Taking One for the Team

October 22, 2013 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Some professionals are “taking one for the team” at work, according to a new survey.

OfficeTeam found three in 10 (30%) senior managers surveyed said they have accepted the blame in the office for something that wasn’t their fault. More than one-third (34%) who took the fall said they did so because they felt indirectly responsible for the problem, while more than one-quarter (28%) revealed they just didn’t want to get others in trouble.

Other reasons managers cited for accepting blame included: “It was a minor infraction that wasn’t worth arguing over” (25%), and “An explanation would have been more trouble than it was worth” (12%).

“It’s best to accept responsibility when you’ve made a mistake at work,” said Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam, based in Menlo Park, California. “However, sometimes professionals feel compelled to take the blame for something they didn’t do. Depending on the infraction, being the scapegoat only hurts your own reputation.”

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam, a staffing service specializing in the placement of highly skilled administrative professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,000 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees.