Can you be yourself in business? How reminders of business affect the perceived value of authenticity

Michail D. Kokkoris*, Constantine Sedikides

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Authenticity is generally beneficial to employees and organizations, but do business students believe that the business world affords it? On the one hand, business may be regarded as incompatible with authenticity, as it is arguably ruled largely by etiquette, norms, and conventions that leave little room to be one's true self (hindering role). On the other hand, business may be seen as promoting authenticity, as it is arguably based largely on creativity, initiative, and independence that provide opportunities to thrive by being one's true self (facilitating role). We proposed that business students would be more likely to endorse the facilitating role of authenticity. We hypothesized, in particular, that mere reminders of business (i.e., primes) would raise the general value of authenticity, but only among those who dispositionally value authenticity less (than more). Results of two experiments were consistent with the hypothesis. We discuss theoretical, managerial, and educational implications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)448-458
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume49
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019
Externally publishedYes

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