Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The topology of apology

Some say that one of the most difficult task for a person is to issue an apology. Ideally it should be one of the easiest things to do if one realizes one's mistakes and has a clear conscience.

However in corporate settings, it has other complexities. Some of the complexities arise bacause managers sometimes have to apologise for sins committed by their predecessors or by oversight of others. Other complications exist because doing so may not be in the best interests of the company, at least in the short run and since most managers' incentives are tied to short run performance it becomes an even ardous task.

Then again, there is a problem of how your apology is perceived. It is equally important that the company is perceived correclty and the wording and timing of the apology are appropriate. Lastly, the companies also must match the words they say through their actions.


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