Sensemaking and Relational Consequences of Peer Co-worker Deception

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This exploratory study examined sensemaking of peer co-worker deception from the perception of the deceived. A total of 58 narrative accounts of deception were collected via face-to-face interviews with 23 employed adults. Analysis revealed four primary narratives of co-worker deception: corrupt system narratives, “cover your ass” (CYA) narratives, personal gain narratives, and personality trait narratives. Perceived motives and consequences were primary considerations in the sensemaking process and employees reported changing their communication patterns to avoid deceptive co-workers or hold them more accountable for their actions. The theoretical and practical implications of these results are discussed and suggestions for future research are posited.

Keywords: Co-worker Relationships; Deception; Lying; Narratives; Peer Workplace Relationships

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: March 1, 2011

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