Impression Management and Information Technology

Impression Management and Information Technology

Impression Management and Information Technology

Impression Management and Information Technology


Information technology will be the most pervasive and important influence on individuals and organizations in the next 10 years. Impression management is a growing field of study in the management and organizational sciences, which studies the self-presentational approach of individuals and the organizations. This collection of papers is both exploratory and innovative, examining new ways for the corporation to effect its strategy, its organizational design and its development as they are stimulated by the introduction and evolution of information technology. Understanding impression management theory as it moves further into the mainstream of research and practice is critical to corporate strategists, academics, and students.


Lyne Bouchard

M. Lynne Markus

The technological innovation known as electronic data interchange (EDI) is argued to provide major benefits to the organizations that use it for exchanging business data across organizational boundaries. Suppliers and retailers can use EDI to transmit purchase orders, advance shipping notices, invoices, and even payments, thus reducing costs, streamlining operations, and increasing the timeliness of business activity. The benefits of EDI are not shared equally among business partners, however, since the larger partners stand to gain more through a larger volume of transactions. Consequently, these firms find themselves working hard to convince their smaller business partners to adopt EDI. What persuasive strategies do they use and to what extent do these strategies work?

In this chapter, we address these and other questions derived from three theoretical perspectives on the adoption and diffusion of collective technological innovations: the innovation diffusion perspective, the critical mass perspective, and the impression management and bargaining literatures. We apply these perspectives to the case of EDI adoption in the retailing industry, with particular attention to the efforts of one large retailer and two of its suppliers. We find that the critical mass and impression management literatures explain nonadoption better than the innovation diffusion perspective, but that the impression management and bargaining literatures add considerably to our understanding of why and how some suppliers actually adopt.

Imagine a situation in which you can get tremendous benefits from a . . .

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