Would you go under the knife to enhance your career opportunities? Why or why not?
If financial resources are not an issue, it would be best to consider cosmetic surgery if doing it would make a people feel more confident about themselves. While the idea of obtaining skills and looking good can uplift chances for career advancement, physical appearance has become a primary source of confidence for everyone. Hirsch (1988) indicated that cosmetic surgery, good dental care, hair transplants, and anti-wrinkle drugs have been ways not only to improve social lives, but also to enhance career opportunities. Most people now view that the price of cosmetic surgery has become reasonable to think that the results would increase their self confidence and marketability at work. In a survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial and Plastic Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), they indicated that 43 percent of cosmetic surgeons said most male patients were undergoing procedures for career reasons.
Actually men would choose nonsurgical procedures often like fat injections, Botox injections and microdermabrasion than surgical procedures because these permit them to return to work very quickly. In an interview, cosmetic Surgeon William Silver said that 10 percent of his male patients tell him they “want cosmetic surgery to ensure they aren’t overlooked when it comes time for a promotion” (Palmquist, 2004). Some researchers also revealed that physical improvements definitely produce greater psychological and emotional benefits, which would help a person enhance his or her career path. More research claim that doors are more open to really good-looking people (Crampton and Jitendra, 1995). This is why there is no harm in availing cosmetic surgery to look good and feel confident when it means it will make you a happier and more productive individual that would translate to greater chances to notch better opportunities at work.
- What negative stereotypes are fueling the use of cosmetic surgery to change ones appearance?
It is said that stereotypes can often lead to poor decisions, can create barriers for people like women, older individuals, people of color, and people with disabilities, and can undermine loyalty and job satisfaction (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004). In case of using cosmetic surgery to change appearance, the negative stereotype working is that the concept of better looking people are better workers than plain looking people. This concept of being biased to appearance can apply to age discrimination too, where younger people tend to ignore or put down ideas provided by older people because they think it’s not applicable anymore or “old school”. This is why most aging workers would choose to go under the knife because they do not want to appear older and keep up with the younger competition.
- To what extent does the Pygmalion effect, Galatea effect, and Golem effect play a role in this case? Explain
In Greek mythology, Pygmalion fell in love with the statue he made that he prayed to Aphrodite to make this statue a real person. Aphrodite heeded the request of Pygmalion and the statue became real, in the person of Galatea. The essence of this story in our case is that Pygmalion effect or self-fulfilling prophecy maintained that people’s expectations or beliefs determine their behavior and performance, thus serving to make their expectations come true. In short, people strive to validate our perceptions of reality, no matter how faulty they may be. Thus, the self-fulfilling prophecy is a vital perceptual outcome we need to better understand because it can make or break any employee’s self-concept and achievement (Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004).
The self-fulfilling prophecy can explain the results of how bigger expectations can turn out to benefit the regular workers to obtain their maximum potential. Kreitner and Kinicki (2004) presented a model (Figure 1) that attempted to outline how supervisory expectations affect employee performance. It exhibited that “high supervisory expectancy produces better leadership (linkage 1), which subsequently leads employees to develop higher self-expectations (linkage 2). Higher expectations motivate workers to exert more effort (linkage 3), ultimately increasing performance (linkage 4) and supervisory expectancies (linkage 5)”.
Figure 1. Model of Self-Fulfilling Prophecy (Source: Kreitner and Kinicki, 2004)
On the other hand, the term Golem effect represents the negative side of the performance enhancing process. The Golem effect is what you call to a “loss in performance resulting from low leader expectations”. For example, when a manager sees a tattoo on particular employee and thinks that this employee is a trouble-maker, he or she will be watchful of this characteristic. The employee will soon observe the suspicions of the manager and will soon screw up to validate the ill expectations of the manager. Thus, the Golem effect is the entire opposite of the Pygmalion effect.
- Based on this case and what you learned in this chapter, do the skills that come with age and experience count for less than appearance in today’s organization? Discuss your rationale.
I think that age and experience counts the most than appearance when it comes to knowing the right skills needed in today’s organizations. Although appearance is important, today’s organizations are already frowning upon discriminating people with regards to how they look and their age. It is important that we recognize the fact that everyone has the potential to increase his or her performance, even without undergoing plastic surgery or looking better. It all boils down to how employees feel about themselves, how they respect each other and how satisfied they are in their jobs.
Crampton, Suzanne M., and Jitendra M. Mishra. “Developing and packaging the total corporate image” SAM Advanced Management Journal 60.3 (Summer 1995): 30-40.
Hirsch, Jean Edward. “Vanity prompts more people to risk plastic surgery despite cost”. New York Times (July 14, 1988).
Kreitner, Robert and Kinicki, Angelo. Chapter 7: Social Perception and Attributions, Organizational Behavior, 6th ed. NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies, 2004.
Palmquist, Susan. “Handsome ambitions”. Psychology Today 37.4 (July-August 2004): 33.