Volume 10, 2022: Issue 3 (Special Issue)

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The impact of knowledge hiding and toxic leadership on knowledge worker productivity – Evidence from IT sector of Pakistan


Sameen Khalid, School of Economics and Management, South West Jiaotong University, China

Yiyuan Li, School of Economics and Management, South West Jiaotong University, China

Khawaja Fawad Latif, COMSATS University Islamabad Attock Campus, Pakistan

Chunyong Tang, School of Economics and Management, South West Jiaotong University, China


This study intends to identify the impact of Knowledge Hiding and Toxic Leadership on Knowledge Management Process at Information Technology (IT) companies of Pakistan and explore the overall impact on Knowledge Worker Productivity by keeping knowledge worker ambidexterity as mediator. Any factor that could negatively influence the knowledge management process would hamper employees’ productivity in that setup. The knowledge-based view is used as base theory which characterizes knowledge as the most significant strategic utensil for performance, however, the IT sector being a highly knowledge-intensive sector provides rationale for conducting study in this area. The study is quantitative and the sample size consists of 405 respondents selected based on convenience sampling. However, Analysis was performed using Structural Equation Modelling Software Smart Partial Least-Square (SEM-PLS). The findings show that evasive hiding, playing dumb and toxic leadership does not have any significant impact on knowledge management process, however, rationalized hiding was positively related to knowledge management process and knowledge worker productivity. Also, partial mediation of knowledge worker ambidexterity was observed. Furthermore, this study is a significant addition to the existing literature as to the best of our knowledge, it is one of the earlier contributions to explore knowledge hiding as a barrier to the knowledge management process along with toxic leadership introducing mediating role of knowledge worker ambidexterity. Theoretical contributions and practical implications are also discussed at the end.


Knowledge hiding, toxic leadership, knowledge management process, knowledge worker ambidexterity, knowledge worker productivity, IT sector, Pakistan.




Research paper


The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management (OJAKM), ISSN: 2325-4688


International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (IIAKM)


12 April 2022


22 August 2022; 18 December 2022


18 December 2022

Accepting Editors:

Mírian Oliveira, Carla Curado, and Andrea Raymundo Balle