The double-edged effects of perceived knowledge hiding: empirical evidence from the sales context

Yonggui Wang, Myat Su Han*, Diandian Xiang, Daniel Peter Hampson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Despite managers’ investments in facilitating knowledge sharing, knowledge hiding remains prevalent in organizations. Existing studies shed light on the antecedents and consequences of knowledge hiding from the hider’s perspective. This study, the first, aims to examine the consequences of perceived knowledge hiding on the performance of knowledge seekers individually and organizations more broadly. Design/methodology/approach: The authors develop a theoretical framework, drawing on self-determination theory (SDT) and social exchange theory (SET). The framework is tested empirically via hierarchical regression analyses, using survey data collected from salespersons (n = 296) and supervisors (n = 83) employed by one of the largest distribution and market expansion companies in Myanmar. Findings: Consistent with SDT, the results show that perceived knowledge hiding exerts a positive effect on knowledge seekers’ individual sales performance, although this relationship is moderated by social interaction. Conversely, the results show a negative relationship between perceived knowledge hiding and team viability, which is moderated by reward structure, consistent with SET. Research limitations/implications: The results have several strategic implications, including on the type of reward structures (i.e. individual vs team-based) that most effectively mitigate the negative consequences of perceived knowledge hiding. Originality/value: This is the first empirical study of the consequences of perceived knowledge hiding. This model integrates two theoretical perspectives which highlight positive and negative consequences of perceived knowledge hiding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-296
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Self-determination theory
  • Social exchange theory

Cite this