Study: Co-workers hide their best ideas

May 1, 2006

Canadian scientists say if you ever asked colleagues for information and then suspected they pretended to be ignorant, you might have been right.

Catherine Connelly, an assistant professor of human resources and management at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, has found employees often protect their knowledge and will even take steps to hide it from co-workers

The reluctance to share produces a contagious tendency to hide important knowledge and, as a result, productivity suffers, Connelly said.

She found employees are more willing to share with people they trust and who treat them fairly. "When organizations emphasize positive relationships and trust among employees, knowledge sharing will become part of the culture," explained Connelly.

Connelly and colleagues David Zweig of the University of Toronto and Jane Webster of Queen's University will present their findings in Dallas during this week's annual conference of The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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