Corporate apologies. Beware the pitfalls of saying sorry. (2015)
“Although people often think they want apologies, they also are attracted to strength and confidence … people accord more status to those who express anger than to those who express sadness or remorse
Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University
fortune.com 26 October 2015.
“Apologies are in the air these days. This month, outgoing Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley took responsibility for the consumer product giant’s weak performance at the company’s annual meeting and promised improvements. United’s new (and currently sidelined) CEO Oscar Munoz apologized to the company’s employees and passengers for its poor treatment of them. Pope Francis apologized – again – for the scandals bedeviling the Catholic church. Volkswagen apologized for selling cars with software designed to defeat pollution control regulations.…
“Virtually every company and person is, at some point, going to screw up. So the question becomes, if, and how, you should apologize.
“…. people accord more status to those who express anger than to those who express sadness or remorse. Both anger and sadness are negative emotions, likely to be expressed when things have gone wrong. But one emotion connotes power, and the other does not.
“Although people often think they want apologies, they also are attracted to strength and confidence and often overestimate how much they will value an apology. This is why apologizing, and doing so in a way that maintains confidence, is trickier than it might look.
Access the full article here: Corporate apologies