Expressing forgiveness after interpersonal mistreatment: power and status of forgivers influence transgressors' relationship restoration efforts

Zheng, M.X. and Van Dijke, M. ORCID: 0000-0001-9974-5050, 2020. Expressing forgiveness after interpersonal mistreatment: power and status of forgivers influence transgressors' relationship restoration efforts. Journal of Organizational Behavior. ISSN 0894-3796

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Abstract

One adverse consequence of interpersonal mistreatment is that it damages the relationship between the victim and the transgressor. Scholars have promoted forgiveness of such mistreatment as a victim response that can motivate transgressors to work towards relationship restoration. Building on social exchange theory and the social perception literature, we provide an account of when transgressors are less (vs. more) willing to restore their relationship with the victim in response to forgiveness. Specifically, we argue that transgressors perceive forgiveness from a victim who has high (vs. low) power, relative to the transgressor, as insincere, making transgressors less willing to restore the relationship. We further argue that this effect of high (vs. low) victim power is pronounced especially when the victim also has low (vs. high) status. Two experiments and two field studies support these predictions. These findings highlight the relevance of studying how contextual conditions color transgressors' perceptions of victims' behavior to understand relationship restoration after interpersonal mistreatment.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Organizational Behavior
Creators: Zheng, M.X. and Van Dijke, M.
Publisher: Wiley
Date: 22 January 2020
ISSN: 0894-3796
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1002/job.2432DOI
1320813Other
Rights: © 2020 The Authors. Journal of Organizational Behavior published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Jun 2020 11:58
Last Modified: 09 Jul 2020 13:51
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40129

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