Nottingham University Business School
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Leadership: Implications of the impostor phenomenon in the workplace

Online event
Tuesday 10th November 2020 (10:00-11:00)
Registration URL

While the impostor phenomenon (also known erroneously as imposter syndrome) is currently gaining public attention with snappy social media snippets, the breadth and scale of its impact on individuals in the workplace is not well understood and often underplayed. 

Far from being an experience that only exists in the mind of the individual, the cyclical suite of behaviours and thought patterns associated with an unwarranted ‘fear of being found out’ can have a real and lasting impact on organisations.

However, current research by Dr Theresa Simpkin into the illogical, but very real experience of perceived intellectual fraudulence, is now advancing over forty years of empirical investigation and illuminating the impact that imposter phenomenon (IP) has on workplaces and higher education institutions. 

Terri’s work illustrates that current workplace concerns such as disengagement from professional development, stalled succession and lack of productivity can be associated with the experience and behaviours of the impostor phenomenon (IP).

An underlying fear of failure, fear of being exposed as incompetent and maladaptive perfectionist behaviours are robbing individuals of enjoyment of their work, preventing recognition of individual achievement and cheating our organisations out of much valued talent.

This webinar takes a dual view of the impostor phenomenon and its impacts.  The session looks at the implications for individuals as well as how IP impacts and influences behaviours in the workplace.

What’s the session about?

The interactive session identifies what IP is and what it is not; unpicking the social media myth from the evidence-based reality.  Looking briefly at where it comes from, the session will highlight how individual potential and engagement with learning and development may be diminished.  Explore how IP might be addressed as part of the provision of learning and development activities in the workplace.

Who is this webinar for?

This session is designed for:

  • people with leadership, human resources management or learning and development responsibilities.
  • managers with a responsibility for the productivity and talent management of teams and individuals.

About our speaker

Dr Theresa (Terri) Simpkin is an Associate Professor and Head of MBA Programmes (International) & Director, Executive MBA & Senior Leadership Degree Apprenticeship at the  University of Nottingham.  She is an industry focused academic with a broad career that includes both vocational and higher education. She has worked internationally with industry associations,  large organisations and SMEs as a consultant and educator.  She is a chartered member of the CIPD and a Certified Practitioner of the Australian Human Resources Institute.  A keen supporter of technical education she is a Trustee of the Baker Dearing Trust and a STEM Ambassador.

She has advised the Tasmanian government on skills, labour and training strategies and informed the Australian Government on skills shortages and labour market issues. She is currently a member of the global advisory committee to the Data Centre Sector on skills, education and inclusion.

Key achievements as an educator include developing the first (and multiple award winning) hotel school in Tasmania, writing and delivering the world’s first and only Masters in Data Centre Leadership and Management being voted one of the 50 most influential women in the global data economy for her work on workforce development. Terri has also recently ben awarded the Agent of Change - Brynn Fowler award trophy at the Global Women in Tech and Telco Awards.

As an academic Terri is currently invested in examining emerging managerial and leadership paradigms for the fourth industrial age, contemporary inclusion practices and the impostor phenomenon (IP).  This work has a focus on inclusion, productivity, psychological health and the minimisation of implicit bias in organisational and social structures.





Nottingham University Business School

Jubilee Campus

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