Impression management (IM) is the ways in which people’s behavior is influenced by their concerns with how they are perceived, evaluated, and accepted by others. The research on the topic in the management literature has primarily focused on the various strategies (i.e., tactics) employees use to try to satisfy their image-related goals, and the effectiveness of those strategies. Some researchers use the terms impression management and influence tactics interchangeably; however, the former term is more about managing others’ perceptions, while the latter is more about managing others’ behaviors. Impression management is also referred to as self-presentation and includes an actor, a target audience, and sometimes a third-party observer.
There are many quantitative and qualitative reviews on impression management in the workplace. Gordon 1996 offered a meta-analysis of the relationships between the tactic of ingratiation and various workplace outcomes, and Higgins and Judge 2004 expanded that effort by including the tactic of self-promotion. Barrick, et al. 2009 then meta-analyzed the impression management literature in the context of job interviews and performance ratings, with a focus on the relationship between ingratiation, non-verbal behaviors (e.g., appearance), and performance. Finally, Smith, et al. 2013 meta-analytically examined the gendered nature of impression management. In addition to these quantitative reviews, there are several conceptual and qualitative reviews of impression management. The first of these was put forward by Gardner and Martinko 1988. These authors reviewed the extant impression management research and offered a model explaining how the impression management process unfolds for both actors (e.g., employees) and targets (e.g., coworkers, supervisors). Bolino, et al. 2008 then reviewed the research on impression management since the Gardner and Martinko 1988 article, offering a twenty-year update and including a typology of “good” and “bad” impression management tactics focused on either the actor or the target. More recently, Bolino, et al. 2016 summarized the research on impression management in organizations, providing a three-decade overview and including a summary of the various ways impression management can be measured.
Barrick, Murray R., Jonathan A. Shaffer, and Sandra W. Degrassi. “What You See May Not Be What You Get: Relationships among Self-Presentation Tactics and Ratings of Interview and Job Performance.” Journal of Applied Psychology 94.6 (2009): 1394–1411.
A comprehensive meta-analysis of the links between impression management and job-interview performance. Results suggest that unstructured interviews are most susceptible to impression management tactics.
Bolino, Mark C., K. Michele Kacmar, William H. Turnley, and J. Bruce Gilstrap. “A Multi-Level Review of Impression Management Motives and Behaviors.” Journal of Management 34.6 (2008): 1080–1109.
An important and detailed two-decade review of the impression management literature. This review covers individual and organizational levels of analyses; lists and defines the extant impression management behaviors; and provides a typology of impression management tactics based on goal and focus of each tactic.
Bolino, Mark, David Long, and William Turnley. “Impression Management in Organizations: Critical Questions, Answers, and Areas for Future Research.” Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior 3 (2016): 377–406.
This in-depth article reviews the literature on impression management and provides a summary of the various ways to measure impression management.
Gardner, William L., and Mark J. Martinko. “Impression Management in Organizations.” Journal of Management 14.2 (1988): 321–338.
This influential article reviews the literature on impression management and offers a comprehensive model of the processes connecting actor impression management and audience reactions.
Gordon, Randall A. “Impact of Ingratiation on Judgments and Evaluations: A Meta-Analytic Investigation.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 71.1 (1996): 54–70.
A meta-analysis of the links between ingratiation and several outcomes, including liking and performance evaluations. Results show a positive effect between ingratiation and these outcomes.
Higgins, Chad A., and Timothy A. Judge. “The Effect of Applicant Influence Tactics on Recruiter Perceptions of Fit and Hiring Recommendations: A Field Study.” Journal of Applied Psychology 89.4 (2004): 622–632.
A meta-analysis of the links between ingratiation and self-promotion to several work outcomes, including job performance and extrinsic success. Results suggest that ingratiation has a positive effect on multiple outcomes, but that self-promotion is only effective during interviews.
Smith, Alexis N., Marla B. Watkins, Michael J. Burke, et al. “Gendered Influence: A Gender Role Perspective on the Use and Effectiveness of Influence Tactics.” Journal of Management 39.5 (2013): 1156–1183.
