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To Apologize, or Not to Apologize? That is A Question- How Should Organizations Respond to Executive Employees’ Private Life Misconduct?

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Title: To Apologize, or Not to Apologize? That is A Question- How Should Organizations Respond to Executive Employees’ Private Life Misconduct?
Author: Islam, Zayed Bin
Department: Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies
Program: Marketing and Consumer Studies
Advisor: Wang, JuanIslam, Towhidul
Abstract: This research investigated the effectiveness of two organizational response strategies when addressing an executive employee’s non-workplace misconduct. Prior research suggests that an apology (i.e. taking responsibilities for the employee’s behaviour and apologizing to the public) is better than apologia (i.e. denying responsibilities and refusing to apologize) when helping an organizaiton regain their reputation in the event of employee workplace misconduct. Contrary to the extant research, this study showed that when dealing with employee non-workplace misconducts, the effectiveness of the two strategies depends on the type of misconduct. More specifically, this research found that an apology is more effective only when employee’s non-workplace misconduct directly contradicts the value that his or her corporation promotes (same domain misconduct). This is because an organization and its executive are expected to uphold the same moral values. The executive’s value violation may signal to consumers that the organization says one thing (i.e. promoting one value) but does another (i.e. allowing the violation of the value). As a result, the organization is perceived as being hypocritical. Because an apology helps to decrease hypocrisy perceptions, it is seen as being more effective in enhancing organizational reputation. On the other hand, when an executive’s misconduct is unrelated to organizational values (i.e. different domain misconduct), an apology and an apologia are seen as similarly effective in enhancing organizational reputation as the organization is not judged as being hypocrite. Important theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10214/12992
Date: 2018-05
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