Why do employees hide their knowledge and what are the consequences? A systematic literature review

Evangelia Siachou, Eleni Trichina, Ioanna Papasolomou, Georgia Sakka

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Although knowledge hiding has always existed at work, it has only recently attracted scholarly attention. We conducted a systematic literature review to unveil its antecedents, unpack consequences and identify strategies to mitigate it. The study findings revealed that, although knowledge hiding is differently defined, there is consensus about its intentional nature leading to behaviors, which are triggered by personal (intrinsic) and organizational (extrinsic) antecedents, and result in explicit consequences for both employees and teams. Although existing literature fails to explicitly support distinct consequences at an organizational level, we argue that the adverse consequences of knowledge hiding affect organizations holistically. We adopted the Organizational Behavior Modification model to integrate the study outcomes, thus supporting that knowledge hiding stems from intrinsic and extrinsic antecedents creating either a positive or a negative reinforcement toward it. Organizations can modify knowledge hiding by eliminating stimuli with positive affectivity and strengthen the ones with negative affectivity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-213
    Number of pages19
    JournalJournal of Business Research
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


    • Knowledge hiding
    • Organizational behavior modification model
    • Systematic literature review


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