Do you really expect me to apologize? The impact of status and gender on the effectiveness of an apology in the workplace

Tamar Walfisch, Dina Van Dijk, Ronit Kark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the effectiveness of apology following a workplace offense, as influenced by the achieved or ascribed status (i.e., professional status or gender) of the parties involved. A total of 780 undergraduates participated in a scenario experiment. The results demonstrate that apologizing is more effective than not apologizing. Yet apology is most effective when the apologizer is a male, a manager or is a male apologizing to a female. Moreover, apology expectancy mediates the relationships between the apologizer's status and the apology's effectiveness: Apologies are less expected from managers and males than from subordinates and females, and the less expected they are, the greater their effectiveness. Apology expectancy has a unique effect unrelated to the apologizer's sincerity and perceived motive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1446-1458
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume43
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013

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