Impact of Media Richness on Reduction of Knowledge-Hiding Behavior in Enterprises

Impact of Media Richness on Reduction of Knowledge-Hiding Behavior in Enterprises

Somayeh Labafi (University of Tehran, Iran), Datis Khajeheian (University of Tehran, Iran) and Idongesit Williams (Aalborg University, Denmark)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2956-9.ch008
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Knowledge hiding is one of the major obstacles in the progression of organizations that hinder the use of tacit knowledge of employees. The negative impact of this behavior is more significant in enterprises and small firms, because they are more reliant on knowledge of their employees. For this reason, factors that influence on tendency of employees to expose and use their knowledge would be appreciated by managers of organizations. With the aid of a conceptual framework in a qualitative study, this paper investigates the effect of media richness on knowledge hiding. Thematic analysis is used to analyze transcribed interview data from employees in a software company in Iran. Findings of the analysis show that media richness significantly impacts on organizational learning and influences on knowledge hiding behavior in employees. This article suggests that entrepreneurs and managers of small firms should provide employees' access to rich media content.
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The discussion in this chapter is on the effect of media platforms, used in organizations, on Knowledge hiding. Organizations thrive on knowledge acquired both internally and externally. Some organizations or firms, such as fast-growing start-ups, have been impacted positively by the knowledge they acquire (Friedrichsen et al., 2017, Salamzadeh & Kirby, 2017). This acquired knowledge enables entrepreneurial firms to survive turbulent markets (Khajeheian, 2013; Yang & Gabrielsson, 2017; Khajeheian, 2017). This makes the knowledge acquired by the organization, acquired externally or internally, a vital asset for success of entrepreneurial firms to survive and successfully compete with other entrepreneurial firms (Emami & Dimov, 2017; García-Sánchez et al., 2017).

Many researches have been done to investigate knowledge acquiring from external sources in entrepreneurial firms (e.g., Grigoriou & Rothaermel, 2016; Khajeheian, 2016; Khajeheian & Tadayoni, 2016; Trantopoulos et al., 2017). However, few researches have been done in regard of knowledge inside the entrepreneurial firms, while this has been a major problem (Huang et al., 2008). However, organizations and firms have been having problems in the acquisition of internal knowledge (Labafi, 2017). One of the main reasons for this problem is knowledge hiding (Labafi, 2017). In order to maintain competitive advantage with other colleagues within the firm, employees of firms and organizations are known to hide knowledge.

In a previous research conducted by the first author, the effect of knowledge hiding on innovation in software companies was studied (Labafi, 2017). Twenty software engineers working in an Iranian software company were interviewed. Data extracted from these interviews were analyzed using thematic analysis inspired by Meier and Boivin (2000). Within the findings, the availability of the media—such as the internet—was attributed to reducing Knowledge hiding, which would hamper innovations (Labafi, 2017). This was because the software engineers could access knowledge that would enhance their work from the Internet. However, if one were to probe the concept further, one is tempted to find out if the media platforms used in organizations actually hinder or hamper knowledge hiding between colleagues within organizations and entrepreneurial firms. Therefore, data gathered from the previous research was re-evaluated using the same methodology to find out, if the media is enable or hinder knowledge hiding. The outcome of this research is not generalizable as it is focused on a single case within an industrial sector. However, the significance of this work is in the fact that it provokes more discussion and research into investigating the impact of media on knowledge hiding in different sub-sectors of an economy in any country.

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