Should I admit my wrongdoings? Examining stealing thunder in the context of performance evaluations

Priyanko Guchait, Renata F. Guzzo, Xingyu Wang, Je Anna Abbott

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Stealing thunder is a self-disclosure strategy in which people reveal negative information about themselves before another person does so to reduce its negative impact on an audience. The present study examines stealing thunder as a trust tactic that employees might find useful for overcoming prior workplace mistakes during performance evaluation processes. Using hospitality managers in a between-subjects experimental design, Study 1 examined the impact of stealing thunder on manager evaluations of employees’ performance. The findings indicated that employees’ use of stealing thunder led to significantly better performance evaluations than when they did not apply the strategy. Study 2 confirmed the findings of Study 1 after controlling for mistake severity. Study 3 data examined the impact of accepting responsibility on performance evaluations. The results indicated that when employees adopted the stealing thunder strategy, their acceptance of responsibility resulted in significantly better performance evaluations than blaming others for the mistakes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103582
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Citizenship behavior
  • Job performance
  • Performance evaluation
  • Stealing thunder
  • Trust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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