Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Mary Kern

Committee Members

Donald Vredenburgh

Loren Naidoo

Subject Categories

Organizational Behavior and Theory


Apology, Status, Power, Remorse, Dominance, Warmth


Apologies are interpersonal tools that individuals employ to repair damaged relationships. Management scholars have largely ignored the role that power and status play in the apology process. Across three studies I experimentally manipulate power and status and examine the apology process via a workplace scenario. In Study 1 I propose that power and status have different implications with respect to one’s willingness to apologize. I orthogonally manipulate power and status and examine their effect on people’s willingness to apologize. I find that status, but not power, impacts one’s willingness to apologize. In Study 2 I posit and find that apologies improve victims’ perceptions of power and status-holders’ warmth, with no diminution of their dominance, thereby enhancing their influence. In Study 3 I demonstrate that instrumentality perceptions mediate the relationship between status and willingness to apologize. I discuss theoretical and practical implications for the power, status, and apology domains.



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