IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Leader Apologies and Employee and Leader Well-Being


  • Alyson Byrne


  • Julian Barling


  • Kathryne Dupré



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. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Alyson Byrne & Julian Barling & Kathryne Dupré, 2014. "Leader Apologies and Employee and Leader Well-Being," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 91-106, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:121:y:2014:i:1:p:91-106
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1685-3

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Avey & Tara Wernsing & Michael Palanski, 2012. "Exploring the Process of Ethical Leadership: The Mediating Role of Employee Voice and Psychological Ownership," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(1), pages 21-34, April.
    2. Andranik Tumasjan & Maria Strobel & Isabell Welpe, 2011. "Ethical Leadership Evaluations After Moral Transgression: Social Distance Makes the Difference," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(4), pages 609-622, April.
    3. Kim, Peter H. & Dirks, Kurt T. & Cooper, Cecily D. & Ferrin, Donald L., 2006. "When more blame is better than less: The implications of internal vs. external attributions for the repair of trust after a competence- vs. integrity-based trust violation," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 49-65, January.
    4. Pablo Ruiz & Carmen Ruiz & Ricardo Martínez, 2011. "Improving the “Leader–Follower” Relationship: Top Manager or Supervisor? The Ethical Leadership Trickle-Down Effect on Follower Job Response," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 99(4), pages 587-608, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Yau-De Wang & Conna Yang, 2016. "How Appealing are Monetary Rewards in the Workplace? A Study of Ethical Leadership, Love of Money, Happiness, and Turnover Intention," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 1277-1290, December.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:121:y:2014:i:1:p:91-106. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.