2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

The Relationship between Seniority, Organizational Rank, and Willingness to Forgive in the Workplace
Jennifer M. Schwend*, Garett C. Foster , and Clair A. Reynolds
Dr. Teresa Heckert, Faculty Mentor

The purpose of this study was to investigate among full-time employees the impact of status on the willingness to forgive. Prior research has found that hierarchical status within the workplace is associated with forgiveness behaviors (Aquino, Bies, & Tripp, 2006). Similarly, we hypothesized that employees with more seniority and higher organizational rank would be less likely to forgive employees of lower seniority and organizational rank. Employees at Preferred Family Healthcares Kirksville location received four hypothetical scenarios, each describing a workplace transgression. Two of the scenarios focused on transgressions committed by someone with either high or low seniority. The last two scenarios focused on transgressions between the supervisor and his or her subordinates. After reading each scenario, employees rated their willingness to forgive the person in each situation. Results will be shared at the conference.

Keywords: Forgiveness, Seniority, Organizational Rank, Workplace , Hierarchical Status

Topic(s):Psychology

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 5-3
Location: MG 2001
Time: 8:30

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