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Star Employees Get Most of the Credit – and Blame


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man holding star, illustration

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"Star" employees who demonstrate exceptional performance and enjoy broad visibility relative to industry peers tend to get more than their share of the credit when things go well in a collaborative project, and more of the blame when they don't, according to "Shadows and Shields: Stars Limit Their Collaborators' Exposure to Attributions of Both Credit and Blame," published in the journal Personnel Psychology.

On the other hand, collaborating with a star not only mitigates — but may actually outweigh — the professional status loss associated with collaborative failure.

"What this points to, both for low-performing employees and for managers, is the importance of being very mindful of what is the gain that you're hoping to achieve from a collaboration with a star," says Rebecca Kehoe, associate professor of human resource studies, and co-author of the study.

From Cornell University
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