Understanding knowledge hiding in organizations - Special Issue Editorial in the Journal of Organizational Behavior
Summary: In our introduction to this special issue on understanding knowledge hiding in organizations, we provide some context to how and why this phenomenon should be studied. We then describe the five articles that comprise the special issue, and we note some common themes and divergences in this collection. Our introduction concludes with some suggestions for future research on knowledge hiding in organizations.
We got our 'strudel' ready and baked, and published in the latest issue of the Human Resource Management Review. I'm especially happy to be reporting about this publication for two reasons; 1) it's my first real theory paper that got published, and 2) it was published with my two dear friends, Renata Kenda and Saša Batistič from Tilburg University.
Interpersonal trust is associated with a range of adaptive outcomes, including knowledge sharing. However, to date, our knowledge of antecedents and consequences of employees feeling trusted by supervisors in organizations remains limited. On the basis of a multisource, multiwave field study among 956 employees from 5 Norwegian organizations, we examined the predictive roles of perceived mastery climate and employee felt trust for employees' knowledge sharing. Drawing on the achievement goal theory, we develop and test a model to demonstrate that when employees perceive a mastery climate, they are more likely to feel trusted by their supervisors at both the individual and group levels. Moreover, the relationship between employees' perceptions of a mastery climate and supervisor-rated knowledge sharing is mediated by perceptions of being trusted by the supervisor. Theoretical contributions and practical implications of our findings are discussed.
- Christina G.L. Nerstad, Rosalind Searle, Matej Černe, Anders Dysvik, Miha Škerlavaj, Ronny Scherer
As a new approach of promoting our research (the FELU video vault of research projects), initiated by my school, here's a video briefly describing my ongoing research on humanizing innovation. Enjoy!
The only thing better than the contents of the latest issue of the Dynamic Relationships Management Journal, which I'm Editor-in-Chief of, is its fresh new look. Check out all the open access papers here (covering a wide variety of topics ranging from leadership, innovation, entrepreneurship, culture and ethics, risk and trust) and the cover below. Special thanks to our new graphic designer, Patrick Erjavec - Eklipsa. And be sure to submit your paper - next issue is scheduled for November!
Our paper on knowledge hiding, cultural intelligence and individual and team creativity, co-authored by Sabina Bogilović, myself and Miha Škerlavaj was just published in the latest issue of the European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. Special congrats to the first author, Sabina, on driving the project forward! You can find the abstract below:
Culturally diverse colleagues can be valuable sources for stimulating creativity at work, yet only if they decide to share their knowledge. Drawing on the social exchange theory, we propose that cross-cultural interactions among individuals from different national backgrounds can act as a salient contingency in the relationship between knowledge hiding and creativity (individual and team). We further suggest, based on the social categorization theory (e.g., the categorization process of “us” against “them” based on national differences), that cultural intelligence enhances the likelihood of high-quality social exchanges between culturally diverse individuals and, therefore, remedies the otherwise negative relationship between individual knowledge hiding and individual creativity. Two studies using field and experimental data offer consistent support for this argument. First, a field study of 621 employees nested among 70 teams revealed that individual knowledge hiding is negatively related to individual creativity and that cultural intelligence moderates the relationship between knowledge hiding and creativity at an individual level. A quasi-experimental study of 104 international students nested in 24 teams replicated and extended these findings by implying that individual knowledge hiding is also negatively related to team creativity. We discuss the implications for practice and future research.
As part of a yearly review issue, our quantitative review paper that looks into how multi-level is leadership research was published in LQ. The paper is co-authored by Saša Batistič from University of Tilburg and Bernd Vogel from Henley Business School, Univ. of Reading. Abstract below and link to summary in Slovene here.
The use of multi-level theories and methodologies in leadership has gained momentum in recent years. However, the leadership field still suffers from a fragmented and unclear evolution and practice of multi-level approaches. The questions of how and to what extent multi-level research has evolved in both leadership phenomena and leadership outcomes, and which informal research networks drove this evolution, remain vastly unexplored. In this study, the extent of literature published between 1980 and 2013 is analyzed using a document co-citation analysis and invisible colleges' framework. This allows us to map the evolution of the multi-level intellectual structure of the leadership field. Specifically, we identify a number of distinct colleges – their conceptualization of leadership and outcomes – and trace their evolution paths over thirty years. We find a considerable fragmentation of the field, with the usage of multi-level leadership conceptualization mostly embraced by more peripheral clusters. Finally we discuss implications for further research with regard to a set of distinct trajectories for the future evolution of multi-level approaches in the leadership domain.
