What is Perception Management?

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Bakker
Student, Netherlands

What is Perception Management?

Actors (members) in an organisation behave in such a way, in order to influence the public’s perceptions about themselves.
According to Erving Goffman, he/she will try to uphold a certain (self-) image by influencing the perceptions of others. The public will (un)consciously search for flaws in ones behaviour that is not congruent with their perception of the ‘right’ behaviour.
These ‘given-offs’ are features of the performance that ‘present the actor as not quite the person he/she wishes to present him/herself’ (McAuley et al. 2007 p302).
This view that ‘all the world is a stage, and all men and women are merely players’ (Shakespeare, As you like it, 1623) has some profound implications on the communication in organisations and on the way individuals, like politicians and managers, behave (McAuley et al. p302).
This ‘impression management’ is closely related to role taking discussed by McAuley et al (p305). When a certain role is taken, it ‘forces’ the actor to behave according to the perceptions of others. These perceptions of certain roles of an organisational identity are established through a ‘guide of action’ like rules of conduct in organizations.

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