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What happens when employees hide knowledge?

They hurt their colleagues’ creativity.

How: Upon colleagues’ request, they intentionally deny information needed for creative work – idea search, validation, reflection.

Not only that – they shoot themselves in the foot, hurting their own creativity.

How: colleagues distrust them and reciprocate by not sharing information needed for knowledge hiders’ creative work)

What can we do about it?

Organizations need to foster mastery climate conditions, where learning, collaboration and mutual goals are emphasized.

On the other hand, performance climate – situation where competition and individual rewards are stimulated – further aggravates the negative effects of knowledge hiding on creativity.

Černe, M., Nerstad, C. G., Dysvik, A., & Škerlavaj, M. (2014). What goes around comes around: Knowledge hiding, perceived motivational climate, and creativity. Academy of Management Journal, 57(1), 172-192.