Understanding and Managing Daily Guilt at Work for Employee Well-being and Performance

Name of applicant

Marie Freia Wunderlich


Postdoctoral Fellow


Universidade de Lisboa - ISEG (Lisbon School of Economics & Management)


DKK 900,000



Type of grant

Internationalisation Fellowships


Guilt is defined as a regretful response to wrongdoing. Employees may experience guilt when they make mistakes, engage in unethical behavior or fail to meet their own or organizational expectations and standards. This project seeks to understand how daily experiences of guilt at work affect daily performance and well-being over time, and and how can guilt be managed constructively.


Until today, our understanding of the effects of guilt in an organizational context is very limited. Experiences of guilt differ from day to day, but studies capturing these dynamics over a longer period are very scarce. The lack of knowledge about the dynamic effects of guilt has consequences for individuals, firms and society as a whole.


To understand the effect of daily guilt an Experience Sampling Method (ESM) study will be conducted with an app that runs on the phone of study participants, sending short surveys throughout the day to capture real-time experiences of guilt, well-being and performance. To test different ways to effectively manage guilt, a series of interviews and lab experiments will be conducted.

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