Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 163–170 | Cite as

Who Should Apologize When an Employee Transgresses? Source Effects on Apology Effectiveness

  • Krista M. Hill
  • David P. Boyd


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.


Apologies Forgiveness Service-recovery Crisis management Remorse 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ricciardi College of BusinessBridgewater State UniversityBridgewaterUSA
  2. 2.D’Amore-McKim School of BusinessNortheastern UniversityBostonUSA

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