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Knowledge hiding in organizations

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Author(s): Connelly, C. E., Zweig, D., Webster, J., & Trougakos, J. P.

Date: 2012

Resource: Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(1), 64-88

Despite the efforts to enhance knowledge transfer in organizations, success has been elusive. It is becoming clear that in many instances employees are unwilling to share their knowledge even when organizational practices are designed to facilitate transfer. Consequently, this paper develops and investigates a novel construct, knowledge hiding. We establish that knowledge hiding exists, we distinguish knowledge hiding from related concepts (knowledge hoarding and knowledge sharing), and we develop a multidimensional measure of this construct. We also identify several predictors of knowledge hiding in organizations. The results of three studies, using different methods, suggest that knowledge hiding is comprised of three related factors: evasive hiding, rationalized hiding, and playing dumb. Each of these hiding behaviors is predicted by distrust, yet each also has a different set of interpersonal and organizational predictors. We draw implications for future research on knowledge management.

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Related Research Areas: Knowledge Hiding & Sharing