CN EN
Advanced

When saying sorry may not help: Transgressor power moderates the effect of an apology on forgiveness in the workplace

Indexed by

Scopus FT ABDC-A*

Abstract

An apology, as an expression of remorse, can be an effective response from a transgressor to obtain forgiveness from a victim. Yet, to be effective, the victim should not construe the transgressor’s actions in a cynical way. Because low-power people tend to interpret the actions of high-power people in a cynical way, we argue that an apology (versus no apology) from high-power transgressors should be relatively ineffective in increasing forgiveness from low-power victims. We find support for this moderated mediation model in a critical incidents study (Study 1), a forced recall study (Study 2) among employees from various organizations and a controlled laboratory experiment among business students (Study 3).

These studies reveal the limited value of expressions of remorse by high-power people in promoting forgiveness.

Keyword

Author Community

[Zheng, Xue] Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), 201206, Shanghai, China

[van Dijke, Marius ; Giurge, Laura M] Erasmus University, The Netherlands

[Leunissen, Joost M] University of Southampton, UK

[De Cremer, David] University of Cambridge, UK


Related Article

Source

Human Relations

ISSN:0018-7267

Year:2016

Issue:6

Volume:69

Page:1387-1418

ESI Discipline:ECONOMICS & BUSINESS;

Cited Count
W
Loading...
C
Loading...
Get Fulltext
Rights and Licenses
Related Keywords
Communities & Collections
Access Stats
Creative Commons Licence
The content of CEIBS Research Online is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).