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An extension of Goffman's front and back stages

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Title:
An extension of Goffman's front and back stages emphasis on authenticity in the workplace
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Allison, Susan Wigington
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Language:
English
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vii, 90 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Social role -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
Work -- Psychological aspects ( lcsh )
Self-presentation ( lcsh )
Personality and situation ( lcsh )
Role conflict ( lcsh )
Personality and situation ( fast )
Role conflict ( fast )
Self-presentation ( fast )
Social role -- Psychological aspects ( fast )
Work -- Psychological aspects ( fast )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 88-90).
General Note:
Department of Sociology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Susan Wigington Allison.

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|University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
44104854 ( OCLC )
ocm44104854
Classification:
LD1190.L66 1999m .A55 ( lcc )

Full Text
AN EXTENSION OF GOFFMAN'S FRONT AND BACK STAGES:
EMPHASIS ON AUTHENTICITY IN THE WORKPLACE
by
Susan Wigington Allison
B.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1997
M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 1999
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Sociology
1999


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Susan Wigington Allison
has been approved
LU2M3.1
Date


Allison, Susan Wigington (M.A., Sociology)
An Extension of Goffman's Front and Back Stages: Emphasis on
Authenticity in the Workplace
Thesis directed by Associate Professor Candan Duran-Aydintug
ABSTRACT
Since the beginning of time, it appears that human beings have been asking
the same question s about life and themselves. The one question that
continues to surface in each new era revolves around the idea of authenticity.
Who exactly is the 'real me'. The information from the data analysis of this
study suggests that people are selective regarding what part and how much
of themselves they are willing to expose in each situation and interaction. In
those situations with the highest amount of power imbalance, the
respondents confessed to more conformity to expectations and less reflection
of their 'true self.' This revelation sparked an interest in just what affect this
'inauthenticity' has on the workers and on the workplace. Seventy-four
percent of the participants defined an thenticity as being real or being your
true self. When asked when they wei e the most inauthentic, thirty-two
percent answered in their workplace. Eighty-nine percent said they felt
fragmented and stressed as a result of playing many roles. Additionally,
seventy-one percent of the respondents admitted having difficulty
transitioning from one role to another with thirty-eight percent mentioning
the shift from their work role to their home role. When asked what
contribution being authentic on the job would make to them, ninety-four
percent said they would feel more relaxed, less stressed and would have more
to give the job. When asked what contribution being authentic on the job
would make to the job, seventy-six percent said they would be more
productive, faster, and more efficient. In our society, today, most people
have to work to provide themselves and their families with the necessities of
life. With the work force growing each year, a larger number of people is
spending more hours in the workplace. Findings justify that authenticity on
the job is a significant factor which has been ignored or overlooked until
111


recently. This one component may be used in the future to change work
conditions for workers, and the face of the workplace.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I
recommend its publication.
Signed ^
Candan Duran-Aydintug
IV


DEDICATION
I dedicate this thesis to my parents, John and Sally Allison,
who gave me intelligence, humor, spirit, and heart; who acknowledged my
every effort and who supported my cause with love, financial aid, and endless
encouragement and faith.
To my children, my handsome and loving son, Shawn Wigington, who
is always there for me regardless of the request or need; my radiant
daughter, Staci Wigington who has given me joy throughout her entire life;
to my beautiful grandson, Trevon Avery Lavoe Graham, who is the light of
my life; and to my daughter-in-law, Galen, for always wanting to protect me,
and for her willingness to listen and understand. I thank you all for loving
me in spite of always having to wait for me to finish something for school.
To my unbelievably generous and understanding partner, Rick
Endriss, who never ran out of patience, money, dinners out so that I wouldn't
have to cook (and so he could eat), and spontaneous movie-going trips to save
my sanity.
Also, tc my siblings and families, Chuck and Cheri Allison, John,
Susie, and Rote Allison, and Jennifer and Ashley Allison for their continued
support and interest. My heart-felt thanks to my family (parents, siblings,
aunts, uncles, cousins) across the country for thi ir support and enthusiasm
which greeted my every accomplishment as if it were my first. And, to my
friends, Emily, Shelley, and Candan, who would not let me quit school for the
'good job' in CA.
Also, to my many good friends already in the 'real world' who were
always there for me with support, understanding, and patience; Judy
Vandal, Drew and Bonnie Schrupp, Shelley Kelley, the Breakfast Club gang,
Sandie, Bonnie, and Sharon, Jeannie Wilkie, and Loraine janvier and sons;
to all of you who offered unconditionally your humor and wisdom, endless
support and encouragement, patience and understanding; who patiently
supported my efforts with love, mental health vacations, TLC, and anything
else I needed over the past eight and a half years of my journey...this could
not have become a reality without all of you... and I am eternally grateful.
Also to Gypsy who secretly exercised my body and relaxed my mind
by dragging me out to play ball at all hours of the day and night.
I love you all.


ACKNOWLEDGMENT
My eternal thanks to my friend, mentor, and galactic guide, Professor
Candan Duran-Aydintug for her vision, confidence, and trust; for her ability
to see my potential; for her endless patience; and for her kind and loving
spirit. I also thank her family, Kemal and Baris Aydintug, for their
graciousness and generosity in sharing their wife and mother with students
in need.
My most genuine gratitude to my committee members, Candan
Duran-Aydintug, Leigh Ingram, and John Winterton, for their willingness to
contribute their knc wledge, time, and direction to my effort.
Many thanki also to Rachel Watson, the Sociology Department
Administrative Assistant and 'solver of all problems', who regardless of the
request or need always covered my ass.
I can hardly express my gratitude to the fellow students I met along
the way who became friends, mutual supporters, and sometimes sanity-
savers. Know you are loved. My special thanks to Shelley K. and Lisa W.
for all of the above and more. Thanks also to the Sociology Club officers,
Fredda and Adam, and the Adolescent Fathers team, Candan and Adam, for
allowing me to take the time I needed for my study and thesis. I know I owe
you.
And last but not least, I thank all of the Sociology Graduate School
faculty for their immeasurable patience, their willingness to assist and advise,
and their much needed, appreciated, and often well-timed humor.
Now that I think of it, the humor thing goes to everyone. There were
many times when humor saved lives, salvaged sanity, and added joy to the
many days we experienced......and survived.......together.
Thank you all.


CONTENTS
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION........................1
Purpose of the Study. ... 3
2. LITERATURE REVIEW .... 4
Theoretical Background ... 4
3. METHODS..................................13
Sample I and H . . . 13
Sample Characteristics I and H . 13
Measurement I and II ... 14
4. FINDINGS.................................16
Study I ..... 16
Study n Part I .... 22
Study n Part H . . . 32
5. DISCUSSION AND LIMITATIONS . . 35
APPENDIX........................................ 38
A. INTERVIEW SCHEDULE STUDY I . . 39
B. INTERVIEW SCHEDULE STUDY H . . 45
C. ANALYSIS.................................54
BIBLIOGRAPHY...................................74


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Since the human species have been able to think critically, they have
been asking the same questions about life and themselves. One question that
continues to surface centers around the idea of authenticity as one ponders
the idea of what precisely is the "real me?" In his quote, "May the inward
and outward man be one", Socrates (470-399 B.C.) addressed this issue by
inferring that the authentic person would be the same inside his/her self
(private world) as he/she would be on the outside in what was presented to
the world (public world). Over time, theorists have peeled away what they
believed to be the thin veils of our hidden parts in an effort to expose our
substance. In doing so, they hoped to find the key factors, or common
denominators, that could not only be applied to help understand each
individual, but could also be used to empirically study and understand
humankind as a whole.
At this time, in the field of social psychology one of the biggest debates
is whether or not we are becoming so fragmented by the demands of today's
postmodern society that we are becoming "socially satiated", as Kenneth
Gergen termed it in his book, The Saturated Self (1991). He goes on to say
that this could mean that we are unable to unify our many selves and as a
result are unable to be really authentic or develop a true or real self.
In my first study, "Roles, Identities, and Authenticity in Self-
1


Presentation", my interest was in how people defined authenticity in relation
to the many roles they played, their identities, and their self-presentations,
and how they thought this impacted their lives. The question is whether or
not authenticity is possible, and if so, what does that entail. The search
begins for an individual as he/she attempts to discover themselves (the self).
Is there a core self that exists regardless of what role is being played, or of
what interaction an individual finds themselves a part of? Do people change
their presentations to adjust to each new interaction or situation, and if they
do, is their core self still firmly planted within them? How do individuals see
themselves as they play their many different roles, and do they change as
they shift from one role to another? Although the well known sociologist,
Erving Goffman (1959 did not believe in a core self, the results of this study
will bear out an opposing belief held by most individuals.
Another important question asks where individuals feel they are the
most authentic and the most inauthentic. Most people have the majority of
their time divided between their home and their job which are good examples
of our private and public worlds. The question that arises is whether
individuals are the same within these two significant domains? An
overwhelming number of respondents revealed being more authentic in their
home situations, and more inauthentic in their work environments.
The second study, "Roles, Authenticity in Seif-Presentation in the
Workplace" was designed to investigate people's beliefs regarding roles,
authenticity, and self-presentation specifically in the workplace. It is
apparent from the findings of the second study that a majority of individuals
2


believes that authenticity in the workplace is impossible unless one is self-
employed or in a workplace that offers significant autonomy.
With the work force growing each year, an increasingly larger
number of people are spending more of their hours in their workplace,
intensifying the importance of this issue. The focus then rests upon two
components: authenticity of self and authenticity in the workplace.
3


CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Erving GofTman in well known book, Presentation of Self in
Everyday Life (1959), intrcdi ced his dramaturgical concept in which he
viewed the self, social interaction, and life as theatrical productions.
Through this perspective, all individuals become actors who play out
different roles with each other in an effort to influence the situation by
producing a certain definition of themselves and the interaction. Also known
as impression management, the process usually produces an unstated
agreement between all involved as to the definition of each participating
individual, or actor, and of each specific situation in which they are involved.
Additionally, Goffman maintained that the participants would usually work
together, whether consciously or subconsciously, to support their individual
and group impressions.
Goffman's (1959) view of self is highly situational and additionally
contingent on the response of others. Even though he emphasized that actors
in a situation present themselves in a certain way, he was skeptical about a
core self which is supposed to be transituational and part of an individual's
personality. In most of his writings he argued that individuals do not have
an underlying personality or identity that is carried from situation to
situation. He claimed that even though people in interactions often conclude
that somebody's presented self enables them to see at least a part of a more
4


coherent and core self. However, he thought that this is a mistaken belief as
there is no explanation that justifies our thinking that what we observe in an
individual from one time to the next, from what that person makes available
to us, has any connection to what we are allowed to discover on other
occasions. It should be noted that in Goffman's (1959) work the individuals
are the stage actors who put on an often cynical and deceptive performance
and manipulate the script, stage, props, and roles for their purposes. These
actors are presenting a kind of "con-man" performance.
Goftman (1959) developed the concept of the front and the back stage.
Briefly, the front and back stages represent our public and private selves.
The front stage is the self that we show the world. Usually, this self has been
socialized, or well indoctrinated, in the society's cultural norms and rules,
and well rehearsed in the best way to present itself so as to accomplish the
desired goals in what would be seen as suitable to others. It is here that the
individual is most concerned with his/her impression management. This is
where everything must be appropriate for the desired effect, because it is
here that the individual is being constantly observed by the audience.
By contrast, Goflman (1959) thought that the back stage is the private
part of the individual's life, kept separate from the public world, where the
individual can relax. This provides the individual with the opportunity to
make adjustments in his/her impression management techniques, a fine
tuning of his/her skills, so to speak. Supposedly, the back stage is where an
individual can be his/her self, because it is here that he/she is not being
continually observed.
5


This infers that an individual's 'real self, or authentic self, can be
found in the back stage region. It would seem that it would also be here that
an individual would find security. In an effort to parallel this concept with
Ralph Turner's (1968) work, it could be said that it is in the front stage that
our self images are found because they are the result of our social interactions
with others, while our self conception resides in the back stage as it is a part
of our private self, formed by our inner conversing, or self talk.
According to Turner (1968), our self images are reflected to us
through others' responses as a result of our social interactions. He stated
that the self image is what we see during any interaction. It changes from
time to time, situation to situation, may be present in multiples depending on
how many and which people are c ^serving the individual, and is processed as
being real, phony, etc., as each imr ge is studied and evaluated.
Additionally, Turner (1968) stated that self conception is that V.hich
we consider to be the 'real me', and although it is not static, it changes much
more slowly and subtly so that it can offer a certain amount of security to an
individual. Turner further stated that we are constantly editing our self
conceptions as a result of our experiences with the many self-images we have
bombarding i s each day. This is reminiscent of the process of adjustment
which Goffmiii (1959) said occurred in the back stage during the fine tuning
of our impression management techniques.
Moreover, Turner (1968) posed the idea that our self conception is
tied to our values, goals, and aspirations, and is the standard of comparison
used to evaluate, qualify or discount, self images presented to us. Although
6


the process may be the same, the standard is different for each person. This
means then that each individual's 'real me' will also differ, although there
may still be similarities. Furthermore, because of the gradual changes in
each person's self conceptions, their 'real me' or 'core self, may well change
as they experience personal growth over time. This change may or may not
be obvious to others.
In his discussions regarding moral order, cultural structuralist Robert
Wuthnow (1987), stated that it entails the following three things: first, the
construction of systems of cultural codes; second, the emission of rituals; and
lastly, mobilization of resources to produce and sustain these cultural codes
and rituals. He defined moral code as & collection of cultural elements that
frame the nature of commitment to a specific course of conduct. Three basic
distinctions are crucial to the structuring of the moral code. One of these
distinctions is the core self versus enacted social roles. The structure of the
moral code must, in his view, distinguish between a person's 'real self or
'true self and the various roles he/she plays. Moral structures always link
self worth and behavior but at the same time, allow them to be distingued so
that there is a 'real me' who is morally worthy and who can be separated
from the roles that can potentially compromise this sense of self worth
Not unlike Wuthnow's three elements of the moral code, Biddle (1986)
states that role theory is concerned with a triad of concepts: patterned social
behavior, parts of identities that are assumed by social participants, and
scripts or expectations for behavior that are understood by all and adhered
to by role performers. However, starting with the earliest proponents of role
7


theory, there is considerable confusion resulting in differences in the
definition of the term role and in the way role terms are used (Banton, 1965;
Coulson, 1972; Heiss, 1981). Nevertheless, many scholars agree that a social
role consists of rights and duties, or expectations associated with a given
social position. These rights and duties are manifest in a set of expected
behaviors.
According to Turner (1990), a social role is understood as "...a
comprehensive pattern of behavior and attitudes, constituting a strategy for
coping with a recurrent set of situations, which is socially identified more or
less clearly as an entity (p. 87)." A social role can be performed
recognizably by different individuals, and supplies a method for identifying
and placing individuals in a group, organization, or society (Turner, 1968).
However, individuals enacting the same role have considerable freedom in
how they express themselves in the role (Sarbin and Allen, 1968; Turner,
1962). In this understanding, the individual's role-playing will be influenced
not only by the expectations from the audience, but from self-related
characteristics and his/her role-playing skills as well (Biddle, 1979; Turner,
1990).
Traditionally role theorists have been divided into two camps: the
structuralists (structural role theory) and the interactionists (process role
theory) (Turner, 1990). Even though many claim that there are basic
differences between these camps, some argue that these different ideas are
enriching and they complement each other (Heiss, 1981; Merton, 1975).
In any social role, the individual is related to numerous other
8


individuals each of whom may have different expectations for him/her in that
given role. For example, the role of an older graduate student involves
relating to other graduate students, faculty members, office staff, partner,
children, grandchildren, etc. A role set summarizes all of the role
relationships in which an individual is involved by virtue of occupying a
single status (Merton, 1957). The individual behaves somewhat differently
when interacting with each member of the role set because of the variation of
their expectations. On a given day, an individual commonly takes part in a
number of different social structures, such as family, school, and work, so the
individual is called upon to adjust from one role set to another at short
notice. Even though, through socialization processes, the individuals in a
given society become skilled at making the transition from one set of
expectations to another, there always exists the possibility of
misunderstandings and problems in attempting to satisfy each specific role.
According to Goode (1960), role strain is a general term for the
experienced difficulties in fulfilling role obligations, and it is a pervasive
feature of any complicated social system (Merton and Barber, 1975). The
major causes of role strain are role conflict and role confusion. Frequently,
the individual within a role set experiences intra-role conflict because of the
conflicting expectations from different members of the role set (Goode, 1960;
Gross, Mason, and McEachern, 1958; Merton and Barber, 1963). The
individual may also experience inter-role conflict because of the competing
roles he/she occupies. Role confusion occurs when an individual enters a
social situation for which no clear role is established.
9


At this time, in the field of social psychology one of the biggest debates
is whether or not we are becoming so fragmented by the demands of today's
postmodern society that we are becoming "socially satiated", as Kenneth
Gergen termed it in his book, The Saturated Self (1991). This is directly
related to the concepts of role conflict, role strain, and role confusion. The
members of today's postmodern society often appear to be stressed and
confused regarding their many roles and the expectations of each. Gergen
goes on to say that this could mean that we are unable to unify our many
selves and as a result are unable to be really authentic or develop a true or
real self.
A central concept for interactionists, but also for structuralists, is role-
taking. Role-taking (Mead, 1934; Blumer, 1953) can be defined simply as the
ability to assume the viewpoint of another person. According to Mead
(1934), one's ability to take into account the perspectives of others is at the
very basis of social order. The development of role-taking is essential to
human cooperation ai; d social organization, as is needed in social institutions
such as the family and the workplace. Role-taking is an interactive and
reciprocal act in which all participants in a social situation simultaneously
use clues to assume one another's intentions (Blumer, 1953). In the role-
taking process, the individual devising a performance, is also involved in
role-making as the role of the other can only be inferred by him/her rather
than directly known (Turner, 1962). Therefore, in the interactionists
tradition role-taking and role-making are seen as necessary processes which
constitute the groupings of behavior into units (Turner, 1962).
10


Research has shown that the identities of the individuals performing
various roles are closely connected to the roles they play also. Based on the
work of Burke and Tully (1977), McCall and Simmons (1978), and Stryker
(1968,1980), identity theory states that one's self concept is organized into a
hierarchy of role-identities that correspond to one's positions in the social
structi: re. That means to say, role-identities, or the meanings that one (and
others] attributes to a person in a role (Burke and Reitzes, 1981), provide the
conne tion between self-conceptions and social structures (Gecas, 1982).
According to Stryker: "The self is se^n as embracing multiple identities
linked to the roles and role relationships that constitute significant elements
of social structures (1979, p:177)." One notable variation in the way role-
identities are expressed is their hierarchical structuring (McCall and
Simmons, 1978; Stryker, 1968,1980).
The relevant importance of a given role-identity in one's self-concept,
generally referred to as the salience of the role-identities, is better understood
through the concept of commitment (Stryker, 1979). Stryker states that
one's commitment to a role-identity depends on the degree that one is
enmeshed in social structure: the greater the focus of commitment on a role-
identity, the more salient it will be.
Closely connected, Turner (1978) argues that person (self) and role
are said to be merged when there is a systematic pattern involving failure of
role compartmentalization, resistance to abandoning a role in the face of
beneficial options in roles, and the acquiring of role appropriate attitudes.
Additionally, one's self-concept also helps to determine the importance of
11


roles.
Most explanations of variation in role-identity salience have focused
on social context variables. Consequently, the degree to which significant
others identify the individual with the role-identity (Turner, 1978), the
amount of social support one receives in the role-identity (McCall and
Simmons, 1978), and the relative size of ones social network linked to the
role-identity (Stryker, 1980), are all seen as instrumental variables affecting
the strength, salience, or centrality of role-identities.
An important implication of role-identity salience is found in its
connection with behavior: the more salient the role-identity, the higher the
probability that the individual will behave consistently with that identity.
Role-identity salience is seen as "an important predictor of behavior"
(Stryker, 1968, p:560). When faced with an opportunity to participate in
some activity, a choice must be made and role-identities effect the decision
(Burke and Reitzes, 1981). The behavior that results from this choice has
meanings that correspond to and display the role-identity meanings of the
individual (Burke and Reitzes, 1981). According to Burke and Reitzes (1981,
p:91), role-identities are then "...like a compass helping us steer a course of
interaction in a sea of social meaning."
If role-identity salience is indeed a good predictor of behavior
(Stryker, 1968), can this contribute to our authenticity? If our self-images
and self-concepts are formed directly and indirectly through our social
interactions with others, and if our behavior can be predicted by the strength
of our connection to the roles we play, how does the compilation of these
12


factors impact our authenticity?
As Gecas (1982) posits, self is a process that results from the talks
between the 'I' and the 'me'. Additionally, the self-concept is a product of
this process, and "...is the concept the individual has of himself as a physical,
social, and spiritual or moral being (p. 3)." Goffman (1959) also saw us as
simultaneously the architects and the essence of our social interactions
(Gecas, 1982). How does authenticity emerge from this soup of ideas?
Rebecca Erickson (1995) stated in her article, "'The Importance of
Authenticity for Self and Society" that one of social psychologys main tenets
revolves around the idea of self and society as reflectioii s of each other.
Additionally, she says that authenticity has become mere important in our
society since the transition of our culture from modern to postmodern. It is
her belief that this interest has grown especially since the 1960's as our
society becomes more and more concerned with the ability to find our "real
selves." Erickson defines authenticity in terms of individuals' commitment to
their own values (1995). This concern has also been expressed in the recent
works of Kenneth Gergen (1991) and Viktor Gecas (1986). The prevailing
concern is that we as a society have become so fragmented that we have lost
whatever focal point, or core, that it was that kept us centered on our values,
morals, and beliefs.
Erickson (1995) suggests there that are two main points that need to
be accepted in order to study authenticity. The first is that authenticity is
not a concrete state, but one that shifts degrees of more or less. The second
idea is that individuals are complicated, fluid, and often uncertain beings
13


who are able to express ambiguous shades of authenticity at any moment.
This, however, does not necessarily reduce an individual to an inauthentic
individual.
It is here that one must ask why the concept of authenticity is so
important. Erickson (1995) points out, as the rest of us have seen, that our
society is controlled by the power of image, an idea pointed out by Goffman
(1959) over thirty-five years ago. Most of us have learned how best to
package ourselves in order to get the desired effects. That one phrase, "to
get the desired effects", is the springboard for the debate around
authenticity. Unclear, confusing, and paradoxical, authenticity has become
one of today's most sought-after topics for understanding.
Given the literature discussed above, it appears that there is a void
regarding individuals' understanding of their authenticity. This dearth in
the readings left me with several important research questions. The present
studies have been designed to answer the following:
1. Do people feel they are playing more roles today than their parents or
grandparents did?
2. Are people experiencing fragmentation as a result of playing an excessive
amount of roles in their lives?
3. If people are playing many roles and feeling fragmented as a result, do
they feel that this impacts them in any way?
4. Do people believe that they have a 'core self. If so, how do they define it,
and do they feel that it is important in their self-presentations?
5. When (playing what roles) do people feel they are the most authentic in
14


their day-to-day self-presentations?
6. When (playing what roles do people feel they are the most inauthentic in
their day-to-day self-presentations?
7. What are the significant differences bet\ een the two?
8. Do people think that they can remain ai thentic in each of their
interactions regardless of what they are presenting?
9. Do people like authenticity in others when interacting with them.
10. Do people feel that they can be authentic in their work roles?
11. If not, what impact do they think this has on them; on the job?
12. Do people think that they can be authentic all of the time?
15


CHAPTER 3
METHODS
Sample
The samples for Study I and Study U each consisted of a small non-
representative sample. In the first study, "Roles, Identities, and Authenticity
in Self-Presentation" there were 19 participants. Study H, "Roles,
Authenticity in Self-Presentation in the Workplace" consisted of 17
participants. The same procedures were used in both studies to find
participants. These respondents were located through availability and the
snowballing method. In the beginning, I talked to a several people about the
study. Many volunteered to participate, and they also suggested other
individuals that they thought would be interested. Additionally, I was
approached by people who wanted to volunteer to be a part of the study after
they had heard about it from friends. This process continued until the
interviewing was completed.
Sample Characteristics
Respondents in Study I consisted of thirteen women and six men who
were predominately white with only 2 Hispanic and 1 Black respondents.
Their ages ranged from 22 years to 51 years old with a mean of 37 years.
Their incomes ranged from $11,000 to over $61,000 with an
average annual income of $27,265. Of the participants 42% were married,
16


32% were single and cohabitating, and 26% were single. Sixty-eight percent
of the respondents had completed three to seven years of college with the
remainder having completed high school to two years of college.
In Study II there were eleven women and six men whose ages ranged
from 29 to 77 with a mean of 53, and again who were predominately white
with only one Black respondent. The respondents' incomes ranged from
$11,000 to $50,000 with an average income of $27,206. Of the participants
41% were married, 35% were single and cohabitating, 12% were single, and
12% were widowed. Regarding education, 59% of the respondents had
finished high school, had some college, or had completed two years of college.
Of the remaining participants, 41% had finished four to seven years of
college.
In order to obtain the necessary information for the research for this
study, a different interview schedule was designed for each in which there
were thirteen questions at the beginning concerning demographic
information. Following the thirteen demographic questions, there were
forty-six open-ended questions in Study I (See Appendix A) and 59 open-
ended questions in Study II (See Appendix B). The procedure for both Study
I and Study II were the same. After the interview schedule was designed and
a few pretests interviews had been concluded, the actual study began. The
interview schedule was followed without any change from one respondent to
another. The interviews took place in my home or in the respondent's home,
and most of the interviews lasted approximately sixty to ninety minutes.
17


I called each respondent and set a date, time, and place for our
interview that would be at their convenience. Before each interview began,
the respondents were asked for their permission to tape record the interview
and to take notes. Each was assured confidentiality, and that there would be
no identifying elements used on the tape recordings or typed transcriptions.
Additionally, they were told that at any point the tape could be turned off if
they requested for any "off the record information." It was also understood
that their voluntary participation included that they could withdraw from
the research at any time they wanted, however none of the respondents did
so. I used probes for the open ended questions to gather additional
information when necessary. And lastly, I specified that their participation
would cause no physical or emotional harm.
I ended each interview by thanking the respondents for their
participation. At that time, they were also told that the results of the study
would be made available to them if they would like to have a copy when the
study was completed.
After each interview, I wrote up the field notes regarding the
interview and the assessment items to possibly be used during data analysis.
The interviews were transcribed immediately after the interview session
verbatim, and each was given its own particular code name. Each
respondent was asked for his/her suggestions regarding areas that he/she
thought needed more depth, or more or less focus. A letter of thanks was
sent to each respondent shortly after their interview. AH respondents
expressed interest in the study.
18


CHAPTER 4
FINDINGS
Study I
Six emergent categories developed from the data in Study I. The first
section is "People Playing Roles." This first sequence of questions was
developed to gather information regarding the respondents' opinions about
roles that they were currently playing, the differences that might exist
between their roles, and role related stress.
Most of the respondents (74%) mentioned the role of spouse/partner
or family member as their most important role, and as their least important
role, many mentioned the role of employee (58%). When asked if they
played more roles than their parents or grandparents, 74% answered yes.
One respondent said,
Absolutely. My mother never worked outside the
house, never had a job. I've worked since the day
I was married and never stopped. My grandmother
...never worked outside the house, was very protected
by her husband. She was just like a piece of china,
put on a shelf, taken care of, pampered. I'm totally
the opposite, thrown out to the wolves everyday.
(S1006=0297F)
All of the respondents (100%) said they definitely experienced stress
as a result of the many different roles they played. They said the stress came
from the combination of their roles, and most specifically, mentioned the
conflict between the roles they played at home and work. Of the
19


respondents, 95% thought that other people were in a similar situation in
which they experienced role conflict. Over half (63%) of the respondents
stated that women play more roles than men, invest more of themselves in
these roles through emotions, energy, and time, become more personally
involved, and have more demanding roles. As one male respondent said,
Men play maybe the same number of roles that
women do, even though I'd say women probably
do more, in general. No matter what, men are
not as much invested in their roles, that comes
with being a man. Women, they are invested in
their roles, lots of emotions in each...they own
roles, men are more likely just to play them. If
women had realized it...actually they are much
more powerful than they seem to understand,
simply because of the way they play their roles.
You want something done, whatever it may be,
passionately, let a woman do it. (S1004=0297M)
The second category is entitled "Different Roles, Different Selves" and
was related to the process of presenting selves to others. The majority (89%)
of the respondents said they did present different selves to others and often
felt fragmented as a result. As one respondent commented,
But you have to. This is not a choice. It is all
about the structure and what you are supposed
to do in that structure. From the moment you
are born...the structure starts, and the structure
is everywhere. Then as you go through life your
own experiences get added to it and you learn
you pull the certain filters up whenever
appropriate, and you learn to put on certain
selves whenever appropriate. Who you are and
how you see things do affect how you are going
to present yourself. (S004=0297M)
20


In contrast to Goffman's view regarding the existence of a core self,
95% of the respondents believed that they had certain characteristics that
remained the same in interactions regardless of presenting different aspects
of themselves; in other words, they believed that they had a core self that
withstood any apparent changes in their external expressions or behavior.
When asked if they changed their behavior for different groups or
individuals, 80% admitted to this practice. One respondent said,
I'm totally comfortable with it because each
group or person is a different set of circum-
stances, a different context...it's all the same
core reacting...so, it's just a different set of
circumstance each time. (S1017=0398M)
In contrast another respondent commented, "This happens to me all
the time, my friend. Comfortable with it? I'll never be comfortable with it.
Bunch of actors we are and some of us really stink at acting, you know
(SI003=0297F)."
The third category is "Authentic Self, Real Self' which addressed the
definition of authenticity and motivation. Regarding the question are you
authentic to yourself, 58% of the participants answered yes; but in answering
who knows the real you, 53% answered only a few people, those closest to
them, 26% said only myself, 16% stated nobody, and 5% said everyone.
When asked to define authenticity, 74% said that it was being real, or
being genuine no matter what. When asked under what circumstances they
would present their real selves, almost half said it would depend on the
situation, and the remaining answers ranged from 24 hours a day to
never, for fear of punishment.
21


Almost one-third of the respondents (32%) said they were the most
inauthentic in their workplace, 13% stated in new situations or around new
people, 16% mentioned when they were stressed, intimidated, or ill, and the
rest said they were inauthentic when they wanted something, never, or they
didn't think about it. When asked what motivated them to be authentic or
inauthentic, one respondent summed up the answers by saying, "What
motivates me to be inauthentic is fear of exposing myself, and what motivates
me to be authentic is fear of losing myself (S1009=0297F)."
The fourth category is "I Wish People Were More Authentic." A
large majority (89%) stated that authenticity was important in all of their
interactions, but especially with people closest to them. They went on to say
that it was needed in order to develop trust and respect. Interestingly, these
same respondents (53%) felt that most other people were not authentic.
Their sentiments were summarized in the words of one respondent who said,
"We all manage to live, to have relationships, and to have jobs without being
very authentic, don't we (S1003=0297F)." A second respondent commented,
"I think they are not, we all are conforming too much. Conformity and
authenticity don't go together (S1005=z0297F)."
Many respondents questioned the possibility of authenticity because
they believed that the socialization process, the pressure to conform to fit in,
taught people from an early age not be themselves (authentic). "Authenticity
gets punished" appeared to be a major theme shared by several respondents.
Many reported that children were the only people who were authentic to
them, because they haven't learned yet to deceive. And another
22


respondent mentioned that "Kids...don't try to impress you, they don't try to
be politically correct. They see things the way things are. Then they get
corrupted (S1005=0297F)."
The fifth category is "Different Roles, Different Selves: Authenticity."
One of the important issues explored in this study was whether respondents
perceived that their authenticity was affected by the many roles they played.
A majority (74%) said that the roles they played forced them to present
inauthentic selves. Many gave examples of front stage roles, especially roles
played at the work place, insisting that this role did not allow for
authenticity.
A related qu estion explored the possibility of becoming inauthentic to
oneself as a result of playing too many roles, many of which may require
inauthentic self presentations. Well over two-thirds (68%) of the
respondents wholeheartedly agreed with this. Emphasized again were the
demands of the rores played, especially at work in explanation of how one
comes to own their inauthenticity. Out of these respondents, one also
highlighted roles one plays in the backstage. "Even when you are interacting
with your spouse, you play a role, you do the expected things, then you
wonder who acted this way, but it's too late, it crept in on you and took you
over (S1001=0297F)."
The last of the categories is "Self Presentation and Authenticity."
Over half of the respondents (58%) said that when it comes to self
presentation, they made a distinction between the "public life" and the
"private world." Public life referred mainly to the workplace, and the
23


private world was defined as hone "where one can let one's hair down."
Again over half of the participants (53%) specifically mentioned that there
had to be more than the public and private selves. One said,
You face yourself and you become your
own mirror when you are all alone...You
know what you have done, why you have
done those things, how you actually felt
and all that. You may actually repress
them, but self interacting with self is a
totally different arena. (S1004=0297M)
Some called these self indications a talk with the private self or
internal self. Even though these different self presentations were
acknowledged, 68% said that one could still present these different selves in
an authentic say.
Of the respondents, 80% mentioned that they were expected by others
to project a certain kind of image in their roles, especially regarding
emotions. These expectations were felt not only from colleagues at work, but
at home with family members, and with close friends. They (58%) said that
at times they take some of expectations too seriously to the point of them
becoming a part of them. As one respondent said,
Am I always cheerful, do I always feel
cheerful and bubbly, I don't think so, but
I do it, especially at home. I don't want
to disappoint my husband at home, my
students at school. Then I think, I am
trapped and I can't get out of it. (S1001=0297F)
This was seen as potentially damaging because as one respondent
mentioned, "You may become a persona you really are not (S1006=0297F)."
24


Study II Part I
In the first part of Study II, the same six emergent categories were
developed from the data. The first category is "People Playing Roles." On
the interveiw schedule for this study, the first sequence of questions was
designed to gather information regarding the respondents* opinions abut
roles they were currently playing, the differences that might exist between
their roles, and role related stress.
Many respondents (65%) stated that the role most important to them
was that of spouse/partner. The role least important to this group of
respondents (71%) was the role of employee. This figure represents a
significant difference with an increase of 13% from the 1997 study. In
comparison, the figures for the most important role of spouse/partner had
also changed showing a 9% decrease in this study. When asked if they play
more roles than their parents or grandparents, 74% answered yes, a 15%
increase. One respondent stated, "Yes, there is a very great change in our
culture since the time of my parents and grandparents which offers more
opportunities and makes more demands at the same time (S2003=0999F)."
Of the respondents, 94% stated that they did feel that at least
sometimes playing these different roles caused stress in their lives citing that
the stress came from a combination of their roles causing role conflict. As
one respondent put it, "I think to be a whole person you have to play a lot of
different roles, but to be a happy person, you try to minimize on the roles
that you play (S2016=0999M)." Several mentioned that there was just not
enough time, or not enough of them, to be able to do everything that was
25


expected of them. When asked if they thought that many other people
werein a similar situation, 82% answered yes. This reflects a decrease from
the first study in which 95% of the respondents thought others had similar
situations.
Over half (59%) of the respondents stated that women play more roles
than men. Some respondents felt that women play more roles because it's in
their nature, have more responsibility thrust upon them by society, or
because of their involvement in home, church, school, and other social
institutions. Another interesting response was, "...perhaps the same number,
but I doubt they would play the same type of roles (S2002=1099M)."
However, the pervasive attitude seemed to be that although things may be
changing some, they are not as much as we would like to see.
The second category is entitled "Different Roles, Different Selves" and
was related to the process of presenting selves to others. The majority of the
respondents (82%) stated that they did present different selves to others and
often felt fragmented as a result. One respondent emphatically answered,
There isn't enough time for everything
...how else could you feel but fragmented.
Present different selves, sure. Within a
split second and withoutrealizing it, I
assess what's happening, make a decision
as to how I'm going to handle it, and then
act... or don't...it's situational too...every
situation has different demands...although
most of my interactions are probably
similar, there are differences and it's those
differences that signal which part of myself
I'm going to express. (S2004=1099F)
26


One respondent mentioned that this was just "another form of lying",
because in his opinion this was "putting on different masks for each person
or interaction (S2012=0999M)." Another thought was that we do this so that
we won't hurt others' feelings, or we do it to prevent conflict.
Again in contrast to Goffman's thought regarding the existence of a
core self, 100% of the respondents stated that they believed that there were
certain characteristics (core self) that remained the same in their interactions
regardless of presenting different aspects of themselves in different situations.
In regards to changing their behavior for different individuals or groups,
82% of the respondents admitted to this practice, a 13% decrease from the
first study. One respondent summed up similar feelings when he said, "I
don't think I'm being something other than I am, it's more of the
appropriateness [needed for] the situation. I don't think that makes me
inauthentic (S2002=1099M)."
The third category is "Authentic Self, Real Self* which addressed
motivation and the definition of authenticity. When asked if they were
authentic to themselves, 71% of the respondents answered yes. This
represents an increase of 13% in comparison to the results of the first study.
However, in answering the question who knows the real you, only 41%
answered just a few people close to them such as family and friends. This is a
decrease of 12% for the orignial study. Also 41% said only they knew their
real selves, and 12% said no one knew them.
When asked to define authenticity, 82% thought that it was "being
real" or "being your true self." When asked under what circumstances they
27


would present their real selves, 65% said around their friends or family, and
the remaining respondents said when they trusted someone, or at any time.
Approximately one- third of the respondents (29%) stated that they
were the most inauthentic at their workplace, 23% said in new situations,
and the rest answered when they were put on the spot, didn't feel well, or
when they were trying to be nice. When asked what motivated them to be
authentic or inauthentic, 41% of the respondents claimed they were
authentic because they liked themselves better then, 18% said because of the
way they were raised, and the rest mentioned the 'golden rule' and their love
of people and life.
The fourth category is "I Wish People Were More Authentic." Of the
respondents in this study, 94% answered yes to believing that authenticity
was important in all of their interactions. The other 6% stated that it would
be important if it was possible to actually do it. However, only 47 % of these
same respondents felt that other people were authentic in their daily lives
and to themselves. The basic theme appeared to be that some people are and
some aren't. One respondent said, T have met a zillion people traveling these
past years, and I don't see it as a rule, but I also think people are so very
busy these days, time is not allotted for this...sad, huh (S2005=0999F)."
Another respondent stated,
...I think we basically go through a similar
process of learning about authenticity and
ourselves, and I think some of us learn to
incorporate that concept into our lives and
others may choose not to. (S2004=1099F)
28


