On the Trail of the False Performer: A qualitative investigation into how to detect unethical workplace behaviour

Authors: Dunnion, M., Gbadamosi, G. and Francis-Smythe, J.

Conference: The Fifth ISBEE World Congress 2012

Dates: 11-14 July 2012


The present study was undertaken to explore the relatively new concept of false performance (FP) in UK public service organisations, where it had not previously been examined. This paper aims to develop an understanding of how to detect false performers i.e. those individuals within the workplace who seek to improve their perceived performance at the expense of their actual performance. Both Management and Non-Management employees’ perceptions and experiences of FP were examined using qualitative focus group methodology and grounded theory data analysis. Participants were asked to discuss the unethical self-presentation behaviours which comprise FP in the workplace. The results identified five categories common to Management and Non-Management: Perceived FP Behaviours, Co-Worker Trust, Interview-Related FP, Recommendations for Tackling FP, and Work Relationships. One additional category, Differing Moralities, emerged for Non-Management. The practical implications of this research include fairer selection processes, improved organisational ethics, and an increased understanding of individual employee morality.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Gbola Gbadamosi