Who Should Apologize When an Employee Transgresses? Source Effects on Apology Effectiveness
- 597 Downloads
This paper examines the interactive effects of apology source (i.e., whether an apology is given by a chief executive officer or employee) and apology components (i.e., acknowledgment, remorse, and compensation) on forgiveness. Results revealed a significant source by component interaction. A remorseful employee apology was more successful than a remorseful CEO apology because consumers felt more empathy for the employee. Furthermore, a compensatory CEO apology was more effective than a compensatory employee apology because CEOs could significantly affect consumer perceptions of justice. No significant differences were found between apology source and the apology component of acknowledging violated rules and norms.
KeywordsApologies Forgiveness Service-recovery Crisis management Remorse
- Associated Press. (2001). Starbucks apologizes for charging rescuers for water. USA Today. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/25/starbucks.htm.
- Batson, C. (1991). The altruism question: Toward a social-psychological answer. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Bies, R. J., & Moag, J. S. (1986). Interactional justice: Communication criteria of fairness. Research on Negotiation in Organizations, 1(1), 43–55.Google Scholar
- Boon, S. D., & Sulsky, L. M. (1997). Attributions of blame and forgiveness in romantic relationships: A policy-capturing study. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 12, 19–44.Google Scholar
- Brooks, K. (2014). President Obama sends handwritten apology to art history professor. The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/18/obama-art-history_n_4809007.html.
- Exline, J.J., & Baumeister, R.F. (2000). Expressing forgiveness and repentance. Forgiveness: Theory, research, and practice, 133–155.Google Scholar
- Hill, K. M. (2013). When are apologies effective? An investigation of the components that increase an apology’s efficacy (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://iris.lib.neu.edu/psych_diss/29/.
- Homans, G. C. (1961). Social behavior: Its elementary forms. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World.Google Scholar
- Lazare, A. (2005). On apology. Oxford: Oxford University Press Inc.Google Scholar
- Lind, E.A., & Tyler, T.R. (1988). The social psychology of procedural justice. Springer.Google Scholar
- Peterson, C. (2014). About that email. MIT Admissions Blog. Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://mitadmissions.org/blogs/entry/about-that-email.
- Preacher, K.J., & Hayes, A.F. (2008). Asymptotic and resampling strategies for assessing and comparing indirect effects in multiple mediator models. Behavior research methods, 40(3), 879–891.Google Scholar
- Subkoviak, M.J., Enright, R.D., & Wu, C.R. (1992, October). Current developments related to measuring forgiveness. In Annual meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association. Chicago.Google Scholar
- Taube, A. (2013, September). AT&T CEO apologizes for yesterday’s 9/11 tweet. Business Insider. Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://www.businessinsider.com/att-ceo-911-tweet-apology-2013-9.