As part of a special issue on HRM and innovation (guest edited by Helen Shipton, Pawan Budhwar, Paul Sparrow and Alan Brown), our paper that looks into the cross-level interplay among knowledge hiding, team mastery climate and job design in stimulating employees' innovative work behavior was just published in HRMJ. This paper also marks the first common publication (hopefully, of many more to come) with Tomislav Hernaus, colleague from University of Zagreb. Abstract below:
This study investigates the multilevel interplay among team-level, job-related, and individual characteristics in stimulating employees' innovative work behavior (IWB) based on the theoretical frameworks of achievement goal theory (AGT) and job characteristics theory (JCT). A multilevel two-source study of 240 employees and their 34 direct supervisors in two medium-sized Slovenian companies revealed significant two- and three-way interactions, where a mastery climate, task interdependence, and decision autonomy moderated the relationship between knowledge hiding and IWB. When employees hide knowledge, a team mastery climate only facilitates high levels of IWB if accompanied by either high task interdependence or high decision autonomy. In the absence of one of these job characteristics, knowledge hiding prevents higher levels of IWB even in the case of strong team mastery climate. The results suggest that multiple job design antecedents are necessary to neutralize the negative influence of knowledge hiding on micro-innovation processes within organizations.
Along with colleagues Saša Batistič (Tillburg University) and Robert Kaše and Ivan Župič from FELU, we've published a paper on the interactive role of HR systems and relational climates in stimulating employee proactivity. Here's the abstract:
Emphasizing the role of the organizational context and adopting a multilevel approach, we propose that the interplay between HR system configurations and relational climates has a cross-level effect on employee proactive behavior. Using a sample of 211 employees in 25 companies, we show that the laissez-faire context – featuring a combination of a weak compliance HR configuration and a strong market-pricing relational climate – is better suited for fostering employee proactive behavior than the nurturing context, which is characterized by a strong HR commitment configuration and a strong communal-sharing relational climate. We also found that combining a strong HR commitment configuration with a weak communal-sharing climate is associated with more employee proactivity. We discuss what our findings suggest about the interaction between HR system configurations and organizational climate dimensions and about their role in influencing individual-level outcomes.
With colleagues Sut I Wong and Miha Škerlavaj from BI Norwegian Business School, we've published a paper on the antecedents of job crafting in Human Resource Management. Here's the abstract:
Job crafting offers several beneficial organizational outcomes, yet little is known about what makes employees engage in it. In particular, the role of leaders in influencing their subordinates to engage in job crafting has been insufficiently studied. Drawing on role theory, we suggest that the congruence of leader-subordinate autonomy expectations nurtures subordinates’ experiences of having their competences adequately utilized in their jobs. This experience, which involves the competence mobilization of their work roles, subsequently fosters subordinates’ engagement in job-crafting behavior. A two-stage field study of 145 leader-subordinate dyads using cross-level polynomial regression and response surface analysis supported the (in)congruence hypotheses. The results also demonstrated that subordinates’ perceived competence mobilization mediates the relationship between autonomy expectation (in)congruence and job crafting. In addition, leader coalition as a moderator strengthens the effect of perceived competence mobilization as a psychological condition for job crafting. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
Another great news, our (with Robert Kaše and Miha Škerlavaj) paper entitled 'Non-technological innovation research: evaluating the intellectual structure and prospects of an emerging field' was accepted for publication and very quickly published in SJM, in the second issue of 2016. This is the very first part of my PhD (very much revised after a bunch of interesting review experiences at various outlets) that applies a cocitation analysis to examine the theoretical foundations, evolution, and prospects of the emerging field of non-technological innovation. Here's the abstract:
This paper is aimed at enhancing our understanding of theoretical origins, intellectual structure and outlook of non-technological innovation research with the purpose of facilitating further development of an emerging research field. We perform a co-citation analysis of 482 articles addressing non-technological innovation published since 1975 and examine more than 11,000 sources that they drew on to identify key areas of research within the literature. By using a co-citation tie between articles as the unit of analysis, we dynamically trace and visualize the evolution of the intellectual structure of the non-technological innovation research. Based on our findings, we conclude that the prospects for further development of the (emerging) field lie in: (1) bridging the creativity and innovation literatures at the individual level and addressing employee-based non-technological innovations; (2) strengthening the microfoundations and a multi-level (bottom-up) approach; (3) identifying potential avenues for positioning non-technological innovation vis-a-vis the innovation management field and further building connections and; (4) consolidating the relationship between management innovation as the dominant stream of research and non-technological innovation as the umbrella concept.
As part of the FELU research conference, we received another award for our AMJ paper: best award published by faculty members of The Faculty of Economics University of Ljubljana. We were in good company, as the other awarded papers included the one by Jože Sambt published in Science and the one published by Peter Trkman and Carlos da Silva in Long Range Planning. More news and gallery here.
