Will the imposter phenomenon influence critical leadership competencies, specifically decision-making self-efficacy, and innovative work behavior? This prospective study will propose a framework to investigate the impact of the imposter phenomenon on essential leadership skills, focusing on exploring whether self-esteem acts as a mediating factor. The research will seek to evaluate the potential effects of the imposter phenomenon on leadership competencies, such as innovative work behavior and decision-making self-efficacy, among managers in South Africa. The significance of this proposed investigation stems from a recognized gap in previous studies addressing the relationship between the imposter phenomenon and these leadership skills within the South African context. By adopting a quantitative approach through a cross-sectional correlational survey design, the study aims to achieve its objectives by testing hypotheses and addressing pertinent research questions. The target population will comprise managers from both the public and private sectors in South Africa, and purposeful sampling will be employed to ensure a representative sample of leaders and managers. Analytical tools will be used for data analysis, including descriptive statistics, Cronbach alpha coefficients, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and structural equation modeling. The anticipated results are expected to reveal whether the imposter phenomenon has a detrimental effect on decision-making self-efficacy and innovative work behavior, with self-esteem as a mediating variable. The findings from this prospective study are anticipated to contribute to a heightened awareness of the imposter phenomenon, providing valuable insights for the better management and mitigation of its effects. The enhanced understanding of the imposter phenomenon can empower managers and leaders to make more effective decisions and exhibit innovative behavior.



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