2018 Volume 33 Issue 3 Pages 115-125
The present study examined how leaders’ evaluation and judgment of members are influenced by their “implicit theories” (e.g., Dweck, 1999). Participants were asked to play the role of team leader and then observed a team member performing poorly. They were asked to decide how much reward they should distribute to the failed member and to allocate the remaining time between him/her and a new member who had not yet worked on the task. As a result, participants who believe in malleable abilities (incremental theorists) increased the evaluation of the failed member when that member claimed that he/she made an effort, whereas participants who believe in fixed abilities (entity theorists) evaluated that member based only on outcome. Furthermore, entity theorists expected a new member to achieve an average level of performance and allotted more time to him/her, whereas incremental theorists expected a new member’s performance to be below average. There was no difference between their expectations of the failed member’s next performance. Results suggest that entity theorists may be better than incremental theorists at placing the right people in the right place.