prosocial motivation, cultural tightness-looseness, uncertainty avoidance, knowledge hiding


In this paper we raise questions regarding the socio-cultural aspects of knowledge hiding. Specifically, we aim to deepen understanding regarding the role that national cultural dimensions and motivation plays in stimulating or preventing knowledge hiding. We investigate a three-way interaction between prosocial motivation, cultural tightness, and uncertainty avoidance to explain knowledge hiding in organizations. Our field studies involved working professionals from Slovenia (n = 123) and China (n = 253). Results show that the highest level of knowledge hiding was present when employees had a combination of a low level of prosocial motivation, a low level of cultural tightness, and a low level of uncertainty avoidance. The highest levels of knowledge hiding were present when employees are not motivated by the welfare of others, who are inclined to take risk and who perceive that who know that deviation from culture norms will not be sanctioned. We discuss the contributions and implications of our two studies for the fields of knowledge hiding and cross-cultural organizational behavior.