An Analysis of Attribute Theory

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Case 3
1.0 Problem
Marcus Ang is a member from the field sales section. His sale performance in the recent months has been below target in contrast to his outstanding sales in the past year. Marcus blames it on the poor economic situation, however the other sales staff seem to able meet their target. How should Madam May May attribute Marcus’s performance? 2.0 Theory

Attribution theory suggests that when we observe an individual’s behavior, we attempt to determine whether it was internally or externally caused. Determination depends on 3 factors which are distinctiveness, consensus, and consistency. Distinctiveness is whether the observed person acts the same way in different types of situations. If the person being observed exhibits the same behavior in a variety of contexts, then distinctiveness is low; if they have different behavior depending on the context, then distinctiveness is high. Consensus is the degree to which other people, if in the same situation, would behave similarly to the person being observed. If the observer sees others acting the same way that the person being perceived acts, then consensus is high. However, if others behave differently in the type of situation, then consensus is low. Consistency describes whether the person being observed behaves the same way when faced with the same set of circumstances. If the person being observed acts the same way in the same type of situation, consistency is high; if they act differently each time, then consistency is low.

3.0 Integration Theory & Practice
Madam May May assesses consensus, or the behavior of others in this similar task. She finds that other sales staff able to achieve their sales target in same situation. There was low consensus. So, she concludes that there was an internal cause of the poor performance. Second, Madam May May considers distinctiveness; she wants to know if Marcus has performed poorly different types of tasks. Again, in checking his performance...
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