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Understanding Third Party Forgiveness In Organizations
This research examines and defines third party forgiveness, an organizational process distinct from victim forgiveness, that has positive implications for interpersonal conflict management. Specifically, we examine how three antecedents, sanctioning systems, transgressor apologies, and victim forgiveness, impact third parties’ decisions to forgive. In an experimental study, we found that stronger sanctioning systems led third parties to forgive more, and in a recall study, we found that third parties were more likely to forgive the transgressor when the transgressor apologized to the victim and when the victim forgave the transgressor. These findings contribute to our understanding of forgiveness as a social process that happens beyond the dyad and may have downstream implications for managing workplace conflict.