Impression Management as a Goal Directed Activity

Topics: Sociology, Impression management, Behavior Pages: 6 (1990 words) Published: March 30, 2013
Impression ManagementAssignment question:
“Impression Management as a goal directed activity not only sets the boundaries of what is considered appropriate behaviour but also aids in defining what behaviour will be met with disapproval.”(Goffman 1989) Discuss this statement in the context of a practical professional setting. According to Andersen, M. L., & Taylor, H. L. (2006)impression management is defined as “good oriented conscious or unconsciousprocess in which people attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event, they do so by regulating and controlling information in social interaction.” According to Sinha (2009), "Impression management is an active self-presentation of a person aiming to enhance his image in the eyes of others" (p.104). A symbolic interaction noting that impression management is “the process of authentic self-presentation used when an individual wants to present himself to other people the same way he perceives himself…a tactical brand used by individuals.” A variation of this view by Brym and Lie, (2006, p.144) depicts impression management as a situation whereby “people deliberately change or modify their behaviour to fit a given situation…the process whereby people seek to control the image that others have of them.” The above scholarly views seek to consolidate Goffman’s (1989) view that “Impression Management as a goal directed activity not only sets the boundaries of what is considered appropriate behaviour but also aids in defining what behaviour will be met with disapproval.” In assessing the concept of impression management it is pivotal to isolate the impetus behindthisconcept. All the above definitions provide a direct inference that this concept involves creating an impressionable illusion which is highly fragile and requires constant attention in order to ensure its sustainability. Keeping in mind that it is a goal oriented model, impression management is a fundamental and universal process that involves a number of influential factors. These factors are social, cultural and spiritual. Considering that this model is set in a professionalenvironment, it is essential to administer an appropriate outlook into impression management in professional localities. Newman, (2009, p.173) states that “Impression management allows the production of manufactured personas, which aid in the socialization process. The use of impression management provides people with the necessary skills to create a custom and often falsified perception.”, this may be well suited to the professional environment and its various facets such as job interviews, officerelations between employees and management, firms and both clients and potential clients, firms and other firms as well with the ultimate goal being to create a virtuous professional atmosphere. It is paramount to note that the microcosm represents the macrocosm, in relation to impression management it is hence necessary to carry out a thorough analysis of individualistic measures of impression management before relating this to an entire professional setting. According to Andersen and Taylor (2006), “Impression management can be seen as a type of con game” (p.104), relating to the basic scenario of a job interview when a person engages in impression management, they are attempting to manipulate the impression they project onto others, with the goal being to ultimately acquire a job and will do so through the following means of impression management: •Good eye contact in order to establish an aura of confidence and honesty critical to the business sector •An appropriate physical appearance, aclean, professional persona •Chronematic management, being prompt is tantamount to a gesture of a focused individual •Kinesis should be reflective of confidence and a potentially aggressive stature appropriately suited to the aggressive nature of the business world In essence, the above seeks to highlight the paramount idea that...
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