Business and Management INK

One Strategy Does Not Fit All: A Look at Impression Management

June 17, 2016 1149

26912109275_9b53648408_zImpression management describes the act of trying to control the first impression someone might have of an individual. It refers to shaping the perceptions others form about an individual’s behavior, motivation, morality, and other characteristics, like intelligence and future potential. Research on impression management has found significant differences between the impression management strategies used by women as compared to men. In fact, it has been revealed that women in Western context use less impression management strategies than men.

Some of the constructs closely related to impression management are self-monitoring, self-presentation and influence tactics (or impression management behaviors). There are two types of impression management strategies— soft impression management and hard impression management strategies. Hard impression management strategies include direct and aggressive behavior such as assertiveness, sanctions, upward appeal, blocking, self-promotion and intimidation. Soft impression management strategies include indirect and subtle behavior, such as ingratiation, coalition, exemplification and supplication. Combining certain behaviors can change the outcome of an individual’s impression management.Current Issue Cover

In identifying soft and hard impression management, researchers have been able to identify how different individuals from different backgrounds employ impression management. Indians avoid hard impression management strategies, in contrast with Dutch and Americans. Assertive and task-oriented behaviors were perceived as more effective by American and Swiss managers, and less effective by Chinese managers. As a result, it appears that hard impression management strategies are perceived as more effective by low power distance cultures as compared to high power distance cultures.

In addition to having a cultural impact, this comparison of impression management strategies also impacts gender. Indian women displaying authoritarian behaviors face perceptions of lesser effectiveness than their male counterparts. They may use charm, appearance, ingratiation and compliments as impression management strategies, which are soft impression management strategies. Women are perceived as more effective when displaying behaviors which are considered appropriate based on gender stereotypes. This may explain why Indian women tend to choose soft impression management strategies over hard impression management strategies.

This article shows that specific impression management strategies cannot be used with similar results across different contexts. Therefore, individuals need to be aware of the best impression management strategies specific to his or her situation.

The abstract for the article:

This article attempts to understand the impression management strategies used by women in Indian organizations. The extant research on gender differences in impression management, primarily conducted in Western cultures, has been inconclusive. This may be a result of attempting to generalize across cultures and/or the lack of research on moderating variables in the choice of impression management strategies by women. India provides an interesting context with high power distance culture, low social status of women as well as an emerging women’s movement.

Click here to read A Conceptual Framework for Understanding the Impression Management Strategies Used by Women in Indian Organizations for free from the South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management.

Make sure to sign up for e-alerts and be notified of all the latest research from South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management.

*Image attributed to ITU Pictures (CC)

Business and Management INK puts the spotlight on research published in our more than 100 management and business journals. We feature an inside view of the research that’s being published in top-tier SAGE journals by the authors themselves.

View all posts by Business & Management INK

Related Articles

How Do Firms Create Government Regulations?
Business and Management INK
April 18, 2024

How Do Firms Create Government Regulations?

Read Now
Second Edition of ‘The Evidence’ Examines Women and Climate Change
Bookshelf
March 29, 2024

Second Edition of ‘The Evidence’ Examines Women and Climate Change

Read Now
Challenging, But Worth It: Overcoming Paradoxical Tensions of Identity to Embrace Transformative Technologies in Teaching and Learning
Business and Management INK
March 27, 2024

Challenging, But Worth It: Overcoming Paradoxical Tensions of Identity to Embrace Transformative Technologies in Teaching and Learning

Read Now
Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in the Complex Environment of Megaprojects: Implications for Practitioners and Project Organizing Theory
Business and Management INK
March 21, 2024

Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence in the Complex Environment of Megaprojects: Implications for Practitioners and Project Organizing Theory

Read Now
Putting People at the Heart of the Research Process

Putting People at the Heart of the Research Process

In this article, Jessica Weaver, Philippa Hunter-Jones, and Rory Donnelly reflect on “Unlocking the Full Potential of Transformative Service Research by Embedding Collaboration Throughout the Research Process,” which can be found in the Journal of Service Research.

Read Now
Coping with Institutional Complexity and Voids: An Organization Design Perspective for Transnational Interorganizational Projects

Coping with Institutional Complexity and Voids: An Organization Design Perspective for Transnational Interorganizational Projects

Institutional complexity occurs when the structures, interests, and activities of separate but collaborating organizations—often across national and cultural boundaries—are not well aligned. Institutional voids in this context are gaps in function or capability, including skills gaps, lack of an effective regulatory regime, and weak contract-enforcing mechanisms.

Read Now
Empowering David: How Smaller Firms Reconfigure National Dependency on Foreign Multinationals in the Era of Disruptive Technological Change

Empowering David: How Smaller Firms Reconfigure National Dependency on Foreign Multinationals in the Era of Disruptive Technological Change

In this article, Sonja Avlijaš, Pavle Medić, and Kori Udovički reflect on foreign direct investment (FDI) and the way it impacts the development of political economies.

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments