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What is bullying hiding? Exploring antecedents and potential dimension of knowledge hiding

Yunyun Yuan (School of Business, Fuyang Normal University, Fuyang, China)
Lifeng Yang (School of Economics, Fuyang Normal University, Fuyang, China)
Xiangyang Cheng (School of Business, Fuyang Normal University, Fuyang, China)
Jia Wei (School of Economics and Finance, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, China)

Journal of Knowledge Management

ISSN: 1367-3270

Article publication date: 13 November 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021




The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships among knowledge attributes (complexity and implicitness), interpersonal distrust, knowledge hiding (KH) and team efficacy and second, to explore a new dimension of KH.


Data for this research were collected from more than 940 employees working in manufacturing, information technology (IT), finance and the purification industry. Structural equation modeling was used to test hypothesized relationships.


First, the research confirmed the existence of bullying hiding behaviors in the knowledge economy era based on “knowledge power.” Second, the findings suggest that knowledge attributes are an important predictor of KH behaviors in organizations. The findings implicate the mediating effect of interpersonal distrust and the moderating role of team efficacy, while team efficacy negatively moderated the relationships between interpersonal distrust with evasive hiding and playing dumb, but positively moderated the relationship between interpersonal distrust with rationalized hiding and bullying hiding.


This is the first study to propose bullying hiding, a behavior that has emerged in organizational knowledge transfer, and it is more detrimental to knowledge sharing than other KH behaviors. The results of research on the different regulating effects of team efficacy on KH behaviors enrich the boundary conditions of KH research.



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grand number 71804141; 71904187), the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grand number 2017M620459; 2018T111080), Anhui Provincial Philosophy and Social Science Planning General Program (Grand number AHSKY 2017D70), Anhui Provincial Department of Education Humanities and Social Sciences Research Key Program (Grand number SK2017A0281).


Yuan, Y., Yang, L., Cheng, X. and Wei, J. (2021), "What is bullying hiding? Exploring antecedents and potential dimension of knowledge hiding", Journal of Knowledge Management, Vol. 25 No. 5, pp. 1146-1169.



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