Knowledge hiding as an obstacle of innovation in organizations a qualitative study of software industry

Main Article Content

Somayeh Labafi


Knowledge Hiding, Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Management, Software industry.


Transmission and popularization of knowledge among personnel leads to a functional synergy in the
innovation processes of organizations. It has been found that most research on organizations are related
to knowledge sharing, while the knowledge hiding has seldom been investigated. Firms that operate
in a software industry are among the knowledge-based organizations in which employees are required
to possess specialized knowledge and skills to perform their tasks. The dissemination of knowledge
and information can help organizations to be innovative and to improve their competitive advantage.
Current study shows that information does not flow through the employees of sample organizations, and
employees prefer to hide their organizational knowledge from their colleagues in order to maintain their
own portfolios. Using thematic analysis, and interviews as data collection method, some thematic issues
were extracted. These themes include, behavioral characteristics, complexity of knowledge, Power
of requesting person, organizational incentives for knowledge sharing, Lack of clear responsibility for
knowledge sharing, Sense of internal competition, level of trust to colleagues, effect of ubiquitous media,
learning ability of the knowledge demandant, Level of personal contacts with colleagues, Deceiving
colleagues, Violence, Negative feedback from organizational environment.


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