Effectiveness of Impression Management Tactics Across Human Resource Situations1


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    Portions of this paper were presented at the 11th annual conference of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychologists, San Diego, CA. This paper was greatly improved by the comments received from Amy L. Kristof-Brown, Gerald R. Ferris, David A. Ralston, and an anonymous reviewer.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to K. Michele Kacmar, Department of Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1110. e-mail: mkacmar@garnet.acns.fsu.edu.


An experimental study was undertaken to explore the effectiveness of impression management tactics in various situations. To manipulate the variables of interest, 6 different scenarios were created by crossing 2 independent variables: impression management tactics (self-focused or other-focused) and situation (employment interview, performance appraisal, or training session). Respondents, 178 human resource professionals, were mailed a survey that contained 2 of the 6 scenarios. In each scenario, respondents rated the person described in the scenario on performance, provided their affective impressions, and determined the appropriateness of the impression management cues given the situation. Results indicated a significant interaction between the use of impression management and the situation. These findings are compared to past research, and suggestions for future directions for the study of impression management are outlined.