How Would You Describe Us?

You can tell people who you are all day long, but how people perceive you defines that for you.  I’ve been collecting data from various groups on how they perceive the College of Business.  As part of this process, I’d like to hear from my readers.

You can give me your feedback by clicking on the link below.  The survey only takes about 5 minutes to do.  There are no right or wrong answers here, just adjectives you might use to describe the College.  We want to know how well you think they fit.  I’ll share the results in an upcoming post.  Thanks for your help.

Click here to take survey



3 thoughts on “How Would You Describe Us?

  1. I disagree. Yes when you speak of an entity such as a school perception is mainly about the people it serves. A school doesn’t exist for itself, it exists for the people I think serves. FOr one, if the people no longer existed, the school would have no reason to exist, a school is there to strengthen and give knowledge to people, support them and set them up for work beyond school. Yet, if the school didn’t exist people would still have a purpose, and they can find other ways to have all those things the school provided, perhaps even better.

    Therefore, people aren’t defined by what others think of them, especially so as other people only see one sliver of reality, and even more limited, one sliver of reality of one sliver of another person’s experience. Leaving them
    missing a lot of information by which to properly judge or define them. Yet, if the school isn’t beneficial to the people, or needs to fix something, or is harming people (and so the case for any entity that’s whole existence is for another) then for sure it has to change.

    • While your point about people not being defined by what others think of them is well-received, I suspect that Dean Jarley wasn’t trying to argue that what others think of UCF CBA is the only thing that defines us. I think he may be alluding to the fact that (right or wrong) people do not interact with you based on how you view yourself, but based on how they view you. Since, as you note, our stakeholders (external and internal) are key to the success of UCF CBA, this makes understanding how those stakeholders view us of central concern to the college.

      If you’re interested, let me expand on this a bit… Research on organizational perception management suggests that there are three key components to perceptions: Organizational Image, Organizational Reputation, and Organizational Identity (Elsbach, 2003).

      Organizational Image captures short-term perceptions of what makes the organization distinctive by people internal and external to the organization. For example, as of right now, do you see UCF CBA as… innovative? diverse? challenging?
      Organizational Reputation captures longer-term more abstract perceptions of the organization by people external to the organization. For example, is UCF CBA generally well-regarded… among Central Florida business professionals? among state universities? in the academic community?
      Organizational Identity captures a longer-term view how people internal to the organization address the question “who are we as an organization?”. For example, is being an innovator in educational technology central to our mission at UCF CBA?

      By asking his readership community to choose adjectives that they associate with the UCF CBA organization, Dean Jarley is capturing the organizational image of UCF CBA. While this is not the only thing that defines us, it is certainly in the mix. As noted above, our stakeholders interact with us based on their perceptions of us rather than how we see ourselves. So whether it’s a business leader who is considering speaking to our students at the exchange, a potential employer considering hiring one of our graduates, or a potential donor considering creating a scholarship for our students, our image directly influences our organizational reality.

      In sum, while the image of the UCF CBA isn’t the only thing that defines us, it certainly is central. Understanding how our stakeholders view us, whether this view is how we want to be seen, and to what extent this view aligns with how we view ourselves is pretty key.

      For those who want to know more about organizational perception management (it really is an interesting area, my research dovetails into this area), I am including a link below to the article I cited above. It’s an academic article, so there is a bit of academic jargon in there, but it’s far from the stereotypical dense academic article.

      Elsbach, K. D. (2003). Organizational perception management. Research in Organizational Behavior, 25, 297-332.

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