The Masked Employee: A qualitative investigation of the false performer’s unethical behaviour in the workplace

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

Conference: British Academy of Management (BAM)2012 Conference

Dates: 11-13 September 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, Formal Context FP, Trust in the Workplace, Colleague Reactions to FP, and Recommendations for Tackling FP. The practical implications of this research include fairer selection and evaluation processes, improved organisational ethics, and an increased understanding of individual employee morality.

Source: Manual

Preferred by: Gbola Gbadamosi