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date: 02 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

In this chapter it is argued that women may be disadvantaging their career advancement opportunities within professional services firms by ignoring the benefits impression management activities can bring to them, preferring to rely instead on principles of meritocracy. The chapter considers the concept of meritocracy and assesses its key characteristics. Also considered are some of the inherent contradictions within the concept and the gender implications of these. Attention then turns to an analysis of impression management, contrasting the key characteristics of the two concepts. The chapter concludes with consideration of the nature of career advancement processes within the professional services with particular emphasis on the performative nature of this process; gender implications are then assessed and discussed.

Keywords: career advancement, gender, impression management, meritocracy, professional services firm

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