It was also mentioned that people have different degrees of
authenticity, that it would depend on where they are and who they are
around, and lastly, they are authentic part of the time, and part of the time
they arent, just like everybody else. When asked if they liked it when others
were authentic to them, 82% of the respondents answered yes compared to
73% of the respondents in the first study. However, one respondent stated.
"It depends on what their authentic self is...if it's full of anger, no
(S2017=1099F)." Of the respondents, 59% answered that authenticity was
needed to provide trust in intimate relationships, 35% said it was impossible
to have a relationship without it, and 6% stated that they didn't think it was
possible for anyone to really know.
The fifth category is "Different Roles, Different Selves: Authenticity."
One of the important issues explored in this study was whether respondents
perceived that their authenticity was affected by the many roles they played.
Of the respondents, 76% said that playing different roles forced people to be
inauthentic. One-third of the respondents gave work as an example of this
type of situation. The remaining respondents said they didn't agree with this
concept because regardless of the situation we always have a choice.
A related question explored the possibility of becoming inauthentic to
oneself as a result of playing too many roles, many of which may require
inauthentic self presentations. A majority (70%) said they had experienced
this or could see how it could happen. One respondent commented,
Yes...society itself...you're playing this
little game that society has set up, and
if you dont, you're kind of an outcast...
there's some punishment somewhere.
29


(S2014=0999M)
Another respondent stated, "Of course...responding to comfort levels,
yours and theirs (S2005=0999F)." Many respondents mentioned that it was
something that happened to everybody sometimes, and several said it
was situational. A few held closely to the idea that we all have the freedom of
choice and can not be made to do anything we don't want to do; that we can
not be forced to be inauthentic.
The final category is "Self Presentation and Authenticity." Over two-
thirds (70%) of the respondents said that they make a distinction between
the "public life" and the "private world" when it comes to self presentation.
This is a significant increase from the results (58%) of the first study. One
respondent reflected the opinions of several around the theme of punishment
and repercussions, "To some degree...I thinkfat home you are most authentic
or can be without any repercussions, and that's the main reason
(S2014-0999M)." Also asked was a que: tion regarding whether the
respondents thought there were more choices than just these two: private
and public. Here 58% answered that there were more, such as spiritual,
inner self, private thoughts, etc.
In answer to whether they thought there may be more choices
available to us than just the public and the private domains, one respondent
said, "Yes, even at home, there can be others present...there are times when I
know I am inauthentic just to keep the peace...also, there is the inside of me
where no one else sees...that exists outside the rest (S2004=1099F)."
Representing the remaining respondents along this theme, one
30


participant said, "No, that's it...youre either public or you're private
...there's just night and day (S2012=0999M)."
Even though these different choices of self presentations were
accepted, 70% said that they could still be authentic when presenting these
different selves. Another 18% stated that they could be in degrees,
depending on the situation. As one respondent said, "Yes, I can just pick
which part of me I want to use...or mix together (S2011=0999F)." Another
respondent answered, "Selective authenticity...your personality isn't really
cut and dry anyway...different people bring out different things in you, but
it's still you...it's just a matter of which combination, which part
(S2010=0999F)."
When asked if in any of their roles they were expected to present a
certain image, a significant 88% answered yes, with 6% saying in certain
roles. As an example several respondents mentioned the image they were
expected to have at their workplace. They were also asked if there would be
any consequences should they not maintain the expected image. One
respondent said,
There are certainly the work guidelines
they want us to perform by, but other than
the work policies I don't think I'm
expected to present myself in any other way.
Yeah, there are consequences to not staying
within the work policies. Reprimand, written
warning, or even termination. (S2002=1099M)
Additionally, the respondents were asked if they ever took the
"expected" image so seriously that it automatically became a part of them.
One respondent said,
31


If you play a role so long it gets into your
soul and it becomes a part of you and you
don't even realize it. I think that's what's
wrong with the world. People have forgotten
how to be themselves. I mean I can get
wrapped up and locked up inside of my job
and lose track of myself because I'm wrapped
up in the worker, and I forget to nurture my
soul, me, the true me. (S2010=0999F)
Study II Part II
Because the workplace was so often given as an example in the first
study, the questions in this section were purposely aimed at the experiences
of the respondents in that specific setting. The following are the results from
that section.
The first category in this section is "Authentic Self in the Workplace."
The respondents were asked if they thought they could be authentic (their
true self) in their work situation. Over half of the respondents (53%)
answered yes. Another 41% said they could be somewhat authentic
sometimes with one respondent saying, "Somewhat...I try to be the real me
but maintain social distance and keep emotional boundaries in tact to protect
myself (S2017=1099F)." The remaining 6% stated that they could never be
authentic in their workplace.
When asked if they had ever been more authentic in one type of job
than in another, 88% said yes. A respondent spoke for several when she
said, "I was more authentic when I was in charge (S2003=0999F)." Another
said, "...the more authority [you have], the more authentic you can be
32


(S2012=0999M)." This became a reoccurring theme throughout this section.
The respondents were asked if they liked themselves in their work
environment. Of the respondents, 71% answered that they did like
themselves in their work environment, and 23% said they usually did.
However not surprisingly, when asked if they liked themselves in their home
environment, 88% said yes, with 12% saying usually. One respondent
succinctly answered, "95% of the time (at work), 100% of the time (at home)
(S2010=0999F)."
The second category is "Impact of Authenticity in the Workplace."
Here the respondents were asked if being authentic on the job contributed
anything to them or the job. Over half (53%) answered that when they felt
authentic on the job, they felt more comfortable, more relaxed, and less
stressed. Another 35% said that authenticity in the workplace contributed to
their feelings of self worth, and added to their self esteem and confidence.
The remaining 12% said that authenticity kept them from losing themselves,
and also mentioned that they would want to give more to the job when they
could be authentic. One respondent did say that being authentic on the job
took time and energy away from his family. In reference to what
authenticity might contribute to the job, one respondent stated, "listen,
being inauthentic is not a bad thing...it is part of what you do to just get by
in the world...it comes and goes...the employer might get less for the buck
though (S2005=0999F)."
When asked what impact inauthenticity would have on them or the
job, 53% of the respondents said that they would be less trusting, and more
33


stressed and frustrated. Interestingly, 18% said that if
they couldn't be authentic they would quit their jobs. A large number (59%)
stated that inauthenticity would affect job performance. They also said they
would have bad attitudes that would affect their productivity. One
respondent said, "it depends on the people and the situation, but
inauthenticity can cause uncertainty, insecurity, rivalry and excessive
competition (S2003=0999F)." Another said, "you have to put up fronts, and
it gets to be a real power thing (S2014=0999M)."
When the respondents were asked if they had ever been in what they
thought was an abusive work situation, a resounding 82% answered yes.
The abuses included being held hostage ly a disgruntled ex-postal worker,
being verbally and emotionally abused by managers, supervisors, coworkers,
and customers, working for closed-mindc d bosses, and having to adhere to a
dress code that caused the respondent pi ysical problems. One respondent
commented, "I think expecting one to work for forty hours or more a week,
to put personal and family needs on hold, and to do work that is
unrewarding is abusive (S2017=1099F)."
The third category is "The Work Experience in Real Life." The first
question in this section asked the respondents if overall their work
experiences had been positive or negative, and if they thought that was
common for most people. Nearly two-thirds (64%) answered that their
experiences had been positive, saying that even if it had been negative, the
fact that they learned something from it made it positive. Regarding whether
they thought other people's work experiences were positive, 64% said no.
34


One participant said, "...more negative with jobs that have less autonomy
which is probably true for most people (S2017=1099F)." Another
respondent stated in regards to others' experiences, "positive to some
degree...it depends upon their role in that workplace...the higher up, a little
different story...at the top it's going to look better than the bottom
(S2014=0999M)."
Of the respondents, 70% said that management contributed to their
negative experiences. A respondent said,
It's management...always management...
everybody gets promoted into ignorance...
they start off like you but when they get
promoted they become ignorant...suddenly
they've forgotten everything...and they
swore they'd never be like that..and now
they're one of them. (S2012=0999M)
When asked if they thought they might have contributed in some way
to their own negative experiences, 82% of the respondents answered yes.
Examples they gave were having a bad attitude, not asking enough questions,
and getting themselves into situations they couldn't handle. They were asked
if they took any kind of action regarding their situation at work. Of the
respondents, 88% said yes both direct (confronting a boss and quitting) and
indirect (writing letters and stealing things). One respondent warned,
"...when you take action, and you look behind to see who is backing you up,
no one will be there (S2005=0999F)." Almost half (47%) of the respondents
said that their negative work experiences left them feeling badly about
themselves, betrayed, angry, frustrated, confused, insecure, and less of a
person.
35


When asked if there were any consequences to their action, 70% said
that they had positive experiences and were able to work things out. Another
18% had negative results and were fired or quit their jobs. One person said,
"...things can work out if you want them to, if you step back and let
them...there is a choice (S2005=0999F)."
The fourth category is "The Impact of Work." When asked if they
had changed because of any negative work situations, 65% of the
respondents answered yes. One respondent said, "...the biggest change it
had on me...was I started my own business (S2013=0999F)." Other
respondents mentioned the stress they felt in the situation and the health
problems that resulted such as anxiety attacks, drinking problems, emotional
problems, and relationship problems.
Asked if their job was important to them as a source of income, or
self worth, 53% answered both source of income and self worth, 29% said
income only, and 18% stated only self worth. When asked how they would
feel if they lost their jobs, 41% responded they would be devastated, feel
terrible, feel like a failure. Of the rest, 29% philosophically expressed their
confidence at being able to find ai other job, and said they would look at it as
a loss for the company. When asked if they took work home with them, 41%
said yes, and the remainder said they tried not to, or they only did so
sometimes. Then they were asked if their job required them to dress in a
specific way to present a certain image. Over half (59%) answered yes,
almost a third (29%) answered no, and 12% said not too often because things
were pretty casual in their workplace.
36


The fifth category is "What Have You Learned", and in this section
the respondents were asked if they had learned anything from their work
experiences and if they had any suggestions for others. Of the respondents
23% said that the most important thing is to do what really makes you
happy. Another 23% mentioned the importance of building confidence and
having an education. The other 24% si id that people should lighten up
because it is only a job or that people si ould try to do the their best no
matter what the job is.
When asked what they would change if they could change just one
thing about their job (several commented on only being able to choose one
thing), 29% answered that they would want to work in a positive
atmosphere, 23% said they would want more money, 23% said they would
want changes in schedules, training, preparation time, or to shorten their
drive to work. Of the remainder, 12% answered they would want to be the
boss, or they wanted to quit, and another 12% said they already had the
perfect job. When asked what their ideal job would be, 41% answered to be
self-employed. Of the other respondents, 23% said they would like to be able
to use their creativity, 12% wanted to be able to do something useful, to
contribute to society in some way, and again, 12% said they just about had
the perfect job already.
The last question this part of the study asked the respondents, if after
having thought about these concept, and answering questions in the
interview, they believed that it was possible to be completely authentic in a
work situation. Over half (53%) answered no saying it wasn't realistic or
37


possible if you had to work for someone else, and 47% said yes with the
condition that they were the boss, or that they had enough autonomy.
One respondent summed up the situation with his answer, "No, I don't think
it's possible to be completely authentic in any situation, and an unrealistic
goal for work...when you're in a situation in which someone else is in control,
you're always going to be a little apprehensive (S2002=1099)." Another
respondent reflecting the same theme (power imhalance/lack of control) said,
"No. Most of us need to work and adapt to whatever we perceive as the need
to retain our position (S2003=0999F)." One participant answered that "it is
possible, but not required (S2005=0999F)."
However, the majority of the respondents indicated that it would be
impossible to be completely authentic in a work situation unless a person was
the owner or/boss or in some type of management/supervisory position that
came with power. One respondent said, "No, because of the pressure from
the higher-ups. I think the power imbalance is the number one thing. Unless
you have some power, they've got you by the gonads (S2014=0999M)." One
optimist said, "Yes, with enough autonomy...without that there is a real toll
on self...a loss of self (S2017=1099F)."
38


CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND LIMITATIONS
The distinguished sociologist, Erving Goffman (1959), is seen as the
pioneer of the interaction order. John Lofland spoke of this face-to-face
interplay in his 1984 article, "Erving Goffman's Sociological Legacies." He
said,
His foremost and most disct ssed legacy
is of course his career-long investigation
of what he...called the inter* ction order,
...that which uniquely transpires in...
environments in which two or more
individuals are physically in one another's
response presence (1983:2).
Goffman's insight into the interaction process opened up an entirely
new field and way of study. As Lofland (1984) goes on to say, "he showed
us...how our sense of ourselves, of what is real, and how we feel is bound up
in...the ever-moving microdynamics of the immediate interaction order in
endlessly complicated ways (p. 9)."
It is the importance of the combination, or interconnectedness, of
these things that we must come to understand. This is a foundational
concept that finds its way into every segment of our lives and of our society.
According to Goffman (1959), this process allows us to become conscious of,
and hopefully understand, the importance of the connection between
interaction and awareness of self. Additionally, Goffman felt that the value
39


of any sociological work should be considered by its ability
to change the way we see things (Lolland, 1984). This concept continues to
motivate sociological students and studies today.
Simply put, my interest began with Goffman's notion of front stage
and back stage. To investigate this further, I outlined the ideas that I
thought would bring me closer to a more distinct and comprehensible
perspective of what I wanted. This process included the concepts found in
the literature review of self, self-image and self-conctpt, the roles we play,
role-identity (and how we see ourselves in the roles v e play), the existence of
a core self; how all of this affects our self-presentations, and how this
collection of concepts impacts our authenticity in general, and especially in
our workplace. Broken down fuj'ther, it is a combination of how we see
ourselves, the impact of our into actions with others, and the salience of our
roles that not only frame the self presentations of our role-identities, but also
reveal the authenticity in our presentation^ our role-identities. These ideas
were reflected in the fabric of the interview questions, and the concepts were
mirrored in the data analysis of the interviews from the study. This suggests
that the ideas were important to the participants of the study. Goflman
(1959) focused primarily on the public self. In this grounded study, I hope to
expand on this and include in more depth the back stage selves and the
authentic selves.
My contention is that there are possibly more than just the two, that
there is indeed something additional. I suggest that there are more options
available to us than just the front and back stage, or the public and private
40


domains. I propose that there may be degrees and combinations of the selves
we present depending on the situations we are experiencing, and equally
important, that authenticity can still exist when using a variety of selves in
our presentations during our social interactions.
It may well be that the different selves we project are only various
aspects of a core self which are most appropriate for the wide variety of
interactions with which we are faced daily directly due to the many roles we
play. Maybe we are not becoming less authentic in this postmodern world in
which we live, as Kenneth Gergen (1991) suggested, but rather, maybe we
are becoming more diverse and complex giving us the ability to adjust
creatively to each circumstance we experience. However, this ability may
come with a price, that of feeling fragmented by the demands of the
combination of the many roles we play. It is important for us to keep in
mind that inconsistency does not necessarily equal in authenticity; however, it
is equally important for us to remember that individuals are very capable of
expressing inauthenticity if they so choose.
It may be that we are able to be authentic through this 'adjustment'
process. Possibly, it may be that to not react in exactly an identical manner
in all situations may only suggest an evolutionary development occurring in
response to the growing demands and complications of our postmodern
society. Albeit this comes with drawbacks such as the feeling that there
needs to be more to life than the fast pace in which most of us find ourselves.
However, this does not necessarily eliminate the authenticity found in most of
our social interactions. The patterns that surfaced in the studies support
41


these ideas.
First, over three-quarters of the respondents feel that are playing
more roles than did their parents and grandparents, suggesting an increase
in the number of roles played by individuals today. In agreement with
Kenneth Gergen (1991), the participants feel fragmented as a result of the
ensuing stress as expressed by 82% of the respondents in the study.
However, they still feel that they can be and are authentic even when
presenting different aspects of their selves in different situations with people.
They, 100% of the respondents, support this by saying that they believe that
they have a core self that remains present, in contrast to Goffman's (1959)
belief. This idea of core self is also supported by William James (1890) in his
book, The Principles of Psychology, when he refers to the self that is the
primary part of the selves. In other words, the respondents feel that their
authenticity is created and anchored by their core self. In each interaction it
is their choice to express what part, or combination of parts, of that core self
they wish to present. Additionally, 94% of the participants feel that the
majority of these different selves used in different situations are a part of
them.
Over 70% of the respondents felt that they experienced difficulty as
they transitioned from one role to another, with 38% giving the example of
transitioning from their work role to their home role. Comments made by
many of the respondents carried the common theme of frustration at not
having enough time to cover all of their bases or to do anything, much less
everything well. This is supported by Goode (1960) regarding the effects of
42


role strain, and the difficulties people experience when attempting to fulfill
all of their role obligations.
When asked to define authenticity, over almost 82% of the
respondents said that authenticity was being real, being true, or being
themselves. Regarding the importance of authenticity in relationships,
almost 95% of the participants answered that they thought authenticity is
important in our interactions, although it was mentioned that it was often
conditional, depending on the people involved and how much trust there was
between them. Although only about half of the respondents believe that
others are authentic in their daily interactions, over 82% said that they did
like to have other people present their authentic selves to them in their
interactions. Their reason for the importance of the role of authenticity in
intimate relationships was that it helped develop trust and became the
backbone to any healthy relationship.
Over three-fourths of the respondents also felt that they are forced
into inauthentic presentations when involved in power imbalances, or in new
situations However, they maintained that they continue to be authentic
because their core self is still present. They justified their ability to remain
authentic by saying that their core self contains stable characteristics that are
always present regardless of their interactions, or situations in which they
appear to exhibit inauthenticity. This is an example of the core seifs ability
to screen and filter situational information and make the necessary
adjustments that allow for the appropriate presentation that will result in the
desired effect. According to the respondents, this process could be motivated
43


by their morals and beliefs, or it could be as elementary as being motivated
by their need to get something. The latter parallels Goffman's (1959) view of
the 'con man' manipulating an interaction for his own purpose. Also
mentioned as motivation by a few respondents, was their need to survive in
either their domestic circumstances or their corporate situation.
In regards to when (under what conditions) they felt they could
present their authentic selves, over half of the participants answered that it
would happen only after a certain level of trust had been reached. Over 80%
went on to say that they were most authentic with only a few people around
them, such as their family members, spouse/partner, and friends. As a result
of this, they found themselves often acting one way with one person or group,
and another way with another person or group. This was common behavior
in almost 82% of the participants. This also contributed to the fact that most
participants (82%) felt that there would be discrepancies between the way
they would describe themselves and the way others would describe them.
Most maintained that this was due to two factors. The first was that no one
can know an individual as well as the individual know themselves, and the
second was due to what part of themselves they chose to present for each
particular interaction or situation. Because of possible inconsistencies,
descriptions of them by others would be different, albeit there would also be
similarities.
Interestingly, just under 71% of the respondents felt that they were
authentic to themselves. About 18% answered that they were most of the
time, or that they were working on it (trying to be). When asked to explain
44


what motivated them to be authentic, well over a third (37%) stated that it
was the way they were raised. In stark contrast, 16% said that they were not
motivated by anything, or that they knew better than to be authentic to
themselves or anyone else because of the consequences they would
experience.
When asked when (under what conditions) they felt they were the
most inauthentic, nearly a third answered in their workplace, and another
41% said in new situations, or when they felt intimidated. When asked if
they felt that some roles forced them to be inauthentic, 76% answered yes,
with a third mentioning their work roles. Over one-third of the respondents
went on to say that they believed that their demanding daily lives forced
them to be inauthentic and as a result they were inauthentic to themselves at
times. This reflects Goffman's (1959) belief that the con man' can at times
con him/her self. Most of the other respondents said they did not agree, or
that they didn't think it happened to them, but that they could see how it
could happen. From the participants' responses, it appears that a common
theme related to their inauthenticity has to do with situations involving a
power imbalance. Although a few mentioned their home situation, the
greater majority of the respondents referenced their work situations.
However, when asked directly if they felt they could be authentic in
their work situation, 53% of the participants answered yes. Those remaining
stated no, somewhat, or sometimes. A large majority (88%) said that they
could be more authentic in some jobs than others mentioning those jobs that
offered them more autonomy, where they were in supervisory positions, or in
45


self-employed job situations where they were the owner/boss. Over two-
thirds of the respondents said they liked themselves in their work situation,
but almost a fourth of those said they liked themselves even more in their
home situation.
When the respondents were asked what being authentic in their
workplace contributed to them, over half said they could be more relaxed,
more comfortable, and less stressed. Over a third stated that being able to be
authentic in the workplace contributed in a positive way to their self worth,
: elf esteem, and self confidence. Expanding on this idea, the respondents
were then asked what, if anything, they thought being authentic in their
workplace might contribute to the job. A significant number of respondents
^76%) answered that they would do a better job, be more productive, work
faster, and complete more work. When asked what impact inauthenticity
would have on them and the job, the respondents said they would feel less
comfortable, more stressed and frustrated, and develop bad attitudes that
would affect their job performance with less productivity.
The respondents were then asked if they felt that they had ever been
in an abusive work situation which was defined as any situation that would
have a negative impact on the employee in any way. An overwhelming
number of respondents (82%) answered that they did feel that they had
experienced some form of abuse in at least one work situation during their
work career. Examples of abusive experiences stretched across the spectrum
from being held hostage in their workplace by a disgruntled former
employee, to working for a boss who yelled obscenities at them on the job.
46


A Profile
In an attempt to pull together this large amount of information for
the reader, I will construct a profile from the respondents' answers to give a
'picture' of the findings of this study. This profile can be used to generally
describe many of the respondents, and will not be gender specific in nature.
In this study, the prototypical respondents believe that their most
important role is that of spouse/partner, parent, family member, or friend,
and that their least important role is that of employee. They also think that
they are playing more roles than their parent or grandparent did, and believe
that women in this society play more roles, and more important roles, than
men.
They say that they sometimes have difficulty as they transition from
one role to another, and that they feel frustrated at their inability to cover all
of their bases, and do a good job at everything that falls under their
responsibility umbrella. They believe that most people are living the same
kind of fast pace life that leaves them overwhelmed and unable to do it all.
Additionally, the prototype individuals think that if they were the
opposite sex, they would play their roles differently. They think that if they
were male they wouldn't worry so much about everything, and that not as
much would be expected of them. They also believe that they would be more
aggressive, and be better able to handle some of their situations.
The prototype individuals think that playing this myriad of roles
causes stress in their life, often leaves them feeling fragmented, and that it
can have a negative impact at times on their health, their lifestyles, and in
47


their relationships. They feel that they are often forced to present different
aspects of themselves in order to keep peace, to maintain their position, or to
get what they want. However, they believe that they are able to maintain
their authenticity while playing an assortment of roles, and that most of these
selective roles are indeed a part of them. Nevertheless, they are well aware
that they are able to provide inauthentic presentations when necessary, and
yet they do not feel that this takes away from their authenticity as a person.
It is only a survival/maintenance technique, especially in the working world.
The prototypical respondents believe wholeheartedly that they have a
stable set of characteristics that form their foundation, and that this core self
is what anchors their authenticity in place and allows them to remain
authentic regardless of their presentations. Being authentic means being
their true or real self, and the prototypical individuals are much more likely
to be authentic to those close to them such as their family and friends. Their
choice to be authentic is motivated primarily by the way they were raised,
their beliefs, and their comfort level. They are most apt to be inauthentic
when in new situations, at their workplace, or when put on the spot or
pressured. They definitely maintain a distinction between public and private
domains, stating that they often present certain aspects of themselves in
public and something different in private. Additionally, they believe that
there are more options available to them other than just these two options.
The prototypical individuals think that they are very authentic to
themselves, and they believe strongly that authenticity is the most important
aspect of a relationship, and without it, trust can not be developed. For them
48


there is really no such thing as an intimate relationship unless there is trust.
They enjoy authenticity in others, however, they do not think that many
other people are capable of being authentic, even when they want to be. The
exception to this is children. Children are seen as innocent and authentic
until they are finally corrupted by socialization and society.
The prototypical individuals are less likely to be authentic around
dominate personalities than they are any other people, and they say they are
able to determine others' inauthenticity through gut feelings, body language,
or over time through patterns of inconsistency. They believe that they are
expected to present certain images in some of their roles, and they think that
at times they fake this so seriously that they internalize the expected image
without realfc ing it. They believe this can affect their authenticity at times.
In contrast, the prototypical individuals think that they can be
authentic in fieir work situation, although they believe that they can be more
authentic in i ome work roles than others. They think that being authentic in
their job contributes to their well being and makes them more relaxed and
productive. They also believe that this has a positive impact on the job as
more work can be done faster and more efficiently by content workers.
Being inauthentic in the workplace frustrates them and impacts their job
performance. Therefore, productivity goes down.
Although, overall the prototypical individuals think their work
experiences have been positive, they also believe that they have experienced
an abusive work situation. Furthermore, they believe that this is common for
most employees. They believe in taking action, and they have been successful
49


at it, but at the same time they believe that they will do it alone, without
support from their coworkers. They honestly confess that they think they
have contributed to some of their negative work experiences, but believe that
management and policy bear the responsibility for many of the problems in
work situations. For the most part, the prototypical respondents believe that
they have changed as a result of a negative situation, but that the change is
often for the best.
The prototypical individuals see their job as a source of income, and
a source for their self-esteem and self-worth. They also use their jobs as a
source of self-identity at times. However, if they should lose their job, they
would be devastated and feel like a failure. They prefer not to take work
home with them, and although their job mandates dressing in a specific way,
it mlly isn't a problem.
The prototypical respondents have learned several significant things
from their work experiences. They believe in doing something that they
really enjoy, even if it means not making as much money as they could
somewhere < Ise. Also, they would very much like to be self-employed.
Following tl at concept, they do not believe that it is possible, or realistic, to
think that they can be completely authentic in the workplace if they have to
work for someone else.
Admittedly, this study offers preliminary findings and has its
limitations. At this point, it uses a small sample and patterns are more
difficult to find and sustain. In-depth interviews, just like with any other
field study, are high in validity. However, because open-ended questions
50


were used, it will have more problems with its reliability. Additionally,
the findings from this study are less generalizable than if the study had been
based on a larger sample using standard measurements.
However, these factors do not negate the potential significance of this
study. The findings from this preliminary study give us a glimpse of a new
perspective on self-presentation, authenticity, and authenticity in the
workplace. What is needed now is additional research in the form of many
studies. It is exciting to realize the opportunities available to us as
researchers in this new area.
51


