Apology Research: Our findings on the Science and Art
of perfect apologies.
In our relentless search to uncover everything we now know about the science
of perfect apologies, this section is devoted to providing you with credible research
and case studies. The findings from any
relevant study compiled by psychologists, sociologists or public relations
experts will be discussed and summarized here, along with our thoughts on
what readers should (and should not) take away from this research.
For example, according to a study by Jennifer K. Robbennolt from
the University of Illinois, no apology (especially
in business) is sometimes better than half an apology.
From the Journal of Management we learn
about the findings of a study on the value of a perfect business apology.
While another recent study, this time out of the UK found that saying sorry is NOT
that difficult for the British. According
to their apology research, we are likely to say sorry approximately 1.9
million times in our lifetime and the "s" word is used roughly 368 times
every day in the UK.
The UK research was based on a sample of 1,100 respondents who identified
the following three most common reasons for saying sorry:
1 :: when they claim
to have no time to finish a conversation,
2 :: when apologizing for someone
3 :: when asking someone to repeat themselves.
SOURCE: "Why 1,000
apologies is not nearly enough",
Michael Howie, The Scotsman, 29
From a survey of 7,950 Americans (commissioned by a jewelry company who
found that a substantial portion of their sales came from people
apologizing) we learn of a potential correlation between
how often we apologize and our income level and/or
We also focus on apologies in the business world by offering our own
apology reviews of some of
the best and worst business mea culpas ever delivered.
We'll start with a reporter at Network World who asked us to
review the effectiveness of 10
different apologies that were issued by senior executives after data
breaches were discovered at their respective companies.
Below are some
case studies of other corporate and business apologies that have made headlines over the
last few years.
We hope that these types of reviews will provide
our readers with additional insight into the
art of delivering the perfect apology.
Our research also uncovers lessons learned in
customer advocacy from the
airline industry, case studies in
customer service and what scholars believe are the key questions you need to ask
yourself prior to delivering a public apology.
Finally, whenever we find a great quote that speaks to our Perfect Apology
philosophy we'll include it here.
For example, in an editorial on Tony Blair's apology for the United Kingdom's role in the slavery trade, the
"Leaders who learn the art of apology on the nursery slopes of apologizing
for the mistakes of others may graduate to the challenge of saying sorry for
their own errors and meaning it."
SOURCE: "In praise of
The Guardian, 27 November, 2006.
In other words, apologizing for slavery is certainly commendable, but easy. Apologizing for the Iraq war? Now that's a
We hope you'll find this apology research useful. We do!
Apology Research to The Perfect Apology Home Page.