Basima Tewfik


Basima Tewfik

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Basima Tewfik (pronounced buh-see-ma too-fik) is the Class of 1943 Career Development Professor and an Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Her main stream of research examines the psychology of the social self at work. In particular, she seeks to define new conversations around two underexplored phenomena in the organizational literature that implicate the social self: Workplace impostor thoughts (popularly known as impostor syndrome), defined as the belief that others overestimate one’s competence at work, and request-declining at work, defined as the active decision not to help others at work. In a secondary stream of work, she examines effective employee and workgroup functioning in the modern workplace, an increasingly important topic given the rising complexity of work. 

Her dissertation, entitled “Impostor thoughts as a double-edged sword: Theoretical conceptualization, construct measurement, and relationships with work-related outcomes” was named the winner of the 2018 INFORMS Dissertation Proposal Competition. Her work has additionally received recognition from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the International Association for Conflict Management, and the Academy of Management. She was named by Poets & Quants as a “40 Under 40” Best Business School Professor in 2021 and by Thinkers50 as one of 30 thinkers to watch in 2022.

Prior to her graduate studies, Basima worked as a management consultant at Booz & Company, engaging with national as well as global clients across a wide range of industries including financial services, healthcare, education, and aerospace and defense.

She received her PhD in management (Organizational Behavior) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and her AB, summa cum laude, in psychology with a secondary degree in economics from Harvard University.


Tewfik wins teaching award


"The Ebb and Flow of Job Engagement: Engagement Variability and Emotional Stability as Interactive Predictors of Job Performance."

Tewfik, Basima, Daniel Kim, and Shefali V. Patel. Journal of Applied Psychology. Forthcoming.

"The Help-Decliner's Dilemma: How to Decline Requests for Help at Work Without Hurting One's Image."

Basima A. Tewfik, Timothy Kundro, and Philip Tetlock. August 2018.

"A New Look at Conflict Management in Work Groups."

Carton, Andrew M. and Basima A. Tewfik. Organization Science Vol. 27, No. 5 (2016): 1125-1141. Figures. Download Paper.

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Impostor Syndrome and Its Surprising Upside

Basima Tewfik (Class of 1943 Career Development Professor; Assistant Professor of Work and Organization Studies) examines the psychology of the social self at work.

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Ideas Made to Matter

‘Impostor thoughts’ may have an upside in the workplace

New research from MIT Sloan refutes the long-held belief that there is nothing good about thinking one is overestimated by colleagues.

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