A person-centered view of impression management, inauthenticity, and employee behavior

Journal article


Chawla, Nitya, Gabriel, Allison S., Rosen, Christopher C., Evans, Jonathan B., Koopman, Joel, Hochwarter, Wayne A., Palmer, Joshua C. and Jordan, Samantha L.. (2021). A person-centered view of impression management, inauthenticity, and employee behavior. Personnel Psychology. 74(4), pp. 657-691. https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12437
AuthorsChawla, Nitya, Gabriel, Allison S., Rosen, Christopher C., Evans, Jonathan B., Koopman, Joel, Hochwarter, Wayne A., Palmer, Joshua C. and Jordan, Samantha L.
Abstract

Impression management (IM)—the strategies through which employees create, maintain, or alter a desired image towards others—is a ubiquitous part of organizational life. To date, scholars studying this interpersonal phenomenon have largely focused on Jones and Pittman's (1982) taxonomy of IM strategies, examining consequences associated with the tactics of ingratiation, self-promotion, exemplification, supplication, and intimidation on others’ reactions to, and perceptions of, the actor. Thus, scholarly understanding surrounding the implications of IM for employees’ own well-being is nascent. We integrate ideas from the emotional labor and IM literatures to develop and test theory that explains the impact of IM strategies on the actors themselves. Across three complementary studies spanning 2337 full-time employees, we use latent profile analysis to investigate how the conjoint use of multiple IM tactics—each of which is associated with a distinct, and sometimes conflicting, image—yields unique consequences for employees’ feelings of inauthenticity at work. In addition, we also explore how profiles of IM tactics differentially relate to theoretically relevant work outcomes, namely coworker ratings of employee performance, work withdrawal, absenteeism, and perceived sincerity. Taken together, our work sheds light on the prevalence and impact of employees combining IM tactics during work interactions.

Keywordsimpression management; latent profile analysis; performance; social hierarchies; well-being; work withdrawal
Year2021
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Journal citation74 (4), pp. 657-691
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
ISSN0031-5826
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/peps.12437
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85098123100
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range657-691
Publisher's version
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All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online27 Dec 2020
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Nov 2020
Deposited02 Aug 2022
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