Orientation to the Public Image Assessment Exercise

Case Solution

Robin J. Ely
Harvard Business School ()

The public image assessment exercise familiarizes students with the ideal images they have of themselves, the actions they take to convey those images, and the benefits and costs of that behavior to themselves and others. Social psychologists call this process impression management. Although dealing with other people’s impressions is a natural part of life, and there are good, pragmatic reasons to engage with the images we present to others, problems arise when people are driven by concerns about other people’s judgments. When the goal of reviewing your own image becomes more important than others, the task or mission of a group, it becomes difficult to learn to take risks and experiment.

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