Knowledge hiding as a barrier to thriving: The mediating role of psychological safety and moderating role of organizational cynicism

Zhou Jiang, Xiaowen Hu, Zhongmin Wang, Xuan Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research demonstrates that knowledge hiding has a detrimental effect on the knowledge hider himself or herself. Extending this area, the present research examines how and when knowledge hiders struggle to thrive at work. Integrating self-perception theory and the socially embedded model of thriving, we propose that knowledge hiding negatively influences employees' thriving through psychological safety, and this influence is contingent on organizational cynicism. In Study 1a, a cross-sectional survey of 214 Chinese participants from a general working population supported the mediating role of psychological safety in the knowledge hiding and thriving relationship. Study 1b verified this result using two-wave data collected from 392 working adults in a panel that recruited participants mainly in Europe and North America. In addition to confirming the mediation with a two-wave field survey conducted among 205 employees in three Chinese organizations, Study 2 supported the moderating role of organizational cynicism. Specifically, the negative effect of knowledge hiding on psychological safety was greater under higher levels of organizational cynicism, as was the indirect effect of knowledge hiding on thriving via psychological safety. These findings contribute to both the knowledge hiding and the thriving literature and provide practical implications for both the manager and the employee.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)800-818
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume40
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • knowledge hiding
  • organizational cynicism
  • psychological safety
  • thriving

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