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Impression Management - Meaning & Definition

Published in Human Resources Terms by MBA Skool Team Last Updated: July 09, 2023Reading time:

What is Impression Management?

Impression management can be simply understood as the effort made to control and influence other people's perceptions about a person, object and event. This is usually done by controlling and regulating information in the social interaction.

This concept was first introduced by Mr. Erving Goffman in The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life (1959). It reflects the way in which people in the company of the others present an image of themselves in specific ways. In an impression management process in a business, senior managers may convey the subordinates to work for the organization in such a manner that projects a better image and clear objective of the organization in the public. The theory explains that we usually often make the perception consistent with our goals.

Sometimes the impression management is conscious and sometimes it is not, but whenever we pay attention we may look for different perception that we want from others. The most common type of impression management is the self-presentation and in the business world is the presentation of merchandise. We often hope others to have a positive impression about us, which might not be true every time. As per the marketing approach, businessmen project and market their product in the best light possible. Their job is to manage creating an impression in the minds of the consumers in the best possible way which boosts the revenue figures of the organization.

Following are the two main motives behind the impression management:-

1. Instrumental motive- This includes the desire for increased self-esteem. The basic meaning is gaining of rewards, as when an individual tries to use perception to get back something from other individual he’s motivated by the instrumental purposes.

2. Expressive motive- An expressive motive is like wanting to be in charge of one’s identity and behavior. It can be the result of the response to social norms, restrictions or expectations.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Impression Management along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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