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Chapter 3

BUS 272 Chapter 3: BUS 272 Chapter 3

Business Administration
Course Code
BUS 272
Sam Thiara

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LO1 Describe the elements of self-concept and explain how each affects an individual’s behavior
and well-being
Self-concept self-beliefs
Self-concept refers to an individuals self-beliefs and self-evaluations. It is reflected in the
questions “Who am I?” and “How do I feel about myself?” that people ask themselves and that
guide their decisions and actions.
Our self-concept is defined at 3 levels: individual, relational, and collective. We view ourselves in
terms of our personal traits (individual self), connections to friends and co-workers (relation
self), and membership in teams, organizations, social groups, and other entities (collective self).
Self-concept Complexity, consistency, and clarity
An individual’s self-concept can be described by three characteristics: complexity, consistency,
1. Complexity refers to the number of distinct and important roles or identities that people
perceive about themselves. Everyone has multiple self-views because they see
themselves in different roles at various times. People are generally motivated to
increase their complexity (self-expansion) as they seek out new opportunities and social
Self-concept complexity isn’t defined only by how many identities a person has; it is also
defined by the separation of those identities. An individual with several identities might
still have low self-concept complexity when those identities are highly interconnected.
Although everyone has multiple selves, only some of those identities dominate their
attention at any one time. A person’s various selves are usually domain specific,
meaning that a particular self-view is more likely to be activated in some settings than in
2. Consistency is the second characteristic of an individual’s self-concept. High consistency
exists when the individuals identities require similar personality traits, values, and other
attributes. Low consistency exists when an individual’s personality and values clash with
the type of person he or she tries to become.
3. Clarity, the third self-concept characteristic, is the degree to which a person’s self-
concept is clear, confidently defined and stable. Clarity occurs we are confident about
“who we are,” a describe our important identities to others, and provide the same
description of ourselves across time.
Self-concept clarity increases with age with the increasing stability of their values and
personality and with better self-awareness through life experiences.

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Self-concept is also clearer when a person’s multiple selves have higher consistency.
This make sense because low consistency produces ambiguity about a person’s
underlying characteristics.
Effects of Self-concept characteristics on Well-being and Behavior
Psychological well-being tends to be higher when:
People have fairly distinct multiple selves (complexity) that are well established (clarity) and in
harmony with each other and with the individual’s personal attributes (consistency).
1. People with low complexity suffer loss when they experience failure because these
events affect a large part of themselves. (consistency)
2. Self-concept complexity helps people adapt, but too much variation causes internal
tension and conflict. (complexity)
3. People who are unsure of their self-views are more influenced by others, experience
more stress when making decisions, and feel more threatened by social forces that
undermine their self-confidence and self-esteem. (clarity)
Positive side of self-concept complexity:
1. Employee with complex identities tend to have more adaptive decision-making and
performance because multiple selves likely to generate more diverse experiences and
role patterns.
2. Self-complexity often produces more diverse social networks, and this network diversity
gives employees access to more resources and social support to perform their jobs.
Negative side of self-concept complexity:
High complexity requires more effort to maintain and juggle, which can be stressful.
Benefit of self-concept clarity:
1. It tends to improve performance and is considered vital for leadership roles.
2. It also provides a clearer path forward, which enables people to direct their effort more
efficiently toward career objectives.
3. People with high clarity feel less threatened by interpersonal conflict, so they use more
constructive problem-solving behaviors to resolve conflicts.
Negative side:
Those with very high clarity may have role inflexibility, with the result that they cannot
adapt to changing job duties or environmental conditions.

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Self-enhancement refers to people are inherently motivated to perceive themselves (and to be
perceived by others) as competent, attractive, lucky, ethical, and important. Individuals tend to
rate themselves above average, believe that they have a better than average probability of
success, and attribute their successes to personal motivation or ability while blaming the
situation when events go badly.
Drive to protect a positive self-view.
Strongest in common / important situation. (ppt )
1. Individuals tend to experience better mental and physical health and adjustment when
they amplify their self-concept.
2. Overconfidence also generates a “can do” attitude that motivates persistence in difficult
or risky tasks.
3. Better personal adjustment and physical/mental health. (ppt)
4. Inflates personal causation and probability of success. (ppt)
1. Makes people overestimate future returns in investment decisions and engage in unsafe
2. May executives repeating poor decisions, launching misguided corporate diversification
strategies, and acquiring excessive corporate debt.
Self-Verification: Individuals try to confirm and maintain their existing self-concept. This process
stabilizes an individual’s self-view which, in turns provides and important anchor that guides his
or her thoughts and actions. Motivation to verify and maintain our existing self-concept.
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