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Impression management behavior: effects of the organizational system

Amos Drory (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)
Nurit Zaidman (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer‐Sheva, Israel)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 3 April 2007

7862

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare patterns of impression management in two organizational systems, namely, organic and mechanistic.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative data were gathered from 23 employees by means of in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews. In addition, questionnaires pertaining to the use of impression management strategies toward superiors and peers were given to 208 employees from military and R&D organizations.

Findings

The results suggest that employees in mechanistic systems engage more in impression management behavior and direct their efforts more often toward their superiors than toward their peers, most frequently by using the strategy of “Ingratiation”. On the other hand, employees in the organic system sample use impression management to a lesser extent, and they direct it more equally toward superiors and peers. Their predominant strategy is “Initiation.” These results are discussed in light of the differences in the norms and structural characteristics of the two organizational systems.

Research limitations/implications

The mechanistic system was represented by a military organization and there is disproportionate representation of males in the survey sample.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the importance of the specific characteristics of an organizational system in shaping employees' impression management behavior.

Keywords

Citation

Drory, A. and Zaidman, N. (2007), "Impression management behavior: effects of the organizational system", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 290-308. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940710733106

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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