The “Business Stereotype” is a phenomenon that arises in organizations. It is an idea or concept about how people want to perceive their peers, but it is not truly accurate. Even though business stereotypes may be posited as truths, they are false and often distorting. Dr. Jordan Sudberg, “The purpose of the business stereotype is to keep the status quo while maintaining an image of control in an increasingly chaotic world.”
Common Business Stereotypes
1. The workaholic
A workaholic is someone who never stops working. These individuals do not take vacations and rarely take breaks. They continue to maintain a grueling schedule that encompasses their personal and professional lives. A true workaholic has no separation between the two, as their life is their job. As previously mentioned, this stereotype is often untrue for even the hardest workers in a business setting. It is because family time and time with friends are essential to maintain a stable mental state and overall health of an individual.
2. The introvert
An introvert is a person who loves to be alone. These individuals enjoy quieter settings, making them feel more comfortable around others. The more time spent alone, the more they become satisfied with their company and do not need as much interaction with others to feel fulfilled. However, this stereotype is untrue if one can separate themselves from the world and only focus on the task. It is also important to realize that some introverts may need an outlet during their downtime when they are not working or are in intense situations (e.g., being interviewed).
3. The activist
The activist is a determined individual in every sense of the word. They are constantly striving to make a difference and feel they have no choice but to do so. These individuals will not stand by idly and wait for change to occur. They will do whatever they can to be an effective change agent, even if that means making unreasonable demands on those around them (e.g., giving up the family car). This stereotype is false because all people have unique talents and preferences; however, it can be challenging for some people (e.g., family members) to respect such demands when such intrusive behavior does not work for them or benefit other parties.
4. The entrepreneur
The entrepreneur is a determined person that loves to take risks. They love the challenge of creating something new and are driven to succeed. They do not always pay attention to details regarding the business itself. Still, they are excellent at assessing the marketability of a product based on their innovative spirit and well-defined perceptions about what will work. This stereotype is true in the sense that entrepreneurs are very creative individuals who enjoy being in control of their destinies. This stereotype is because entrepreneurs create new business ventures using their creativity as a driving force to create something that can benefit society.
According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, stereotypes are not created by individuals but rather exist within a culture or group in which they are transmitted as fact. They may be based on fiction or exaggerations, but they will become a part of one’s identity through repetition and insistence until they become true. The business community is no exception to this; however, some misconceptions hinder the industry for the sake of maintaining an outdated concept about what it takes to be successful. Awareness of accurate stereotypes can help those in business realize that perception can be deceiving.