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Organizational Behavior: The Devil Wears Prada
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The Devil Wears Prada is an outstanding movie that exposes the cultural and social forces that influence how employees relate in their organization. The movie is based on the interaction of employees of Runaway Fashion, a prominent fashion magazine that is at the center of fashion media (Weisberger, 2006). In analyzing the movie, it is possible to note the most of the themes reflect on fashion and competition in the fashion media. Nonetheless, a closer look at the characters would reveal that the movies open up the interactions between the employees and how these affect their behaviors in the organization. In the movie, Andrea finds a job as the assistant of Runaway Magazine as an assistant editor to Miranda Priestly, a demanding and powerful boss. Other characters in the movie such as Emily help the movies elucidate the complex relationship that employees can have at their workplace. In analyzing the movie, the attribution theory offers a focused approach necessary in analyzing various concepts such as leadership, perception, impression management and work family conflict.


The movie exposes Miranda, the chief editor of the Runaway Magazine a cruel leader who uses unconventional means to acquire power. In any organization, leadership is a crucial concept that influences the direction of the organization along with the relationship between employees. Because of this reason, leaders must employ meaningful approaches to gain support from employees to achieve the objective of the organization. In the movie, Miranda seems to have other ideas the makes her alpha woman, who is ready to create fear and respect by intimidating other employees. The interaction of Miranda and other employees signify the tactics she uses towards her employees. When Miranda arrives in the office, she talks to other employees using a patronizing tone and short commands. She does this to all employees without considering their experience in the company. In one instance, Miranda told Andrea to stop bothering her with questions when she responded to her instructions (Weisberger, 2006).

Throughout the movie, Miranda creates a niche for herself as tough leader who does not harbor any feeling for any persons. Interestingly, Miranda creates an intimidating environment where her co-workers fear and respect her because of her action. As an example, Miranda is not courteous when she speaks to her co-workers making her less likely to use words such as ' excuse me’. In addition, she does avoid making eye contact with her friends at work making them fear her not to mention threatening employees like Andre with dismissal. These tactics align with the theory of attribution that denotes that leaders can have pride or confidence due to their success. In movie, Miranda’s success allows her to overlook and doubt other employees.


Perception is another concept that can defines how employees work within an organization. The concept of perception entails how employees interpret various impression created by other people around them (Weisberger, 2006). In the Runaway Magazine, Andrea’s perception of Miranda is shaped by the social setting as well as the actions of Miranda. In the movie, Andrea’s perception largely develops because she attributes internal forces to Miranda’s action. For instance, Andrea is convincing that Miranda is a heartless woman became of her action both in work and at home. This helps explain why Andrea perceives Miranda to have a subordinating tone that makes her demand a lot from her employees. Furthermore, Andrea is also surprised when the goes up stairs only to meet Miranda arguing with her husband with the same tone she uses to address her employees. Andrea is also confident that Miranda’s approach is a result of internal force, but her thinking changes when Miranda talk to her about her husband.

Andrea’s notion that Miranda’s internal forces are responsible for her approach to work does not last for long. Miranda erodes this perception when she reveals to her that she is worried about her family because her husband was about to divorce her (Weisberger, 2006). As result, Miranda explained that her greatest worry was about her children that were about to have no one to call father in the life. Because of this unfortunate circumstance, the Andrea’s perception is about internal causation quickly changes. Because of Miranda’s conduct at the workplace, Andrea then believed that the fashion industry was responsible for the shaping Miranda into having a tough personality.

Miranda also had some negative perception of her employees in the beginning of the film. For instance, Miranda though of Andrea had no sense of fashion. Runaway Magazine hires Andrea chiefly because of her disheveled appearance because Miranda thought that Andrea would focus on her work instead. However, this perception makes Andrea change her ideas about fashion and she soon starts wearing expansive clothes. Nonetheless, it is clear that employees like Miranda can influence other people through their perception. Most important, this act illustrate that first impression can influence how influence regard their colleagues at their work place.

Impression Management

Impression management is another concept that the movie projects. According to Robbins and Langton (2007) individuals use impression management tactics to manage their impression and how others view them. In the movie, there are several characters who engage in various actions in order to derive favors. For instance, Miranda’s driver in an attempt to have Miranda like his work sent a text message to other employees that Miranda was coming to work early. This event triggered the employees to react to action, but it made the driver create a positive impression before Miranda that he was doing his work well and revered Miranda as her driver.

Most importantly, Miranda also takes part in impression management because of her actions. When relating with other employees, Miranda creates an impression of a tough woman who does not seem to have feelings for other employees. This the distance she creates when interacting with other employees reinforces her decision to create an impression of a successful woman. In addition, Emily also promotes herself as one of the most respected employers of Runaway Magazine. This is a form of impression management technique that enhances her position in relation to those of other employees working for Runaway Magazine (Locke, 2009). This strategy is evident when Emily explains why her duties are more essential than those of Andrea. Emily mentions that running Miranda’s schedule and organizing travels for Miranda are the most critical functions that surpass the role of Andrea. These events are a perfect example of impression management in the movie.


Certainly, the movie The Devil Wears Prada provides immense into various aspects of organization such as perception, leadership and impression management. Miranda, the chief editor of Runaway Magazine use fear and intimidation, to earn herself as a tough leader. In addition, she appears heartless and often fond of using a parochial tone when addressing not only her colleagues, but he husbands, as well. Emily, another important character, practice impression management, which allows her to make herself appear to have value more than Andrea whose roles are less significant. On the other hand, Andre is convinced that Miranda’s actions are shaped by her experience in fashion, while Miranda believes that Andrea has no sense of style. All these aspect reinforces the tenets of attribution theory, which explains their causes.

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