This research investigated the links between gender and impression management. Overall, the work suggested that influence tactics may be gendered in nature such that there may be gender differences in the frequency of use and subsequent outcomes.
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content on this page. Please subscribe or login.
- Abusive Supervision
- Adverse Impact and Equal Employment Opportunity Analytics
- Applied Political Risk Analysis
- Approaches to Social Responsibility
- Assessment Centers: Theory, Practice and Research
- Authentic Leadership
- Bayesian Statistics
- Behavior, Organizational
- Behavioral Approach to Leadership
- Behavioral Theory of the Firm
- Between Organizations, Social Networks in and
- Brokerage in Networks
- Career Studies
- Charismatic and Innovative Team Leadership By and For Mill...
- Computational Modeling
- Conflict Management
- Corporate Social Performance
- Counterproductive Work Behavior (CWB)
- Cross-Cultural Communication
- Cross-Cultural Management
- Cultural Intelligence
- Culture, Organization
- Data Analytic Methods
- Decision Making
- Emotional Labor
- Employee Aging
- Employee Engagement
- Employee Voice
- Empowerment, Psychological
- Entrepreneurship, Corporate
- Entrepreneurship, Women's
- Equal Employment Opportunity
- Faking in Personnel Selection
- Family Business, Managing
- Financial Markets in Organization Theory and Economic Soci...
- Findings, Reporting Research
- Fit, Person-Environment
- Goal Setting
- Hofstedes Cultural Dimensions
- Human Capital Pipelines
- Human Resource Management
- Human Resource Management, Strategic
- Human Resources, Global
- Human Rights
- Humanitarian Work Psychology
- Humility in Management
- Impression Management at Work
- Innovative Behavior
- Intelligence, Emotional
- International Economic Development and SMEs
- International Economic Systems
- International Strategic Alliances
- Job Analysis and Competency Modeling
- Job Crafting
- Job Design
- Job Satisfaction
- Leader-Member Exchange
- Leadership Development
- Leadership Development and Organizational Change, Coaching...
- Leadership, Ethical
- Leadership, Global and Comparative
- Leadership, Strategic
- Management History
- Management In Antiquity
- Meaningful Work
- Multinational Corporations and Emerging Markets
- Neo-institutional Theory
- Neuroscience, Organizational
- Organization Design, Global
- Organization Development and Change
- Organization Theory
- Organizational Adaptation
- Organizational Behavior, Emotions in
- Organizational Citizenship Behaviors (OCBs)
- Organizational Corruption
- Organizational Identity
- Organizational Justice
- Organizational Legitimacy
- Organizational Networks
- Organizational Performance, Personality Theory and
- Organizational Responsibility
- Organizational Surveys, Driving Change Through
- Organizations, Big Data in
- Organizations, Political Ideology in
- Organizations, Social Identity Processes in
- Pay for Skills, Knowledge, and Competencies
- People Analytics
- Performance Appraisal
- Planning And Goal Setting
- Psychological Contracts
- Psychological Safety
- Regional Entrepreneurship
- Reputation, Organizational Image and
- Research, Ethics in
- Research, Longitudinal
- Research Methods
- Research Methods, Qualitative
- Resource-Dependence Theory
- Response Surface Analysis, Polynomial Regression and
- Role of Time in Organizational Studies
- Safety, Work Place
- Selection, Applicant Reactions to
- Self-Fulfilling Prophecy In Management
- Self-Management and Personal Agency
- Service Management
- Shared Team Leadership
- Status in Organizations
- Strategic Human Capital
- Strategy and Cognition
- Structural Contingency Theory/Information Processing Theor...
- Team Conflict
- Team Newcomers
- Teams, Global
- Technology and Innovation Management
- Technology, Organizational Assessment and
- the Workplace, Millennials in
- Theory X and Theory Y
- Time and Motion Studies
- Training and Development
- Training Evaluation
- Unobtrusive Measures
- Virtual Teams
- Work and Family: An Organizational Science Overview
- Work Contexts, Nonverbal Communication in
- Work, Mindfulness at
- Workplace Commitment
- Workplace Gossip
- Workplace Meetings
- Workplace, Spiritual Leadership in the
- World War II, Management Research during