The stereotype rub-off effect – Organizational stereotypes modulate behavioural expectations, expectancy violation and punishment after transgressions

Peer Stiegert*, Susanne Täuber, Marijke Leliveld, Jana Oehmichen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Transgressions committed by employees of non-profit (vs. of for-profit) organizations seem to be judged more harshly by the public. This research studies the underlying process of this relationship. We show that organizational stereotypes of morality and warmth “rub-off” from organizations to individuals affiliated with them (Study 1, N = 297). We show that stereotypes of morality and warmth predict expected communal sharing and market pricing behaviour. (Study 2, N = 300). Next, we identify downstream effects of this stereotype rub-off effect in case of transgressions. We show that communal sharing expectations elicit greater perceived expectancy violation and consequently higher punishment when employees commit transgressions (Study 3, N = 402). In sum, as a result of high perceived morality and warmth and subsequent expectations of communal sharing, transgressions of employees affiliated with non-profit organizations prompt increased expectancy violation in observers, leading to harsher punishment. Our findings have important implications for public relations management of non-profit organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2021


  • Organizational stereotypes
  • non-profit
  • organizational affiliation
  • Relational models
  • attribution
  • expectancy violation
  • Punishment

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