The social-psychological approach in understanding knowledge hiding within international R&D teams: An inductive analysis

Chang Xiong, Victor Chang, Veronica Scuotto, Yujie Shi, Niccolò Paoloni

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Abstract

Knowledge hiding is widely considered a counter-productive workplace behavior that can hinder the employees' creativity and have a negative impact on performance. Although companies are prone to encourage knowledge sharing practices, employees are inclined to hide their knowledge – tacit and explicit. Often this happens in research and development (R&D)process where team members may distrust each other or intentionally are not hostile in sharing knowledge. The phenomenon of knowledge hiding has increased the interest in researchers who have explored it in different views, there has been little research into the antecedents of knowledge hiding and the social factors that trigger the relate behavior. In this vein, the current study seeks to analyze antecedents and social factors through the lens of the theory of planned behavior as the guiding theory in an in-depth qualitative research. Specifically, knowledge hiders' attitudes, subjective norms and their perceived behavioral control over the knowledge hiding along with the cultural dimensions of 15 international R&D teams are investigated. Although exploratory, the study reveals the fact that cultivating an environment of collaboration and knowledge sharing is beneficial as it removes the organizational foundation of knowledge hiding, which is more likely to result in increased innovation within the whole organization. A comprehensive theoretical framework of knowledge hiding is proposed, and its implications on theory and practice are discussed with the aim of nudging further explorations on the topic.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2019

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