Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 453–469 | Cite as

Do You See Me as I See Me? The Effects of Impression Management Incongruence of Actors and Audiences

  • Wayne S. CrawfordEmail author
  • K. Michele (Micki) Kacmar
  • Kenneth J. Harris
Original Paper


Based on the idea that both actor and audience member are present in impression management (IM), we argue that the effectiveness of IM usage can only be determined when ratings from both the actor and the audience are considered. Further, we use self-verification theory to explain how IM incongruence may impact workplace outcomes. To test our arguments, we employed congruence analysis (Cheung in Organizational Research Methods 12, 6–33, 2009a). Our approach differs from the majority of extant IM research that employs measures of IM only from the actor’s perspective. By incorporating assessments from the actor and the audience, we bring research on IM back to its theoretical roots and offer a rationale for the varied and inconsistent findings reported in the literature. Using a sample of 175 employees and their supervisors, we examined and compared IM ratings of subordinates’ ingratiation, self-promotion, and exemplification from both the employee and supervisor. Additionally, we investigate the ability of those ratings, individually and together, to predict both subordinate and supervisor ratings of key organizational outcomes. Implications for practice and suggestions for future research also are provided.


Impression management Self-presentation Congruence analysis Structural equation modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wayne S. Crawford
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Michele (Micki) Kacmar
    • 2
  • Kenneth J. Harris
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Management, College of BusinessUniversity of Texas at ArlingtonArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Management, McCoy College of Business AdministrationTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  3. 3.School of BusinessIndiana University SoutheastNew AlbanyUSA

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