APPENDIX
52


APPENDIX A
SELF AND AUTHENTICITY INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR STUDY I
Thank you for agreeing to give me this interview. We know very little about
our selves, self-presentations, and our views on authenticity. Your input will
help us to understand these important issues and how to go about studying
them. To begin, we first need to get some background.
Date:---------------------------------------------------------------------
Interview Location:-------------------------------------------------------
Time Begin:---------------------------------------------------------------
Time End:-----------------------------------------------------------------
Home Address (optional):
Respondent's Sex:
Respondent's Ethnicity:
Parti
1. What is your birthdate?
2. Do you work/have you worked outside the home for wages?
3. What kind of work do you do? (How do you describe your profession/job:
includes homemaking)
4. What is the highest level of schooling you have completed?
5. Are you currently a part-time or full-time student? If yes, the institution's
name, for how long, major/minor, grad/undergrad, etc.
53


6. If relevant: Why did you choose this major or this specialty area?
7. What was the year you graduated from high school? GED? Other?
8. What did you do directly after high school? (work, get married, more
school, military service, etc.)
9. If you went to college, what college did you attend ? (its location, degree
earned, how long at college)
10. What is your marital status? (if married, for how long? if cohabitating,
for how long? if single, ever married? ever divorced? how many times
married?)
11. Do you have children? (ages and gender)
12. What about living arrangements? (with spouse/partner, parents,
roommate, children, other relatives, single, etc.)
13. Within what category does your annual income (own or household
income) fall? $1-10,000; 11,000-20,000; 21,000-30,000; 31,000-40,000;
41,000-50,000; 51,000-60,000; more than 61,000.
Part-2
The following are questions regarding authenticity of self in general, and
then specifically authenticity in the workplace.
1. Please tell me from the top of your head five adjectives you use to describe
yourself?
2. How about five nouns.
3. Most people play different roles in their lives. Currently, what are the
roles you play (perform)?
4. Can you tell me out of these roles which ones are the most important to
you and which are the least important. In other words, which of them are a
part of you and which are not?
54


5. Do you think that you are performing (playing) more roles than your
mother (father) and your grandmother (grandfather) did?
6. Do you feel that at least sometimes playing these different roles causes
stress in your life? Please explain. If yes, does the stress come from the
demands of a particular role or from a combination of the demands of several
roles. Pleas explain.
7. Do you think men and women in our society play the same number or
roles?
8. Do you think that many other people are in a similar situation as yours?
9. As you play your roles, do you feel that you have to present different
selves to others, that is do you feel fragmented? Please explain.
10. If you do present different selves to others, are these different selves a
part of you or do you adopt them just for a particular role?
11. Even though one may present different aspects of or e's self to others, do
you think that certain characteristics (about who we are) remain the same in
these interactions?
12. If you were a person of the opposite sex, would you play your roles
differently? If yes, how so?
13. Do you feel that there are discrepancies with the way(s) you describe
yourself and others describe you? If yes, why do you think this happens?
Does it bother you? Or is it to your advantage? Would you like to erase the
discrepancies?
14. Who know the real you?
15. Under which conditions (when, to whom, etc.) do you think you can
present the real you?
16. What do you think being authentic is?
17. Do you think authenticity is important in our interactions? Why? In
which ones?
55


18. Who are you the most authentic to?
19. Are you authentic to yourself (all the time, why, why not?)
20. What do you think about other people? Are they authentic in their daily
lives? Are they authentic to themselves.
21. Do you enjoy when someone presents his/her authentic self to you?
Would you want this in all of your relationships or only in some? Why?
22. When are you the most inauthentic?
23. Are you able to discern when others are inauthentic? How do you
determine this?
24. In your relationships with others, who is most authentic to you? How do
you know this?
25. If relevant: Can you say that you really know this person?
26. Some people say that the roles they play force them to be inauthentic?
Does this happen to you? In what situations (what roles)?
27. Some people claim that our demanding daily lives force us to be
inauthentic as we interact with others and as a result of this we also come to
be inauthentic to our close ones and even sometimes to ourselves. What is
your reaction to this statement?
28. What is the role of authenticity in 'ntimate relationships?
29. What motivates you to be authentic? What motivates you to be
inauthentic?
30. Some people say they find themselves acting one way with one person (or
group) and another way with another person (or group). Does this ever
happen to you? Are you comfortable with this phenomenon?
31. Would you react the same to a parent criticizing you as you would to a
stranger?
56


32. Would you react the same to a parent criticizing you as you would to a
lover?
33. Do you feel authentic in the presence of intimates?
34. Do you feel authentic in the presence of strangers?
35. Do you feel authentic in the presence of subordinates (employees,
children)?
36. Do you feel authentic in the presence of dominates (boss, parent, etc.)?
37. It has been said that we present one self to the world (public) and
another self at home (in private). Do you think this is true of you? Please
explain.
38. If it is true that we present slightly different selves in different situations,
do you feel that you remain authentic in each? Or can you be authentic in
more than one?
40. Do you feel that a change in your self-presentation means a change in
your authenticity?
41. Have you ever experienced difficulty as you transition from one of the
roles you play to another?
42. Do you thii; k that in any (or all) of your roles you are expected to project
a certain image: What are the consequences, if any, if you are unable to
maintain that image all of the time?
43. Do you ever take this "expected image" so seriously that it becomes a
automatically a part of you? Do you think you take it with you to others
situations and roles without realizing it?
44. If applies: Does this phenomenon then affect your real self/authenticity?
Do you think that this could be damaging in any way to you?
45. Do you ever feel as though you don't really know how you feel about
something?
57


46. Do you ever think that you don't know yourself?
Part 3
Are there other issues I should be asking you about yourself? (and other
respondents)
Would it be okay to call you back if I need clarification during the typing of
the interview transcripts?
Finally, would you like to have a summary of the findings of this study? It
should be completed during May of 1997. Where should I send it?
Interview Notes
58


APPENDIX B
SELF AND AUTHENTICITY INTERVIEW SCHEDULE FOR STUDY H
Thank you for agreeing to give me this interview. Please know that your
anonymity is protected, and that information is private and completely
confidential. As we know very little about our selves, self-presentations, and
our views on authenticity, we have become more interested to learn about
these concepts and how they impact us in our lives and in our work
situations. Your input will help us to understand these important issues and
how to go about studying them. To begin, we first need to get some
background.
Date:----------------------------------------------------------------
Interview Location:--------------------------------------------------
Time Begin:----------------------------------------------------------
Time End:------------------------------------------------------------
Home Address (optional):
Respondent's Sex:
Respondent's Ethnicity:
Part 1
1. What is your birthdate?
2. Do you work/have you worked outside the home for wages?
3. What kind of work do you do? (How do you describe your profession/job;
includes homemaking):
4. What is the highest level of schooling you have completed?
59


5. Are you currently a part-time or full-time student?
If yes, the institution's name, for how long, major/minor, grad./undergrad,
etc.
6. If relevant: Why did you choose this major or this specialty area?
7. What was the year you graduated from high school?
8. What did you do directly after high school? (work, get married, more
school, military service, etc.)
9. If you went to college, what college did you attend (its location, degree
earned, how long at college)?
10. What is your marital status? (if married, for how long? if cohabiting,
for how long? if single, ever married? ever divorced? how many times
married?)
11. Do you have children? (ages and gender)
12. What about your living arrangements? (w'th spouse, partner, parents,
roommate, children, other relatives, single, etc.)
13. Within what category does your annual income (own or household
income?) fall? $0-10,000; 11,000-20,000; 21,000-30,000; 31,000-40,000;
41,000-50,000; 51,000-60,000; more than 61,000:
Part 2
The following are questions regarding authenticity of self in general, and
specifically authenticity in the workplace.
1. Please tell me the first five descriptive adjectives you think of to finish the
statement: "I am...." (for example: friendly, funny, cute).
2. How about the first five nouns : "I am a/an.." (for example: student,
employee, parent).
3. Most people play different roles in their lives. Currently, what are the
roles you play (perform)? (For example: parent, student, employee)
60


4. Can you tell me out of these roles which ones are the most important to
you and which are the least important. In other words which of them are a
part of you and which ones are not?
5. Do you think that you are performing (playing) more roles than your
mother (father) and your grandmother (grandfather) did? Please explain
why you think this is true (yes or no).
6. Do you feel that at least sometimes playing these different roles causes
stress in your life?
If yes, does this stress come from the demands of a particular role, from a
combination of the demands of several roles, or both? Please explain.
7. Do you think men and women in our society play the same number of
roles?
Please explain.
Do you think that sanctions for not playing our roles as expected are the
same for men and women? Why or why not?
8. Do you think that many other people are in a similar situation as yours?
9. As you play your roles, do you ever feel fragmented, that is, do you feel
that you have to present different selves to others in different situations?
Please explain.
10. If you do present different selves to others, are these different selves a
part of you or do you adopt them just for a particular role?
11. Even though one may present different aspects of one's self to others, do
you think that certain characteristics (core self) remain the same in these
interactions?
Please explain.
12. If you were a person of the opposite sex, would you play your roles
differently?
If yes, how so? If no, why?
61


13. Do you feel that there are discrepancies with the way you describe
yourself and others describe you?
If yes, why do you think this happens?
14. Who knows the real you?
Do you know your real self?
15. Under which conditions (when, to whom, etc.) do you think you can
present the real you?
Is there a specific condition or situation in which you feel you can not present
your real self?
16. How would you describe what being authentic is, and do you think
authenticity is important in our interactions?
In all of our interactions? Why or why not?
17. Who are you most authentic and inauthentic to and why?
18. Are you authentic to yourself (all the time? why, why not?).
19. What do you think about other people? Are they authentic in their daily
lives? Are they authentic to themselves? How do you know? Or can we
know?
20. Do you like it when someone presents his/her authentic self to you?
Why?
How do you know when someone is being authentic?
Would you want this in all of your relationships or only in some?
21. When are you the most inauthentic?
22. Some people claim that the roles they play force them to be inauthentic?
Does this happen to you? In what situations (what roles)?
62


23. Some people claim that our demanding daily lives force us to be
inauthentic as we interact with others. As a result of this we can also come to
be inauthentic to those close to us and even to ourselves. What is your
reaction to this statement?
24. What is the role of authenticity in intimate (close) relationships?
25. What, if anything, motivates you to be authentic?
26. What, if anything, motivates you to be inauthentic?
27. Some people say they find themselves acting one way with one person (or
group) and another way with another person (or group). Does this ever
happen to you?
If yes, what would be the reason for this?
28. Do you feel authentic in the presence of intimates?
Strangers?
29. Do you feel authentic in the presence of subordinates (employees,
children, etc.)?
In the presence of dominates (boss, parent, etc.)?
30. It has been said that we present one self to the world (public) and
another self at
home (in private). Do you think this is true of you?
Please explain.
31. Do you think that there may be more than these two choices (private and
public self)? Can you describe how this applies to you?
32. If it is true that we present slightly different selves in different situations,
do you feel that you remain authentic in each? Can you be authentic in more
than one?
If yes, how would that be?
63


