Title The Apology Impulse
Subtitle How the Business World Ruined Sorry and Why We Can’t Stop Saying It
Author Cary Cooper, Sean O’Meara
ISBN 9780749493202
List price GBP 14.99
Price outside India Available on Request
Original price
Binding Paperback
No of pages 360
Book size 140 x 216 mm
Publishing year 2020
Original publisher Kogan Page Limited
Published in India by .
Exclusive distributors Viva Books Private Limited
Sales territory India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, .
Status New Arrival
About the book Send Enquiry


Saying sorry is in crisis. On one hand there are anxious PR aficionados and social media teams dishing out apologies with alarming frequency. On the other there are people and organizations who have done truly terrible things issuing much-delayed statements of mild regret.

We have become addicted to apologies but immune from saying sorry.

In January 2018 there were 35 public apologies from high-profile organizations and individuals. That’s more than one per day. Between them, in 2017, the likes of Facebook, Mercedes Benz and United Airlines issued over 2,000 words of apologies for their transgressions. Alarmingly, the word ‘sorry’ didn’t appear once.

This perfectly timed book examines the psychology, motivations and even the economic rationale of giving an apology in the age of outrage culture and on-demand contrition. It reveals the tricks and techniques we all use to evade, reframe and divert from what we did and demonstrates how professionals do it best. Providing lessons for businesses and organizations, you’ll find out how to give meaningful apologies and know when to say sorry, or not say it at all.

The Apology Impulse is the perfect playbook for anyone - from social media executive through to online influencers and CEOs - who apologise way too much and say sorry far too infrequently.


Key Features:

  • Explores why organizations are unable to sincerely say sorry yet they apologize for trivial transgressions
  • Reveals the spectrum of apologies demanded and given, including the ‘fauxpology’ and the ‘nonpology’
  • Explains the psychological reasons why people quickly demand apologies and why business are so quick to give them
  • Illustrates why stage managed apologies harm businesses and their clients
  • Identifies how to turn a crisis into a proper apology by delivering an honest sorry that delights customers and wins new fans


About the authors



Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Who’s been apologizing and what are they sorry about? • Who is actually saying sorry? • How are organizations saying sorry? • The corporate apology starter pack

Chapter 3: The six reasons organizations apologize and the one reason they won’t • How organizations fail • So why do organizations apologize? • Why organizations won’t say sorry

Chapter 4: Culture, values and consumer expectations: Why ‘sorry’ means different things to different industries • Friction – and why your buying habits influence your chances of getting an apology • How market friction affects Uber’s conscience

Chapter 5: The definitive modern apology and why everyone ignored it • Valentine’s Day crisis • The world’s first corporate social media apology • An offer of repair • The response to the response

Chapter 6: If everyone’s sorry, nobody is sorry: Are we all apologizing too much? • Are we really apologizing too much? • Broadcasting our apologies far and wide • Outrage capitalism and the plummeting value of ‘sorry’

Chapter 7: How the experts apologize without saying sorry: ‘Runway excursion incidents’, ‘re-accommodating passengers’ and ‘overpressurization’ • When is a plane crash not a plane crash? • ‘A disappointing event for our company’ • Unauthorized takeoff • Re-accommodating passengers • ‘Overpressurization…followed by a fire’

Chapter 8: Schrödinger’s apology, grammatical deflections and evasions • How to spot a Schrödinger’s apology • What can we do better? • The evasive power of grammar

Chapter 9: Crisis fatigue and the case for rationing apologies • Preempting the backlash • Crisis fatigue and tactical appeasement • The spectrum of contrition • The case for rationing

Chapter 10: It’s not about you: How CEOs sabotage their own apologies • Tony Hayward – BP • Keep it simple

Chapter 11: Keep trying: Why it took three of the world’s biggest brands three attempts to say sorry • Facebook • United Airlines • Papa John’s – third time lucky

Chapter 12: ‘Forced to apologize’?: Fostering resilience and identifying customer intent • Court-ordered apologies • Allergy sufferers vs Sony Pictures • How can organizations be more resilient?

Chapter 13: ‘We got it wrong’: What to say when you’ve killed a puppy (and how to fake humility) • ‘We got it wrong’ • ‘We missed the mark’ • ‘Sometimes mistakes happen’

Chapter 14: Self-service apologies: Performative crisis management and teaching consumers to expect too much • Cultural hypervigilance • The burden of corporate innocence • The exceptions that prove the rule • Performative crisis management • Self-service apologies • The creative cost of reflexive apologies

Chapter 15: Optics anxiety and apologizing for how things look • The importance of small details in a crisis • Optics anxiety • Topman vs the people of Liverpool • The cost of caring about optics

Chapter 16: The true cost of corporate atonement: Why frontline staff pay the price • Trickle-down anxiety • Approval-seeking policy changes • Who is really paying the price for Starbucks’ mistake?

Chapter 17: The economics of saying sorry: Why an apology could cost $5 billion • What does being sorry actually cost? • Lessons from nature • Restitutions and why 25,000 could be the magic number • What’s an apology worth? • Tesla’s five billion dollar apology • Is an apology worth $73,000?

Chapter 18: Crisis communications and the potential for mischief: How organizations profit from their rivals’ apologies • At least we’re not Uber… • On-demand criticism – an $81 billion market that’s ready to destroy your reputation • Interflora and the unintended consequences of fighting Internet spam

Chapter 19: Apology laundering: How a supermarket and an MP were defrauded of ‘sorry’ • Apology laundering – how the media manipulated a row about relish • False confessions and the weaponization of vague language

Chapter 20: Apologizing on behalf of others: Lessons from car makers, presidents and freelance apologizers • Passive–aggressive proxy apologies • Historical apologies

Chapter 21: £1 million in sales in four days: Discover the unexpected benefits of not saying sorry • The missing piece of the jigsaw • Alienation marketing • The ‘feel-bad factor’ • The power of tribalism

Chapter 22: Don’t mistake kindness for weakness: Why the UK’s ‘nicest’ brand refused to say sorry • How to defend your organization against accusations of sexism and selling blasphemous toilet tissue • Redefining the ‘communications crisis’ • What can we learn from M&S?

Chapter 23: Conclusion: How to manage the apology impulse and deliver meaningful responses • Don’t make promises you can’t keep • Have a plan • Step 1 – Decide if you are you sorry • Step 2 – Decide how sorry you are • Step 3 – Decide what you are going to do about it • Remember to take your time • A note on demanding apologies




About the Authors:

Sir Cary Cooper, CBE, is the 50th Anniversary Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health at the ALLIANCE Manchester Business School. He holds the office of president of the CIPD, the British Academy of Management, RELATE and Institute of Welfare. He has been voted the Most Influential HR Thinker by HR Magazine and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Management. He was made a CBE in 2001 for his contribution to occupational health and awarded a Knighthood in 2014 for his contribution to the social sciences. He is President of the British Academy of Management, is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and one of the first UK based Fellows of the (American) Academy of Management. He is also the President of the Institute of Welfare and Chair of the UK’s Academy of Social Sciences. He is a leading commentator on workplace issues and wellbeing, having authored and edited numerous books and articles on the subject, as well as being a frequent contributor to national newspapers, TV and radio. He was made a Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen in 2001 for his contribution to occupational health, and awarded a Knighthood by the Queen in 2014 for his contribution to the social sciences.

Sean O’Meara is the founder and MD of Essential Content a specialist content and PR agency. He’s worked with leading organisations The Co-Op Bank and the BBC.

Target Audience:

This book examines the psychology, motivations and even the economic rationale of giving an apology, providing lessons for businesses, organizations and professionals like social media executive, online influencers and CEOs.

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