Why Withholding Information at Work Won’t Give You an Advantage

Zhou Jiang

Research output: Other contribution


Many of us hide knowledge because we fear the potential costs of sharing it — like losing power or worrying we will be judged based on what we know. If those costs are personal, we may even withhold knowledge to protect ourselves and expect to gain, or maintain, an advantage by doing so. But whether or not we succeed has been questionable, up until recently. Researchers conducted three studies to explore whether and how knowledge hiding backfires. They found that those who engage in knowledge hiding are about 17 percent less likely to thrive at work, or experience learning and growth. On the contrary, knowledge hiding makes employees feel psychologically unsafe.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherHarvard Business Review
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 26 Nov 2019

Publication series

NameHarvard Business Review
PublisherHarvard Business Publishing


  • knowledge management
  • Open communication
  • Work environment


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