Evaluation of employee rule violations: The impact of impression management effects in historical context [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 14 (6):477 - 487 (1995)

Abstract
The study sought to determine whether impression management tactics by an employee could effectively lessen the recommended punishment for an ethical rule infraction by this individual. Subjects read a vignette in which an employee violated the confidentiality of personnel records. The employee was presented as either having had a history of previous infractions or no such historical information was provided. Additionally, the employee was described as using either no impression management tactics, an apology, or a justification for his behavior. Result show that in the case of a history of multiple offenses, the employee''s use of justifications effectively mitigated others'' judgments of the wrongfulness of the employee''s action, while apologies did not. Similarly, the justification appeared to lessen respondent recommendations for punishment, prevention of promotion, and demotion/firing, but only when there is a history of multiple offenses. In most cases, apologies tended to exacerbate the problem when previous offenses had been committed. The data are discussed in terms of their implications for the study of employee use of impression management tactics.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00872088
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Conformity, Status, and Idiosyncrasy Credit.E. P. Hollander - 1958 - Psychological Review 65 (2):117-127.

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