How Passive 'Face Time' Affects Perceptions of Employees: Evidence of Spontaneous Trait Inference in Context
University of California, Davis - Graduate School of Management
Daniel M. Cable
University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Kenan-Flagler Business School
University of California, Davis - Department of Psychology
September 29, 2008
UC Davis Graduate School of Management Research Paper No. 08-08
We examine how and why passive face time (being passively observed at work) might affect perceptions of employees in professional settings. Findings from a qualitative study suggest that passive face time exists in two forms: (1) being seen at work during normal business hours - or expected face time, and (2) being seen at work outside of normal business hours - or extracurricular face time. These two forms of passive face time appear to affect employee perceptions because they lead to trait inferences. Expected face time leads to inferences that an employee is "dependable," while extracurricular passive face time leads to inferences that an employee is "committed". Findings from an experimental study provide confirmation of our qualitative findings and suggest that trait inferences are made spontaneously. We discuss the implications of our findings for theories of organizational citizenship behavior and trait inference, and for the practice of performance evaluation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42working papers series
Date posted: November 4, 2008
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