The findings indicate fear of career harm as a critical predictor of employees’ knowledge-hoarding behavior.
Mudit Shukla, Jindal Global Business School, OP Jindal Global University Jindal, Sonipat, India and Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indore, India.
Divya Tyagi, Jindal School of Banking and Finance, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat, India.
Sushanta Kumar Mishra, Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Bangalore, India.
Based on the conservation of resources theory, this study aims to investigate if the fear of career harm influences employees’ knowledge-hoarding behavior. The study further examines felt violation as the predictor of employees’ fear of career harm. The study also explores leader-member exchange as a boundary factor influencing the effect of felt violation on employees’ fear of career harm.
The data were collected in three waves from 402 professionals working in the information technology industry in Bengaluru, popularly known as the Silicon Valley of India.
The findings indicate fear of career harm as a critical predictor of employees’ knowledge-hoarding behavior. Moreover, felt violation indirectly impacts knowledge-hoarding behavior by enhancing employees’ fear of career harm. The adverse effect of felt violation was found to be stronger for employees with poor-quality relationships with their leaders.
The study carries important managerial implications as it uncovers the antecedents of knowledge hoarding. First, the human resource department can devise specific guidelines to ensure that the employees are treated the way they were promised. They can also organize training opportunities and mentoring so that the employees’ performance and growth do not get hampered, even if there is a violation. Moreover, such cases should be addressed in an adequate and expedited manner. More significantly, leaders can compensate for the failure of organizational-level levers by developing quality relationships with their subordinates.
The study advances the existing literature on knowledge hoarding by establishing a novel antecedent. Furthermore, it identifies how the employee-leader relationship’s quality can mitigate the adverse effect of felt violation.
Published in: Journal of Knowledge Management
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