Management Innovation enters the game... a new publication in Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice
We (myself, Miha Škerlavaj and Marko Jaklič) have just received good news from Innovation: Management, Policy and Practice that our paper on the outcomes of Management Innovation was finally accepted for publication. While it took a while (this is the first paper, chronollogically, that I've written as part of my dissertation, we have to say that after the journal changed the submission system and the action editor, they've been quite fast. Here's the abstract:
The aim of this study is to investigate the innovation-performance relationship at the organizational level by empirically examining the role of management innovation in the link between technological innovation and financial performance. We adopt a view that is less present in the innovation literature and examine how technological innovations spur the need for new managerial solutions, which in turn result in improved firm performance. We apply a research methodology of testing our model via structural equation modeling on data gathered from 604 firms in three countries: Slovenia, Spain, and South Korea. The findings indicate that management innovation is the mechanism that enables firms to fully benefit from their technological discoveries in order to result in superior financial performance. The conclusions of the paper are related to shifting the view that presumes the crucial and almost exclusive importance of technological innovation for enhancing firm performance.
Within the week of Ljubljana University, I was very happy to receive the Best Young Professor Award for Extraordinary Teaching and Research Achievements, which was handed to me at the very nice event on December 1st at the main University building.
As of today, I became a registered organizational designer, a member of the Orgdesignhub (Centar za organizacijski dizajn COD), based in Croatia and ran by our friend and colleague from Faculty of Economics and Business University of Zagreb:
Centar za organizacijski dizajn (COD) je virtualna zajednica studenata, znanstvenika i stručnjaka koji se žele informirati, učiti i razvijati u području organizacije i menadžmenta, s posebnim naglaskom na razvoj organizacije i ljudskih potencijala.
Jezgru COD tima čini nekolicina znanstvenika koja se aktivno bavi teorijom i praksom dizajniranja i organiziranja poslovnih sustava, s ciljem njihova daljnjeg razvoja i povećanja individualne, grupne i organizacijske djelotvornosti.
Some more good news, our three-study paper 'I want to be creative, but … preference for creativity, perceived clear outcome goals, work enjoyment, and creative performance' was (after three rounds of review, lasting for about a year and a half) accepted for publication in European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology. Here's the abstract:
In today’s quickly changing work environment, many individuals want to be creative at their workplace, but only some of them succeed at manifesting these tendencies. In three studies, using both field and experimental data, we focused on transforming individuals’ preference for creativity, defined as an inclination for liking and wanting to be creative, into actual creativity. We first conducted a pilot Study 1 to establish discriminant validity to related constructs and provided initial evidence on predictive and incremental validity of the preference-for-creativity scale. Next, we performed a field Study 2, where we found that transforming preferences for creativity into supervisor-rated creativity is contingent upon employees’ perceptions of clear outcome goals. Clear outcome goals fostered individuals’ preference for creativity to result in higher levels of supervisor-rated creative behaviour—a finding that was replicated in an experimental Study 3. Furthermore, we explored whether work enjoyment mediated the moderated relationship between preference for creativity and creative outcomes. The results supported our mediated moderation model, whereby the manipulation of clear goals led to higher work enjoyment, influencing individuals’ preference for creativity to result in higher ratings of their creative outcomes.
The Norwegian Research Council recognized our past work and potential in our ideas, and approved our project entitled Fair Labor in the Digitized Economy, set up by our colleagues at BI Norwegian Business School Sut I Wong Humborstad and Christian Fieseler.
The primary objective of this project is to investigate what constitutes fair labor in an employment environment disrupted through new technology. To this end, we want
- to depict the substitution effects of technology and new digital business models on traditional forms of labor, and anticipate new forms of employment to deliver insights on the nature, desirability, advantages and disadvantages and the fairness of these emerging forms of work, taking into account both the employment and corporate perspective.
- to deliberate on the effects more or less labor fairness has on human well-being and social cohesion.
- to derive solutions in terms of responsible technology design, corporate responsibilities, political and public deliberation, and employee skill building and consultation.
Specifically, the Slovene part of the project will focus on how creativity and innovation are shaped in light of the digital labor, and what potential job-design and organizational-design measures can be applied to overcome the barrier of not being present at work together, physically. The project consortium, besides the leading partner in Norway and Faculty of Economics University of Ljubljana, includes the following: institutions Harvard University, University of St. Gallen, Copenhagen Business School and Erasmus University (Rotterdam).
Matej Černe, PhD
Researcher, lecturer and consultant on the field of management and organization.