The Use of Self-Set Goals as an Impression Management Tactic: Antecedents and Consequences

38 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2007 Last revised: 10 Jan 2008

See all articles by Scott Jeffrey

Scott Jeffrey

University of Waterloo

Alan Webb

University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance

Axel K-D Schulz

La Trobe University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 31, 2007

Abstract

Research on both impression management and goal setting in organizational settings has been on-going for several decades. However, surprisingly few studies have focused on the intersection of these two broad areas of inquiry. Our study addresses this gap in the literature by examining employees' use of goal setting as a tactic for managing impressions in an organization and the resultant impact on their performance. Relying on the cybernetic model of impression management (Bozeman and Kacmar 1997) we predict that poor performance relative to performance goals in one period will lead employees to use goal-setting as an impression management tactic in the next period. We also predict that using goal-setting as an impression management tactic will cause employees to self-set less difficult performance goals, which in turn will negatively impact actual performance. Using a combination of survey and archival data from 598 call center employees at a Fortune 100 financial services firm in the United States, we find support for all predictions. Implications for further research and practice are discussed.

Keywords: Goal Setting, Impression Management

JEL Classification: L21, M12, M52, M40, M46

Suggested Citation

Jeffrey, Scott and Webb, Alan and Schulz, Axel K-D, The Use of Self-Set Goals as an Impression Management Tactic: Antecedents and Consequences (July 31, 2007). AAA 2008 MAS Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1004145 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1004145

Scott Jeffrey (Contact Author)

University of Waterloo ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

Alan Webb

University of Waterloo - School of Accounting and Finance ( email )

200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1 N2L 3G1
Canada

Axel K-D Schulz

La Trobe University ( email )

Victoria 3552, 3086
Australia

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