Professor Kimberly Elsbach
Professor Kimberly Elsbach’s new book, Organizational Perception Management (Lawrence Erlbaum Associates) was published in April. Her work summarizes research findings from the relatively new domain of study called “organizational perception management” (OPM), which examines how organization spokespersons influence audiences’ perceptions of their organizations in light of both good and bad events (e.g., an organizational innovation or an organizational scandal). Although perception management has been studied at the individual level since the 1960s, organization-level perception management (i.e., tactics designed to affect perceptions of the image, identity or reputation of an organization) was first examined in the 1980s through the study of corporate annual reports and their effects on organizational reputations. In the subsequent decades empirical studies have expanded the domain of OPM to include the management of organizational identities (e.g., what it means to be a “green” organization), as well as the strategic management of specialized organizational images for specific audiences (e.g., what images to present to stockholders vs.. consumers). Elsbach’s book draws on current case studies and empirical and qualitative field research to provide a comprehensive understanding of OPM and its effectiveness. The book is intended for students, scholars and practitioners of organizational management.