Home > business > The FAE


Over the years, I’ve read quite a few books and articles on managing the soft side of an organization. In many of these info sources, I’ve seen the term FAE = Fundamental Attribution Error mentioned. The FAE represents the tendency of a manager to instinctively and unthinkingly blame a person’s character and/or work ethic for under-performance. The real cause, which cannot possibly be true in a corpo manager’s conditioned mind, is likely that his/her inability to create, nurture, and continuously sustain a helpful, supportive, learning work environment is killing productivity and creating under-performers.

Of course, the FAE cannot account for all under-performance in an absolute sense. There are self-made underperformers (like BD00) in every org, regardless of the quality of the surrounding work environment.


  1. Ray
    July 1, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    The sad part is the manager will never admit that the ineffective organization has anything to do with the management. At least his management. Good managers inspire while bad managers blame.

  2. bulldozer00
    July 2, 2009 at 5:27 am

    Hi Ray,

    You’re right. Because of the built-in behavior that a pyramidal org instills, those in higher up positions are compelled to try and maintain an image (and that’s all it is, image) of infallibility.

    Leaders inspire, managers conspire 🙂

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