Impression Management Theory
The Impression Management theory is a goal-oriented process that is carried out consciously or unconsciously with the aim of trying to influence the perception of other people regarding an individual, event or object. This is done through the regulation or control of information that is shared during social interaction. When doing this, the person who aims to influence others often tries to incline them to adopt his or her perception. This theory can also be applied in public relations and professional communication, whereby it is used in describing the process through which a company or organization forms its public image.
The impression management theory was proposed by psychologist; Edward E Jones in the 1960s. He enhanced the theory to include attempts made by people to exercise control the impression of other people over their personal traits. This sparked attention of people to view impression management as a basic interpersonal process.
This theory stipulates that any person or organization must be able to establish and maintain an impression that is in line with the kind of perception that they intend to convey to the public. Form the point of view of professional communication and public relations, this theory involves the vital ways of establishment and communication to bring about uniformity between personal and organizational goals, and their actions that will create the perception of the public. This theory emphasizes on the reality of perception that is tied onto the presumption that the perception of others about you or your organization is the basis on which they form ideas.
There are several factors that are responsible for governing the Impression management theory. It should be noted that impression management is often necessary whenever there is some sort of real or imaginary social situation. In such a situation, people develop the awareness of being a potential subject of monitoring. The cultural norms of a person or organization often determine how appropriate certain non-verbal behaviors are.
The goals of a person are yet another factor that impacts the strategies and ways of impression management. It refers to what the assertion entails that can also contribute to various ways of presentation of some of the attributes of self. There are various ways through which people can present themselves to others. One of them is through self disclosure or giving an explanation on what really makes you the person that you are.
Another way of self presentation is appearances management, alignment of actions in order to stir up appeal, alter-casting and ingratiation. These methods of self presentation can apply to individuals as well as corporate in order to manage impressions.
According to the Impression management theory, people often adopt various strategies like intimidation, ingratiation among others in order to acquire the desired perception by the public. We always try to construct an image of ourselves and even organizations in order to claim personal identity and also portray ourselves in consistency with the formed image.
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