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
Date Written: July 31, 2007
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: Suggested Citation