How and when do employees hide knowledge from co-workers? A multilevel analysis

Drawing in the integrated theoretical frameworks of social learning and social cognitive theories, we developed and tested a multilevel moderated-mediation model for the mediation effect of moral disengagement between perceived organizational politics (POP) and employee knowledge hiding from coworkers (EKHC). The mediation effect of MD is then further moderated by supervisor knowledge hiding from the employee (SKHE). We obtained multi-sourced, multi-timed, and multilevel data of 294 employees, nested within 80 supervisors, working in a diverse range of organizations operating in Pakistan. Data were analyzed by applying multilevel structural equation modeling (ML-SEM) using Mplus. Results showed that employee moral disengagement significantly mediated the direct relationship between  POP and EKHC. The mediation effect was then further positively moderated by SKHE, which amplified the mediation effect. This is the first empirical study that examines both EKHC and SKHE together in a single research model and provides a thorough understanding of why, how, and when POP leads to EKHC.

Key Takeaways

  • Why emplyees hide information
  • How to stop employees from hiding important information


Speaker Profile


Dr Ghulam Ali Arain