Attributing responsibility for success and failure in teams

M.V. Jones, M. Allen, D. Sheffield, P.J. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In organizational settings teams are given credit for success, while individuals tend to be singled out as the cause of team failure (Naquin & Tynan, 2003:Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 332 – 340). This is proposed to occur because failure triggers counterfactual thinking, whereby thoughts of alternative outcomes are generated (Roese, 1997: Psychological Bulletin, 121, 133 – 148). Because people are more likely to have counterfactual thoughts that target individuals, their attributions are biased accordingly. In this study, the existence of this ‘‘team halo effect’’ was examined across three samples of team sport participants and sport fans. After receiving ethics approval from the authors’ institution, team and individual attributions were assessed using a similar procedure to that of Naquin and Tynan.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007


  • team halo effect
  • team success
  • team failure


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