These studies proposed that effective social accounts should contain external, unstable, specific, and uncontrollable attributions. In Study I, managers provided accounts for a negative event. The accounts contained highly unstable and specific attributions but, contrary to original predictions, they also contained highly internal and controllable attributions. In Study 2, managers rated the effectiveness of the account. Account effectiveness was positively related to unstable attributions, but was negatively related to external and uncontrollable attributions. These relationships were stronger (more negative) for accounts communicated downward than upward. These results indicate that blaming others or deflecting personal responsibility for negative events may be ineffective, especially when one is in a high-status role.