Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology



First Advisor

Kelsey Medeiros


Recently, there has been a rise in reports of ethical transgressions in the workplace. Examples such as Enron and Wells Fargo highlight this trend. The current literature on workplace transgressions such as these has primarily focused on why the transgression occurred. Although this work is informative as to why leaders may transgress, it speaks little to how leaders may recover from such transgressions. Indeed, there remains little research focused on the recovery mechanisms leaders may employ after a transgression and the effect of such recovery mechanisms on follower attitudes and behavior. To address this gap, an experimental approach will be used to test the mediating role of trust in the relationship between leader recovery approach and follower ethical behavior and affective commitment. Additionally, it is proposed that leader type (ethical versus neutral leader) will moderate the relationship between error recovery tactics and the trust in leadership such that a stronger relationship in trust recovery will be observed for ethical leadership compared to neutral leadership. Results from the path analysis indicate that followers who view their leaders as trustworthy will have more affective commitment to their organization. However, trust did not influence the ethical outcomes assessed. An effect of error recovery strategy on cognitive trust was found. Implications for theory and future research along with practical implications for the applied field on leader error recovery are suggested.


Ethical transgression, Apology, Reticence, Social learning theory, Trust in leader, Affective commitment, Ethical behavior


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Psychology Commons