Knowledge hiding between co-workers

May 2, 2006 at 9:35 am Leave a comment

Jack is doing some catching up and notes an interesting press release: Knowledge hiding between co-workers
New Research Finds Co-workers Hide their Ideas
McMaster University's May 1st press release titled "Co-workers hoard their best ideas: Silence not sharing is the norm" provides some interesting insights into how knowledge workers work together. "Have you ever asked a colleague for information, only to have them ignore your request? Did you feel they were purposely avoiding you or only pretending to be ignorant? You may have been right. Catherine Connelly, assistant professor of human resources & management at the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, has found that employees often protect their knowledge and will even take steps to hide it from co-workers.”

I am not really surprised by this finding. Even though more of us are realizing the value of sharing knowledg, many people are still evaluated based upon what they know and can do. Some of the indicators stated in the linked article are really power plays. As long as we reward people for having knowledge and not for sharing it — they will continue to behave in this manner.

I was curious, and being a curious librarian I poked around the web a bit.

Catherine Conelly's website does not yet list this presentation. Ok, well it is rather recent. So I searched and found The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. They have a link to streaming audio from their recent conference – so how great is that! However, you have to have been an attendee or pay to access the audio. It is not clear if non-members can access the files and it seems they will only be available for a year. How disappointing. I know that conferences look to raise money in any way they can, however this means that information that is useful for other disciplines is locked away. I don't think that one can know who can benefit from your experience and findings. I have personally found benefit from a wide range of disciplines.

It does seem a bit ironic that a presentation about knowledge hiding is rather hidden itself.

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Entry filed under: Knowledge Management, User behavior.

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