33. Have you ever experienced difficulty as you transition from one of the
roles you play to another? If yes, please explain (for example: work role to
home role, etc.)
34. Do you think that in any (or all) of your roles you are expected to project
a certain image?
Could you give me an example?
What about in your work role?
Do you ever take this "expected image" so seriously that it automatically
becomes a part of you? In other words, do you think you take it with you to
other situations and roles without realizing it?
If this applies, does this phenol lenon affect your real self/authenticity in any
way?
Please explain.
35. What are the consequences, if any, if you are unable to maintain an
expected image all of the time?
36. Do you think that this could be stressful, or potentially harmful, to you in
any way?
If so, in what way?
37. Do you ever think that you don't know yourself?
Please explain.
38. Do you feel that you are able to be authentic/your 'real self in your work
situation?
Please explain.
39. Have you ever been more authentic in some job situations than others
(different jobs, or different situations within a specific job)? Please explain.
40. What, if anything, does being authentic on the job contribute to you?
64


Or take away from you?
Contribute to the job?
41. What impact, if any, does inauthenticity have in the work situation?
On you?
On the job?
42. Thinking of your collective work experiences, would you say that overall
they have been positive or negative?
Do you think this is common for most people?
43. Concerning your negative experiences, what factors do you think created
the problems? i.e. management, boss/supervisor, environment, policy,
coworkers, other? Expand.
44. Do you think that you could have contributed to the situation in any
way?
How?
45. What wi s your reaction to the problem in the work situation? Did you
take any action, direct or indirect? Complain, quit, withdraw?
46. How did that make you feel?
47. Were there any consequences to your reaction or response? Was it/or
has it been possible to solve the problems and work things out?
48. Have you changed as a result of any negative work situation?
What impact, if any, did this experience have on you? i.e. stress, health
profc'ems, depression, anxiety, became more assertive, used as motivation for
change, or other?
49. Do you think that you have ever been in an abusive work situation?
Please elaborate.
65


50. How important is your job to you (a source of income, makes you feel
good about yourself, neither, other factors?)
51. If you lost your job, how would that make you feel about yourself?
52. Do you take work home with you?
Physical work: paperwork, calls to make, etc.
Feelings: work-related conversations, a need to "process".
53. Does your job require you to dress in a specific way to present a certain
image? Any other requirements that might apply?
If yes, please explain how this affects you, (makes you feel)?
54. Do you like yourself when you are in your work situation? Your home
situation?
55. What, if anything, have you learned from your work experiences, and
what suggestions, if any, would you make to others regarding work
situations?
56. If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be and
why?
57. What would your ideal job be?
58. Having thought about these concepts and answered the questions in this
interview, do you believe that it is possible to be completely authentic in a
work situation?
Please expand (why or why not?).
66


Part 3
You have been very helpful. I thank you most sincerely for your contribution
to our study on authenticity, and authenticity in the workplace. Can you
think of any other issues I should be asking respondents about these
concepts?
Would it be ok to call you if I need clarification during the typing of our
interview transcripts? And finally, this study should be completed sometime
in the winter of 1999. Would you like to have a summary of the findings? If
so, where should I mail it?
Interview Notes
67


APPENDIX C
ANALYSIS
Analysis of Study I
(19 interviews, 46 questions, 44 divided into six categories; n=19)
1. People playing roles
2. Different roles, different selves
3. Authentic self, real self
4. I wish people were more authentic
5. Different roles, different selves, authenticity
6. Self presentation and authenticity
Analysis of Study II
(17 interviews, 59 questions, divided into tv o parts: part one (authenticity)
contains 37 questions divided into six categories, part two (authenticity in the
workplace) contains 22 questions divided ir to five categories; n=17)
Part I
1. People playing roles
2. Different roles, different selves
3. Authentic self, real self
4. I wish people were more authentic
5. Different roles, different selves, authenticity
6. Self presentation and authenticity
Part II
1. Authentic (real) self in the workplace
2. Impact of authenticity in the workplace
3. The work experience in real life
4. The impact of work
5. What have you learned
68


Study I
Category 1
"People Playing Roles" 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,12, 41
Questions #3, 4: What roles do you currently play and what is the most
important role and what is the least important role?
Of the respondents, 58% stated that employee was the least important role.
74% said that their most important role was spouse/partner, and 26%
answered that friend, counselor, or student were their most important roles.
Question #5: Do you think that you are performing more roles than your
mother/father or grandmother/grandfather did?
Of the respondents, 74% answered yes.
Question #6: Do you feel that at least sometimes playing these different roles
causes stress in your life?
Of the respondents, 100% answered yes stating that the stress came from a
combination of their roles (role conflict).
Question #7: Do you think men and women in our society play the same
number of roles?
Of the respondents, 63% answered no, women play more.
Question #8: Do you think that many other people are in a similar situation
as you?
Of the respondents, 95% answered yes.
Question #12: If you were a person of the opposite sex, would you play your
roles differently?
Of the respondents, 68% answered yes.
Question #41: Have you ever experienced difficulty as you transition from
one of the roles you play to another?
Of the respondents, 89% answered yes with the most common example
(38%) being the transition from work to home.
Category 2
"Difficult Roles, Difficult Selves" 9,10,11,13, 30
69


Question #9: As you play your roles, do you feel that you have to present
different selves to others, that is do you feel fragmented?
Of the respondents, 89% answered yes.
Question #10: If you do present different selves to others, are these different
selves a part of you or do you adopt them just for a particular role?
Of the respondents, 80% answered yes, the different roles are a part of them.
Question #11: Even though one may present different aspects of one's self to
others, do you think that certain characteristics (core self) remain the same
in these interactions?
Of the respondents, 95% answered yes.
Question #13: Do you feel that there are discrepancies with the way(s) you
describe yourself and others describe you?
Of the respondents, 84% answered yes.
Question #30: Some people say they find themselves acting one way with one
person or group and another way with another person or group. Does this
ever happen to you?
Of the respondents, 84% answered yes.
Category 3
"Authentic Self, Real Self' 14,15,16,18,19, 22, 29
Question #14: Who Knows the Real You?
Of the respondents, 53% answered only a few people: family members, and
friends.
26% said only me/myself.
16% stated nobody.
5% said everyone.
Question #15: Under which conditions do you think you can present the real
you?
Of the respondents, 47% answered when they reach a certain trust level;
with some family members and friends.
37% stated always or most of the time.
11% answered never.
5% answered when it won't hurt anyone.
70


Question #16: What do you think being authentic means?
Of the respondents, 74% answered being real, being myself, or being true.
11% said being honest.
5% stated that it was impossible.
5% answered that being authentic meant not changing for others.
5% said authentic was being your core person.
Question #18: Who are you most authentic to?
Of the respondents, 80% said to family members, partner, spouse, or friends.
13% said to everyone.
5% mentioned only self.
2% answered no one.
Question #19: Are you authentic to yourself?
Of the respondents, 58% answered yes.
26% stated most of the time or trying to be.
11% said sometimes.
5% answered no.
Question #22: When are you the most inauthentic?
Of the respondents, 32% answered at work.
21% stated in new situations or around new people.
16% answered when they felt stressed, intimidated, or ill.
ll% said with their family.
5% mentioned not at all.
5% said they don't think about it.
5% answered when I want something.
Question #29: What motivates you to be authentic?
Of the respondents, 37% answered the way I was raised.
47% stated maturity, why not, and misc.
16% said nothing, I know not to be, and stupidity.
Category 4
"I Wish People Were More Authentic" 17, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28
Question #17: Do you think authenticity is important in our interactions?
Of the respondents, 89% answered yes, however it was mentioned that it
would depend on the people involved and how much trust there was.
11% said no because it is not possible, or it can not be achieved.
71


Question #20: What do you think about others? Are they authentic in their
daily lives, authentic to themselves?
Of the respondents, 53% answered no.
31% answered yes and no, it depends, some are, some aren't.
16 % said yes.
Question #21: Do you enjoy it when someone presents his/her authentic self
to you? Would you want this in all of your relationships or only some?
Of the respondents, 73% answered yes.
16% stated yes, but it would depend on who the person was.
11% said no, because it requires the same of me, too much b.s., who has the
energy, time, or interest for that in every relationship.
Question #23: Are you able to discern when others are inauthentic?
Of the respondents, 73% answered yes, by experience, gut reaction, I can
fake it, so 1 can spot them, and by catching them in lies.
16% said no, I'm not a good judge.
11% answered sometimes, not always.
Question #24: Who is the most authentic to you?
Of the respondents, 90% answered spouse, partner, children, family, and
friends.
5% said no one.
5% stated they didn't know.
Question #25: Can you say that you really know this person?
Of the respondents, 58% answered yes.
26% said no, not possible.
16% stated most of the time.
Question #28: What is the role of authenticity in intimate relationships?
Of the respondents, 68% said it is what gives us trust, intimacy, foundation
to healthy relationships, backbone to any relationship.
32% none, not possible, can't be completely possible in intimate
relationships.
Category 5
"Different Roles, Different Selves, Authenticity" 26,27, 31,32,33,34,35,36
Question #26: Some people claim that the roles they play force them to be
72


inauthentic? Does this happen to you?
Of the respondents, 74% answered yes, mentioning the workplace.
26% said no.
Question #27: Some people claim that our demanding daily lives force us to
be inauthentic as we interact with others and as a result we also become
inauthentic to our close ones and even sometimes to ourselves. What is your
reaction to this statement?
Of the respondents, 68% answered yes, I agree with that.
21% said no.
11% stated no, but I can see how it could happen.
Question #31: Would you react the same to a parent criticizing you as you
would to a stranger criticizing you?
Of the respondents, 68% answered no.
32% said yes.
Question #32: Would you react the same to a parent criticizing you as you
would to a lover criticizing you?
Of the respondents, 68% answered no.
21% said yes.
11% stated sane, or depends.
Question #33: Do you feel authentic in the presence of intimates?
Of the respondents, 74% answered yes.
21% stated sometimes or not always.
5% said no.
Question #34: Do you feel authentic in the presence of strangers?
Of the respondents, 80% answered yes.
15% stated no.
5% said almost.
Question #35: Do you feel authentic in the presence of subordinates
(children, employees, etc.)?
Of the respondents, 84% answered yes.
11% said yes with children, or as much as possible.
5% stated no.
Question #36: Do you feel authentic in the presence of dominates (boss,
73


parent, etc.)?
Of the respondents, 53% answered yes.
42% said no.
5% stated most of the time.
Category 6
"Self Presentation and Authenticity" 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44
Question #37: It has been said that we present one self to the world (public)
and another self at home (in private). Do you think this is true of you?
Of the respondents, 58% answered yes.
21% stated yes, to a degree, in some ways, at work.
21% said no.
Question #38: Do you think tl at there may be more than these two choices?
Of the respondents, 53% answered yes.
36% said probably, internal s< If, when alone, depends on the situation.
11% stated no, thats probably all.
Question #39: If it is true that we present slightly different selves in different
situations, do you feel that you remain authentic in each? Or, can you be
authentic in more than one?
Of the respondents, 68% answered yes, I can be authentic in more than one.
21% said no.
11% stated hopefully, yes/no.
Question #40: Do you feel that a change in your self-presentation means a
change in your authenticity?
Of the respondents, 42% answered no.
32% said yes.
21% stated maybe, depends, not usually.
5% said they didn't know.
Question #42: Do you think that in any (or all) of your roles you are expected
to project a certain image?
Of the respondents, 80% answered yes.
15% stated in certain roles like work.
5% said no.
Question #43: Do you ever take this "expected" image so seriously that it
74


automatically becomes a part of you? Do you take it into other situations or
roles without realizing it?
Of the respondents, 58% answered yes.
26% said no.
16% stated they did not anymore, in some ways, and others do.
Question #44: Does this affect your real self/authenticity?
Of the respondents, 58% said yes it can.
26% answered no.
16% said not usually, sometimes, different situations.
75


Study II Part 1
Category 1
"People Playing Roles" 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,12, 33
Questions #3, 4: What roles do you currently play and what is the most
important role and what is the least important role?
Of the respondents, 71% answered that the role of employee was the least
important role.
65% stated that their most important role was that of spouse/partner, 35%
gave friend and misc. as their most important role.
Question #5: Do you think that you are performing more roles than your
mother/father or grandmother/grandfather did?
Of the respondents, 59% answered yes, playing more roles.
Question #6: Do you feel that at least sometimes playing these different roles
causes stress in your life?
Of the respondents, 94% answered yes stating that the stress came from a
combination of their roles (role conflict).
Question #7: Do you think men and women in our society play the same
number of roles?
Of the respondents, 59% answered no, women play more.
Question #8: Do you think that many other people are in a similar situation
as you?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes.
Question #12: If you were a person of the opposite sex, would you play your
roles differently?
Of the respondents, 53% answered yes.
Question #33: Have you ever experienced difficulty as you transition from
one of the roles you play to another?
Of the respondents, 71% answered yes, with 38% giving the example of
transitioning from work to home roles.
Category 2
"Difficult Roles, Difficult Selves" 9,10,11,13, 30
76


