Reconciling scattered images: Managing disparate organizational expressions and impressions

Kristin N. Price, Dennis A. Gioia, Kevin Corley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Any organizational environment is filled with many different types of organizational images, some sent by a focal organization, some sent by outside arbiters, and others formed by interested stakeholders. As organizations attempt to communicate directly to segmented audiences by using tailored images, they also indirectly, and sometimes unwittingly, create a broader array of images of themselves. The resulting spectrum of images cumulates into a scattered images problem. That is, the many sent images (expressions) and received images (impressions) constitute a collection of potentially disparate organizational images that need to be reconciled. The authors explore this increasingly troublesome scattered images problem; the authors also propose a taxonomy of images and discuss their underlying sources of variation. Finally, the authors discuss why and how some organizations are able to mitigate the scattered images problem, arguing that organizational complexity, visibility, and image equivocality will influence an organization's ability to better control its own image.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-185
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Management Inquiry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Impression management
  • Organizational image
  • Projected image

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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