A Conceptual Model of Impostor Phenomenon and Job Performance: Role of Vicarious Learning, Impression Management, and Self-Reflection


  • Huma Gorsi PhD Scholar, Department of Management, Dr Hasan Murad School of Management (HSM), University of Management & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. https://orcid.org/0009-0005-0655-2038
  • Syed Ahmad Ali Associate Professor, Department of Management, Dr Hasan Murad School of Management (HSM), University of Management & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Shahnila Tariq Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, School of Professional Psychology, University of Management & Technology, Lahore, Pakistan. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8240-1542




Impostor Phenomenon, Impression Management, Job Performance, Self-Reflection, Vicarious Learning


Impostor phenomenon (IP) is a psychological state in which individuals doubt their abilities and achievements and attribute them to external factors such as luck, chance, or deception. IP can have negative consequences for individuals’ well-being, motivation, and career development. However, little is known about how IP affects job performance and what factors can mitigate its impact. In this study, the authors proposes a conceptual model that links IP to job performance through three mediators: vicarious learning, impression management, and self-reflection. It also discusses the implications of the model for research and practice. The model suggests that IP can negatively affect job performance by hindering vicarious learning, impression management, and self-reflection. Through the use of this conceptual model and literature analysis, a total of 10 propositions were developed. Additionally, it might increase awareness to support therapies aimed at overcoming feelings of dishonesty that aid in developing people's skills to their fullest potential. The model also suggests that individual differences and contextual factors can moderate these relationships. The model provides a comprehensive and dynamic framework to understand and address the phenomenon of IP and its impact on job performance.


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How to Cite

Gorsi, H., Ali, S. A., & Tariq, S. (2023). A Conceptual Model of Impostor Phenomenon and Job Performance: Role of Vicarious Learning, Impression Management, and Self-Reflection. Journal of Professional & Applied Psychology, 4(3), 460–477. https://doi.org/10.52053/jpap.v4i3.183