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Topics: Attribution theory, Strategic management, Management Pages: 16 (5023 words) Published: April 19, 2013

Journal of Management and Strategy

Vol. 3, No. 1; February 2012

Attribution Theory and Strategic Decisions on Organizational Success Factors Professor Ben E. Akpoyomare Oghojafor Department of Business Administration University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria Olufemi Olabode Olayemi (Corresponding author) Department of Business Administration University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria Tel: +234-1-802-370-5627 E-mail:

Olukunle. O. Oluwatula Department of Psychology, Redeemer’s University (RUN) RCCG City, Ogun- Nigeria Tel: +234-1-802-370-5627 E-mail:

Patrick Sunday Okonji Department of Business Administration University of Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria Tel: +234-1-803-578-9583

Received: August 20, 2011 doi:10.5430/jms.v3n1p32 Abstract

Accepted: December 23, 2011

Published: February 15, 2012


This study examines the pattern of attributions of managers in business organizations as they relate to strategic decisions on critical success factors including personnel, market leadership and customers’ loyalty. A survey of 60 managers was conducted in Lagos, Nigeria and some psychological measures were administered to them. The results show that managers attribute strategic decisions on personnel, market leadership and customers’ loyalty to effort, ability and nature of the task. Managers with personality traits of extraversion and conscientiousness show similar pattern of finding. The study concludes that inter causes of attributions principally serve as basis for strategic decision making. The implications of the study are also discussed. Keywords: Strategic Management, Attribution, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Critical Success Factors 1. Introduction Research on psychological foundations of strategic management appears to have become a topical issue in the field of management. Strategic management may be described as the process of making critical decisions and going ahead to design some feasible actions in order to actualize the strategy of a business organization. For example, strategic management has been defined as “the set of decisions and actions that result in the formulation and implementation of plans designed to achieve a company’s objectives” (Pearce & Robinson, 2003) such decisions go along way to create a dividing line between business organizations that are successful and those that are struggling to overcome liquidation. Since business organizations are in operation for profit maximization, it then becomes pertinent that they record success in their performance. This therefore calls for high quality and organization. Understanding strategic management rests 32

ISSN 1923-3965 E-ISSN 1923-3973

Journal of Management and Strategy

Vol. 3, No. 1; February 2012

on conceptualization of the term – strategy. Strategy, according to Cole (2004), involves creating a leading position for a business organization in the market by building positive perceptions in the sight of all stakeholders including the customers and the employees. Furthermore, strategy reveals a business organization’s awareness of how, when, and where it should compete; against whom it should compete; and for what purposes it should compete (Pearce & Robinson, 2003). Johnson and Scholes (1997) offer two major characteristics of strategic decisions. They propose that a business organization is said to follow a long-term direction and also derive some competitive advantage when such organization operates on the framework of strategies. In practice, recruiting adequate number and quality personnel, winning customers’ loyalty and becoming the market leader can be judged to be the results of long-term strategic decisions. Studies conducted on attributions considered issues involving academic success (Gipps & Tunstall, 1998), formation of coalition members (Pearce & DeNisi...
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