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Organizational injustice and knowledge hiding: the roles of organizational dis-identification and benevolence

Sadia Jahanzeb (Department of Business, Memorial University (Grenfell Campus), Corner Brook, Canada)
Dirk De Clercq (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
Tasneem Fatima (Faculty of Management Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 7 April 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021

1926

Abstract

Purpose

With a basis in social identity and equity theories, this study investigates the relationship between employees' perceptions of organizational injustice and their knowledge hiding, along with the mediating role of organizational dis-identification and the potential moderating role of benevolence.

Design/methodology/approach

The hypotheses were tested with three-wave survey data collected from employees in Pakistani organizations.

Findings

The experience of organizational injustice enhances knowledge hiding because employees psychologically disconnect from their organization. This mediation by organizational dis-identification is buffered by benevolence or tolerance for inequity, which reduces employees' likelihood of reacting negatively to the unfavourable experience of injustice.

Practical implications

For practitioners, this study identifies organizational dis-identification as a key mechanism through which employees' perceptions of organizational injustice spur their propensity to conceal knowledge, and it reveals how this process might be mitigated by a sense of obligation to contribute or “give” to organizational well-being.

Originality/value

This study establishes a more complete understanding of the connection between employees' perceptions of organizational injustice and their knowledge hiding, with particular attention devoted to hitherto unspecified factors that explain or influence this process.

Keywords

Citation

Jahanzeb, S., De Clercq, D. and Fatima, T. (2021), "Organizational injustice and knowledge hiding: the roles of organizational dis-identification and benevolence", Management Decision, Vol. 59 No. 2, pp. 446-462. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-05-2019-0581

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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