Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Alternate Test Models for Impression Management in SMEs: A Gender Based Study

Confirmatory Factor Analysis and Alternate Test Models for Impression Management in SMEs: A Gender Based Study

Resmi A. T. (Institute of Technology- Business School (VIT-BS), VIT-University, Vellore, Tamilnadu, India) and T. J. Kamalanabhan (Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Technology-Madras, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)
DOI: 10.4018/jisscm.2013040106
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It is not an uncommon trend in the present times that the number of women entrepreneurs continues to increase steadily. It is also found that women enter entrepreneurship majorly due to necessity than opportunity orientation. If that is the case does entrepreneurial impression management differ for both the gender? How does the necessity based entrepreneur face the increased competitive approaches of opportunity based entrepreneurs? This study attempts to find out the difference between impression management techniques and different social competencies employed by women and male entrepreneurs. Data was collected by means of questionnaire to new ventures and a total of hundred and seventeen observations were collected, from fifty seven females and sixty male entrepreneurs. It was observed that impression management techniques employed by women are different from that of males. In contrast to the sex role typing of females it was seen that women use assertion oriented techniques than compared to males. The results provide evidence that the potential for developing social competence and impression management techniques and promoting the abilities needed for a free and self-determined career has not been exhausted by any means.
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When a man gets up to talk, people listen, and if they like what they hear, they look. 
When a woman gets up to talk, people look, and if they like what they see, they listen.-Pauline Frederick (as cited in Larson, 2004)

A girl's way of saying that she thinks she's smart is to say “I'm so stupid,” and everyone responds “No, you're not!” She already knows this, but it is a way of getting compliments. Boys, on the other hand, say what they think or would like themselves or others to think. A boy would say, “I'm smart” and his friend would answer, “I'm smarter,” and thus a competition would arise. (Brown, Uebelacker, & Heatherington, 1998).

Gender differences, in communicative and interactive patterns between men and women is much known aspect. For example, research has shown that women tend to disclose more than men (Caldwell & Peplau, 1982; Williams, 1985) and that women are more frequently the recipients of other's disclosure (Snell, Miller, & Belk, 1988). Several hypotheses have emerged in the literature to explain that man’s interactions are marked by competition and one-upmanship (Sattel, 1976). It may be otherwise suggested that when men engage in talks to each other, they would describe primarily flattering things about themselves and hide embarrassing information which may lower their status.

It appears that gender might be a factor in the willingness to engage in social interaction. Social skills or social competence are important aspects in social interaction. Impression management is primarily a part of social competence (Goleman, 1999; Baron, 2001) Therefore, studying the different social competence and social skills possessed by male and female entrepreneurs are important. In simple terms, an entrepreneur’s ability to interact effectively with others is based on discrete social skills, can be referred to as “social competence (Baron & Markman, 2003). This summary term is comprised of persuasion, social adaptability, impression management and social perception (Baron & Markman, 2000) This encapsulates the combined effects of various social skills such as the ability to perceive others accurately, make a good first impression and persuade others to change their views or behavior by Wayne and Kacmar (1991). Social skills and social capital define social competence, which is the ability to interact effectively with others as based on discrete social skills (Baron & Markman, 2003).

Successful people are good in persuading others. An entrepreneur is said to be persuasive when he / she can convince someone to buy a product or service, provide financing or do something that he/ she would like that person to do. Persuasive entrepreneur asserts his own and his company’s competence and qualities, which would result in venture success. How individual forms impressions of others and make inferences about other people is social perception. Baron and Markman (2000) have found that social perception prove to play a major role in determining an entrepreneur’s financial success. Social adaptability is the ability to adapt to, or feel comfortable in a wide range of social situations. It also helps the entrepreneur to engage with people from diverse background. One investigation conducted with two different groups of entrepreneurs (founders of high-tech companies and founders of cosmetics distribution companies), reported that two aspects of these entrepreneurs’ social competence—their social adaptability and social perception—were significant predictors of their financial success (Baron & Markman, 2000).

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