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Presentation Master's Thesis - Chris Wiezer - Social Psychology

Last modified on 18-08-2022
“Dare to lead?”: Impostor feelings, perfectionism, and workplace loneliness in leaders
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Start date
22-08-2022 13:00
End date
22-08-2022 14:00

Roeterseilandcampus - Building G


Nieuwe Achtergracht 129-B



Researchers theorized that leaders could be at an increased risk of experiencing impostor feelings (leader impostorism) due to the high expectations associated with their elevated position in the organization, and that these high expectations might inspire perfectionism (Jackson, 2018; Kark et al., 2021). Some evidence also suggests that because of their elevated position and the burden of responsibility, leaders feel lonely in the workplace (Barling & Cloutier, 2017). However, no research has examined if leader impostorism and workplace loneliness are related and what potentially mediates this relationship. 

Therefore, this research used cross-sectional, self-report questionnaire data of 150 leaders to test if perfectionism mediated the relationship between leaders’ impostor feelings and workplace loneliness. It was also investigated whether perceived organizational support could buffer the relationship between leader impostorism and workplace loneliness. Results showed that impostor feelings in leaders were positively related to workplace loneliness and that this relationship was mediated by socially prescribed perfectionism, but not other forms of perfectionism. Perceived organizational support did not moderate this mediation, but it showed significant relationships with leader impostorism and workplace loneliness.