Cultural Impressions of Professionalism

53 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2006

See all articles by Emily Heaphy

Emily Heaphy

University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Susan J. Ashford

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Date Written: September 2006

Abstract

Two studies with working managers and corporate recruiters examined evidence that impressions of professionalism are influenced by cues of whether one appropriately minimizes personal referents at work, particularly within certain industrialized cultures. Study 1 showed that proportion of office objects symbolic of one's personal life differentiated the mental image of a professional versus unprofessional worker. This effect was moderated by experience living in the U.S., suggesting this standard for professionalism may be culturally bounded. Study 2 showed that for American but not foreign job candidates, adherence to this minimization ideology led to more favorable recruiting evaluations. Implications for cultural imprints on organizational dynamics are discussed.

Keywords: Artifacts, Symbols, Culture, Professionalism, Protestant Relational Ideology, Work, Non-work, Work-Family

JEL Classification: M00, M10

Suggested Citation

Heaphy, Emily and Sanchez-Burks, Jeffrey and Ashford, Susan J., Cultural Impressions of Professionalism (September 2006). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1041, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=928608 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.928608

Emily Heaphy

University of Michigan - Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

Susan J. Ashford

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

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