• Basima Tewfik, Wharton School, Univ. of Pennsylvania
  • Timothy Kundro, Univ. of Pennsylvania
  • Philip Tetlock, Univ. of Pennsylvania
Help-giving enhances the impression others have of oneself at work. Yet, some scholars have warned of the perils of help-giving such as overload. How can employees decline a request for help without besmirching the impression colleagues have of them? Across four studies, we find that deferring fulfilling the request to the future may be the most optimal way to decline a colleague’s request.