Leader Apologies and Employee and Leader Well-Being

Byrne, Alyson; Barling, Julian; Dupré, Kathryne
April 2014
Journal of Business Ethics;Apr2014, Vol. 121 Issue 1, p91
Academic Journal
Regardless of leaders' efforts to do the right thing and meet performance expectations, they make mistakes, with possible ramifications for followers' and leaders' well-being. Some leaders will apologize following transgressions, which may have positive implications for their followers' and their own well-being, contingent upon the nature and severity of the transgressions. We examine these relationships in two separate studies. In Study 1, leader apologies had a positive relationship with followers' psychological well-being and emotional health, and these relationships were moderated by the severity of the transgression. In Study 2, leader apologies had a positive relationship with their own psychological well-being, positive emotional health and authentic pride. In addition, the nature of transgressions moderated the relationship between leader apologies and leaders' positive emotions and authentic pride, while the severity of transgressions moderated the relationship between leader apologies and their positive emotions, psychological health, and authentic pride. Implications and future research directions are discussed.


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