Removing the Shadow of Suspicion: The Effects of Apology Versus Denial for Repairing Competence - versus Integrity-Based Trust Violations

Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 89, No. 1, pp. 104-118, February 2004

Posted: 20 May 2008 Last revised: 30 Jan 2009

See all articles by Peter H. Kim

Peter H. Kim

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Donald L. Ferrin

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Cecily D Cooper

University of Miami School of Business

Kurt Dirks

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

Two studies were conducted to examine the implications of an apology versus a denial for repairing trust after an alleged violation. Results reveal that trust was repaired more successfully when mistrusted parties: 1) apologized for violations concerning matters of competence but denied culpability for violations concerning matters of integrity, and 2) had apologized for violations when there was subsequent evidence of guilt, but had denied culpability for violations when there was subsequent evidence of innocence. Supplementary analyses also reveal that the interactive effects of violation-type and violation-response on participants' trusting intentions were mediated by their trusting beliefs. Combined, these findings provide needed insight and supporting evidence concerning how trust might be repaired in the aftermath of a perceived violation.

Keywords: Trust, apology, denial, competence, integrity, guilt, innocence

Suggested Citation

Kim, Peter H. and Ferrin, Donald Lee and Cooper, Cecily D and Dirks, Kurt, Removing the Shadow of Suspicion: The Effects of Apology Versus Denial for Repairing Competence - versus Integrity-Based Trust Violations (2004). Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 89, No. 1, pp. 104-118, February 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=398221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.398221

Peter H. Kim (Contact Author)

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Donald Lee Ferrin

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business ( email )

469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 912409
Singapore

Cecily D Cooper

University of Miami School of Business ( email )

United States
305-284-8585 (Phone)

Kurt Dirks

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

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