative writer and editor with several high-profile authors such as Keith McFarland on The Breakthrough Company (a New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today best-seller), as well as intellectual property experts Mark Blaxill and Ralph Eckardt on their book, The Invisible Edge (Named best strategy book of the year in 2009 by Strategy+Business). Dahl is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He has also written for The New York Times and AOL Small Business. He lives in Asheville, NC.