Anticipatory impression management occurs when an organization or its spokesperson tries to positively influence stakeholder perceptions in an effort to enhance or preserve the organization’s social approval when that acceptance and approval face a defined threat. Anticipatory impression management differs from impression management in that the former occurs before the trigger becomes known to stakeholders whereas the latter takes place after the trigger becomes known. Thus, impression management by itself is reactive.

Organizational leaders have the opportunity to engage in anticipatory impression management when (a) they anticipate that a trigger will occur and may become known to stakeholders or (b) a trigger, as yet unknown to stakeholders, has already occurred and organizational leaders anticipate that it may become known to stakeholders. In such instances, the firm’s ...

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