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Beyond knowledge sharing: Withholding knowledge at work

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-1-84855-004-9, eISBN: 978-1-84855-005-6

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 25 July 2008

Abstract

This chapter discusses why employees keep their knowledge to themselves. Despite managers’ best efforts, many employees tend to hoard knowledge or are reluctant to share their expertise with coworkers or managers. Although many firms have introduced specialized initiatives to encourage a broader dissemination of ideas and knowledge among organizational members, these initiatives often fail. This chapter provides reasons as to why this is so. Instead of focusing on why individuals might share their knowledge, however, we explain why individuals keep their knowledge to themselves. Multiple perspectives are offered, including social exchange, norms of secrecy, and territorial behaviors.

Citation

Webster, J., Brown, G., Zweig, D., Connelly, C.E., Brodt, S. and Sitkin, S. (2008), "Beyond knowledge sharing: Withholding knowledge at work", Martocchio, J.J. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 27), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-37. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-7301(08)27001-5

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited