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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2004 Dec;30(12):1636-49.

Mea culpa: predicting stock prices from organizational attributions.

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University of Michigan, Department of Psychology, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.


People's causal attributions for events in their lives have been shown to relate to individual and interpersonal outcomes. Groups and organizations also make causal attributions, and this article examines whether their publicly communicated attributions predict organizational-level outcomes. By content analyzing attributions contained in corporate annual reports from 14 companies during a 21-year period, the authors found that organizations that made "self disserving" attributions- internal and controllable attributions for negative events-had higher stock prices 1 year later. The authors argue that claiming personal responsibility for negative events made the organizations appear more in control, leading to more positive impressions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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