Knowledge-Sharing Hostility and Governance Mechanisms: An Empirical Test

Kenneth Husted, Snejina Michailova, Dana Minbaeva, Torben Pedersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Purpose – This paper aims at further developing and empirically examining the concept of knowledge-sharing hostility. It seeks to analyze reasons for hoarding knowledge, reasons for rejecting external knowledge, and attitudes towards mistakes, as well as the influence of these factors on actual knowledge-sharing behavior. The paper aims to examine how two specific knowledge-governance mechanisms – commitment-based and transaction-based mechanisms – affect knowledge sharing

    Design/methodology/approach – The authors test the hypotheses on a sample of 1,639 respondents in 15 organizations in Denmark.

    Findings – The authors find that the use of transaction-based mechanisms promotes knowledge-sharing hostility by strengthening individuals' reasons for hoarding and rejecting knowledge, and by negatively affecting individuals' attitudes towards sharing knowledge about mistakes. In contrast, the use of commitment-based mechanisms diminishes knowledge-sharing hostility among individuals.

    Originality/value – The contribution of the paper is two-fold. First, it responds to the clear need to examine individual characteristics related to withholding knowledge in organizations. Second, by delineating specific organizational governance mechanisms that are critical for dealing with knowledge-sharing hostility, the research responds to the call for research aimed at explaining and detailing problems that lie in the intersection of organization and knowledge processes.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
    Issue number5
    Pages (from-to)754-773
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Knowledge-sharing behaviour
    • Individual Behaviour
    • Knowledge Transfer
    • Denmark
    • Governance Mechanisms
    • Knowledge-sharing hostility

    Cite this