Question #9: As you play your roles, do you feel that you have to present
different selves to others, that is do you feel fragmented?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes.
Question #10: If you do present different selves to others, are these different
selves a part of you or do you adopt them just for a particular role?
Of the respondents, 94% answered yes, they saw the different selves as a part
of them.
Question #11: Even though one may present different aspects of ones self to
others, do you think that certain characteristics (core self) remain the same
in these interactions?
Of the respondents, 100% answered yes there is a part of me that remains
constant.
Question #13: Do you feel that there are discrepancies with the way(s) you
describe yourself and others describe you?
Of the responde nts, 82% answered yes.
Question #30: Tome people say they find themselves acting one way with one
person or group and another way with another person or group? Does this
ever happen to you?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes, usi ig the examples of being in a new
situation or in a work situation.
Category 3
"Authentic Self, Real Self' 14,15,16,18,19, 22, 29
Question #14: Who Knows the Real You?
Of the respondents, 41% said family, friends, those close to me.
41% stated m3/myself.
12% said no one, not me.
6% answered everyone.
Question #15: Under which conditions do you think you can present the real
you?
Of the respondents, 65% said around friends and family.
17.5% stated at any time, all the time.
17.5% said when I trust someone.
77


Question #16: What do you think being authentic means?
Of the respondents, 82% answered being real, being your true self, or being
yourself.
12% stated not changing for others.
6% said be original.
Question #18: Who are you the most authentic to?
Of the respondents, 82% answered to family, spouse/partner, friends.
13% said to everyone.
12% answered to myself.
6% said to new people.
Question #19: Are you authentic to yourself?
Of the respondents, 71% answered yes.
18% said most of the time.
5.5% asked how would I know.
5.5% answered no.
Question #22: When are you the most inauthentic?
Of the respondents, 29% answered at work.
23% said in new situations.
18% stated when they were put on the spot or pressured.
12% answered when they didn't feel well, when drinking.
12% trying to be nice, not make family members angry.
6% I'm not inauthentic.
Question #29: What motivates you to be authentic?
Of the respondents, 41% said they like themselves better this way.
23% mentioned love of life, love of people.
18% answered the way I was raised.
18% said golden rule, don't like other options.
Category 4
"I Wish People Were More Authentic" 17,20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28
Question #17: Do you think authenticity is important in our interactions?
Of the respondents, 94% answered yes with several saying the world would
be a better place.
6% said yes it would be important if we could actually do it.
78


Question # 20: What do you think about others? Are they authentic in their
daily lives, to themselves?
Of the respondents, 47% answered yes, some are, to varying degrees,
depends on the person/situation.
47% said no, may want to be but can not.
6% stated they didn't know.
Question #21: Do you enjoy it when someone presents his/her authentic self
to you? Would you want this in all of your relationships or only some?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes, in all.
12% said most of the time.
6% stated it would depend on what their authenticity was.
Question #23: Are you able to discern when others are inauthentic?
Of the respondents, 71% answered yes, catching people in lies, a gut feeling
or reaction, non-verbal cues.
23% said not always, tal es time and effort looking for inconsistencies.
6% mentioned that it wi s impossible to know for sure.
Question #24: Who is th<: most authentic to you?
Of the respondents, 94% answered their spouse/partner, family members,
friends.
6% said they were not st re.
Question #25: Can you say that you really know this person?
Of the respondents, 94% answered yes.
6% said they were not sure.
Question #28: What is tl> e role of authenticity in intimate relationships?
Of the respondents, 59% answered that it provides trust.
35% said it is very important, could not have an intimate relationship
without it.
6% stated that no one really knows.
Category 5
"Different Roles, Different Selves, Authenticity" 26, 27, 31, 32, 33, 34
Question #26: Some people claim that the roles they play force them to be
inauthentic? Does this happen to you?
Of the respondents, 76% answered yes, with one-third using the work role as
79


an example.
24% said no.
Question #27: Some people claim that our demanding daily lives force us to
be inauthentic as we interact with others and as a result we can also become
inauthentic to our close ones, and even sometimes to ourselves. What is your
reaction to this statement?
Of the respondents, 35% answered yes they agreed.
30% said they did not agree.
35% stated that they could see how it was possible, at times.
Question #31: Would you react the same to a parent criticizing you as you
would to a stranger criticizing you?
Of the respondents, 71% answered no they would not.
24% said yes they would.
5% stated that they were not sure.
Question #32: Would you react the same to a parent criticizing you as you
would to a lover criticizing you?
Of the respondents, 46% answered no they would not.
30% stated that they were not sure, it would be' lose.
24% said ye^ they would.
Question #33: Do you feel authentic in the presence of intimates?
Of the respondents, 65% answered yes.
30% said usually, not all the time, most of the time.
5% stated no they did not.
Question #34: Do you feel authentic in the presence of strangers?
Of the respondents, 46% answered yes.
24% said almost the same, most of the time, yes and no.
18% stated no they did not.
12% mentioned not often, not right away.
Question #35: Do you feel authentic in the presence of subordinates
(children, employees, etc.)?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes.
18% said usually, some.
Question #36: Do you feel authentic in the presence of dominates (boss,
80


parent, etc.)?
Of the respondents, 46% answered yes.
30% said no.
12% stated sometimes.
12% answered not as much as subordinates.
Category 6
"Self Presentation and Authenticity" 37, 38, 39, 40, 42, 43, 44
Question #37: It has been said that we present one self to the world (public)
and another self at home (private). Do you think this is true of you?
Of the respondents, 70% answered yes.
18% stated sometimes, to some degree, pretty much the same.
12% said no.
Question #38: Do ;/ou think that there may be more than these two choices?
Of the respondent s, 58% answered yes.
18% stated maybe, not much more.
12% said they didnt know, were not certain.
12% no, probably not.
Question #39: If it is true that we present slightly different selves in different
situations, do you feel that you remain authentic in each one? Or can you be
authentic in more than one?
Of the respondents, 70% answered yes they can remain authentic in more
than one.
18% stated in degrees, depending on the situation.
12% said no.
Question #40: Do you feel that a change in your self-presentation means a
change in your authenticity?
Of the respondents, 53% answered that it depends, not necessarily, could
happen.
41% said no.
6% stated yes it would mean a change in their authenticity.
Question #42: Do you think that in any (or all) of our roles you are expecte
to present a certain image?
Of the respondents, 88% answered yes.
81


6% said no.
6% stated in certain roles.
Question #43: Do you ever take this "expected" image so seriously that it
automatically becomes a part of you? Do you take it into other situations
and roles without realizing it?
Of the respondents, 41% answered yes.
41% said no.
18% stated perhaps, at times, some.
Question #44: Does this affect your real self/authenticity?
Of the respondents, 47% answered yes.
35% said no.
12% stated sometimes, maybe partially.
6% said they did not know.
82


Study II Part 2
Category 1
"Authentic (real) Self in the Workplace" 38,39, 55a, 55b
Question # 38: Do you feel that you are able to be authentic/your 'real self in
your work situation?
Of the respondents, 53% answered yes.
41% stated somewhat, sometimes
6% said no.
Question #39: Have you ever been more authentic in some job situations
than others (different jobs, or different situations within one job)?
Of the respondents, 88% answered yes.
12% said thatthey had not experienced that or no difference.
Question #55a: Do you like yourself when you are in your work situation?
Of the respondents, 71% answered yes.
23% said yes, but conditional: usually, most of the time, yes but not as much
as when they are at home.
Question #55b: Do you like yourself when you are in your home situation?
Of the respondents, 88% answered yes.
12% said yes, but conditional: usually, most of the time.
Category 2
"Impact of Authenticity in the Workplace" 40a, 40b, 41a, 41b, 50
Question #40a: What, if anything, does being authentic on the job contribute
to you or take away from you?
Of the respondents, 53% answered that they could feel more relaxed and
comfortable, and less stressed.
355% stated that it contributed to their self worth, esteem, confidence,
integrity.
6% said it keeps them from losing themselves.
6% mentioned that they would have more to give.
One respondent said that being authentic on the job took time and energy
away from his family.
Question #40b: What, if anything, does being authentic on the job contribute
83


to the job?
Of the respondents, 76% answered that they would do a better job, be more
productive, faster, and complete more work.
12% said it would make things easier and help the work situation.
6% stated they would be able to give more of self to the job.
6% mentioned they could have a good time working.
Question #41a: What impact, if any, does inauthenticity in the work
situation have on you?
Of the respondents, 53% answered they w ould be less trustful, more stressed,
frustrated, upset.
23% said nothing good can come from it, makes things harder.
18% stated that they would quit, it depended on the work, never experienced
it.
6% mentioned that it would impact the importance of the position.
Question #41b: What impact, if any, does inauthenticity in the workplace
have on the job?
Of the respondents, 59% answered that it affects job performance.
35% said they would be less comfortable and have bad attitudes, be less
productive.
6% stated it would be time to switch jobs.
Question #50: Do you think that you have ever been in an abusive work
situation?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes.
18% said no.
One respondent stated: "I think expecting one to work for 40 hours or more
a week, put personal and family needs on hold, and do work that is
unrewarding...is abusive (S2017=1099F)."
Category 3
"The Work Experience in Real Life" 42a, 42b, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48
Question #42a: Thinking of your collective work experiences, would you say
that overall they have been positive or negative?
Of the respondents, 64% answered positive.
18% said negative.
18% stated both.
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Question #42b: Do you think this is common for most people?
Of the respondents, 23% answered yes, a positive experience for others.
64% said no, a negative experience for others.
6% stated they did not know.
6% answered both.
Question # 43: Concerning your negative experiences, what factors do you
think created the problems? i.e. management, environment, policy,
coworkers, other?
Of the respondents, 70% answered management.
18% said self.
6% mei tioned a combination of everything.
6% stated they did not know.
Question #44: Was a boss/supervisor involved in the problem?
Of the respondents, 76% answered yes.
18% said self.
6% stated no.
Question #45: Do you think that you could have contributed to the situation
in any way?
Of the respondents, 82% answered yes.
18% said no.
Question #46: Did you take any action, direct or indirect?
Of the respondents, 88% answered yes both direct and indirect i.e.,
complained, wrote letters, quit, got fired, stole things. One respondent
warned that when you take action and look behind to see who is backing you
up, there will be no one.
12% said no.
Question #47: How did this make you feel?
Of the respondents, 47% had negative experiences that left them feeling
badly about themselves, betrayed, angry, frustrated, confused, stressed,
insecure, and less of a person.
35% had positive experiences and felt good about voicing their opinion,
doing the right thing, helping others out, helping the work situation.
12% had both positive and negative experiences.
Question #48: Were there any consequences to your reaction or action?
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(Was it possible to work things out?)
Of the respondents, 70% stated that they had positive experiences, were able
to work things out, learn from their mistakes, find a better job, be an
example to others.
18% had negative experiences, were fired, quit, were frustrated.
6% said they had both, mixed feelings.
6% said they didn't know.
Category 4
"The Impact of Work" 49, 51, 52, 53, 54
Question #49: Have you changed as a result of any negative work situation?
Of the respondents, 65% answered yes.
35% said no.
Question #51: How important is your job to you (a source of income, makes
you feel good about yourself, neither, other factors)?
Of the respondents, 53% answered both income and self worth.
29% said income only.
18% stated self-worth.
Question #52: If you lost your job, how would that mape you feel about
yourself?
Of the respondents, 41% answered devastated, terrible, like a failure.
29% said they would know they could get another job, its their loss.
12% stated it would depend on the situation and cause.
12% said they did not know.
6% answered that they would look at what else defined them.
Question #53: Do you take work home with you?
Of the respondents, 41% answered no.
29% said yes.
12% said they used to.
12% mentioned they tried not to.
6% answered sometimes.
Question #54: Does your job require you to dress in a specific way to present
a certain image?
Of the respondents, 59% answered yes.
29% said no.
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12% stated not too much, it is pretty casual.
Category 5
"What Have You Learned?" 56, 57, 58, 59
Question #56: What, if anything, have you learned from your work
experiences, and what suggestion, if any, would you make to others?
Of the respondents, 23% said to do what really makes you happy.
23% mentioned develop confidence.
12% said lighten up, it is only a job.
12% stated to do the best that you can.
Question #57: If you could change one thing about your job, what would it
be?
Of the respondents, 29% answered work in a positive atmosphere.
23% said be paid more money.
23% stated changes in schedule, training, prep time, the drive.
12% answered be the boss, quit.
12% said they already had the perfect job.
Question #58: What would your ideal job be?
Of the respondents, 41% answered self-employed.
23% said to be able to use their creativity.
12% mentioned being able to do something useful, contribute to society.
12% stated to have their degree, be closer to home.
12% said they just about had the perfect job already.
Question #59: Having thought about these concepts and answered the
questions in this interview, do you believe that it is possible to be completely
authentic in a work situation?
Of the respondents, 53% answered no, it isn't realistic, not possible, not if
you have to work for someone else.
47% said yes with conditions such as be the boss, have enough autonomy.
87


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