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The curvilinear relationship between knowledge leadership and knowledge hiding: The moderating role of psychological ownership

Qing Xia (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
Shumin Yan (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
Yuliang Zhang (School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai, China)
Baizhu Chen (School of Business, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 1 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the curvilinear relationship between knowledge leadership and knowledge hiding and the moderating role of psychological ownership on influencing the curvilinear relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 403 data were collected from participants in a high-technology company via a two-wave survey. Hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Results revealed an inverted U-shaped relationship between knowledge leadership and knowledge hiding. The employees exhibited more knowledge hiding in a moderate level of knowledge leadership than in lower and higher levels of knowledge leadership. Moreover, psychological ownership significantly moderated the curvilinear relationship such that the inverted U-shaped relationship was more pronounced among employees with high psychological ownership.

Practical implications

Employees’ reaction to knowledge leadership may vary from different levels of knowledge leadership. Moreover, organizations should boost employees’ psychological ownership especially for the collective identity that helps them own knowledge as “ours.”

Originality/value

This study extends both the leadership and knowledge management behavior literatures.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was partially supported by China’s National Natural Science Foundation under the Grant No. 71872130.

Citation

Xia, Q., Yan, S., Zhang, Y. and Chen, B. (2019), "The curvilinear relationship between knowledge leadership and knowledge hiding: The moderating role of psychological ownership", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 669-683. https://doi.org/10.1108/LODJ-10-2018-0362

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited