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Workplace inclusion–exclusion and knowledge-hiding behaviour of minority members

The increased mobility of people has resulted in an increasingly culturally diverse workforce. Organisations aim to ensure that all employees – regardless of race, ethnicity and religion – receive equal treatment. However, these ideas are often disconnected from reality. This paper attempts to bridge the knowledge management and diversity literature to examine knowledge hiding by minority members that occurs due to differences in demographic characteristics. Semi-structured interviews and deductive thematic analysis reveal that minority members engage in knowledge-hiding behaviour due to exclusion experienced in the workplace. They also use knowledge hiding as an inclusion strategy. We contribute to knowledge management research and practice by studying knowledge hiding in the context of a diverse workforce, showing that it occurs due to perceived exclusion. We also show it takes place to improve inclusion and assimilation of minority members. Additionally, we identify a new facet of knowledge-hiding characteristic for cross-cultural collaboration: adjustable hiding.