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Recognising Blame Culture

You know you’re working in a blame culture when sentences start "Why didn’t you" – questions that use "you" instead of "we", and focus on what happened (the past), rather than how it can be fixed (the future). Another tell-tale sign of a blame culture is blame avoidance, through micro-management – especially where micro-management isn’t the norm. When a manager recognises a personal error or failing, he or she might micro-manage the affected team correct that error. This not only allows the manager to avoid blame, but re-frames the manager as the hero.

More indicators

Agency cost is an economic concept concerning the fee to a principal (an organization, person or group of persons), when the principal chooses or hires an agent to act on its behalf. Because the two parties have different interests and the agent has more information, the principal cannot directly ensure that its agent is always acting in its (the principal's) best interests.

The information asymmetry that exists between shareholders and management is generally considered to be a classic example of a principal-agent problem. Agents (management) are working on behalf of principals (shareholders) who do not observe the actions, and are thus not aware of the repercussions of many of the actions of their agents.

The classic case of corporate agency cost is the professional manager – with no, or only a small stake in ownership, having interests differing from those of firm's owners.

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