When Knowledge Sharing Turns to Knowledge Hiding


Article by :Mr. Bharat Patel, C Engg, FIE, FIETE

President, ABS (A Div. of British Council), Ahmedabad

Chairman, Industry Association Connect- GESIA

Wisdom if not shared, does not get elevated and sharing of information is all about understanding issues which are beyond our domain of vision and that is where sharing of information will lead to problem resolution. On the other hand in the vague of hiding the information with a fear of competition, the resolution time frame not only gets extended but also turns out to be expensive.

I would like to share one of my recent CXO meeting organised by Lassib society with a topic of ‘Organisational Excellence’ where we learnt many of the aspects of inter domain (Finance, HR, Marketing, Process and IT) issues across various industries (Medical, Pharma, IT, Infra, Education etc); hence this emphasis on knowledge sharing will bring excellence in every domain of work.

Article by : Mr.  Amit Das 

President & CHRO -Reliance Communications

One of the challenges of knowledge management is that of getting people to share their knowledge. Why should people give up their hard-won knowledge, when it is one of their key sources of personal advantage? In some organizations, sharing is natural. In others the old dictum “knowledge is power” reigns.

Why Don’t People Share?

• “Knowledge is power” – but how true is this really? In today’s enterprise, where so much depends on teamwork and collective knowledge, it is only a handful of people who have knowledge for which they can hold their peers (and bosses) to ransom. Knowledge is power, but is typically not the primary reason for lack of knowledge sharing.
• “not invented here” syndrome – this is more common. People have pride in not having to seek advice from others and in wanting to discover new ways for themselves.
• Not realizing how useful particular knowledge is to others – an individual may have knowledge used in one situation but be unaware that other people at other times and places might face similar situations.
• Lack of trust – if I share some of my knowledge, will you use it out of context, mis-apply it (and then blame me!), or pass it off as your own without giving any acknowledgement or recognition to me as the source?
• Lack of time – this is the major reason given in many organizations. There is pressure on productivity, on deadlines, and it’s a general rule that the more knowledgeable you are, the more there are people waiting to collar you for the next task. How can you possibly find time to add your lessons learnt to the knowledge database or have a knowledge sharing session with your colleagues? …

Why Sharing Knowledge is important:-


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Article by : Mr. Aakash Thakur

Head – Corporate Learning & Development
Aarti Industries Limited

I found the concentration of topic headline is more into the organizational behaviour, knowledge sharing, conceptual metaphor, individual experiences, and cognitive sciences.

KNOWLEDGE is POWER and being a Single Point Of Failure (SPOF) is often the reason you can keep your job. How to deal with this kind of attitude towards knowledge sharing?

Why do they do it, is the question in the first place? Two big predictors are Basic Distrust and A Poor Knowledge-sharing culture within the company.

I’ve experienced that information sharing and hiding has got a lot to do with the organizational culture, competence of staff and incentives for stewardship. If the culture at the top management follows art of secrecy to save jobs and retain the value in the company then hiding practice follows down to the roots.

Companies often turn to technology, encouraging employees to build databases/ e-libraries of knowledge, but if workers are not willing to cooperate, these efforts are not very productive. Knowledge sharing requires more personal interaction than person-to-computer links.

To create the environment of sharing knowledge and establishing trust, Companies have to put strategies such as direct contact and less e-mail communication,
employee engagement,
highlighting examples of trustworthiness, and avoiding “betrayal” incentives. If organizations want to promote knowledge sharing, and it is in their best interests to do so, they need to enhance the workplace climate and make knowledge sharing and collaboration a norm in the workplace. They have to remove the communication gap/ barriers, and have to work more on the mutual trust, team building, open communication culture, and interpersonal relationships.

It could be part of their performance appraisals.

If employees know they will be rewarded for sharing their expertise, they will be more open to doing so


If organizations emphasize positive relationships and trust among employees, then knowledge sharing will become part of the culture, and that makes everyone better.

Article by : Mr. Avinash Dixit

Group Head HR

I wish to start with some ground level realities.

It is a time tested universal truth that “Knowledge grows when shared”. Knowledge is not a common commodity which will break into pieces or reduce when shared. Knowledge is “Power” and as a corollary, Lack of Knowledge can be equated with “state of helplessness”.

Since ancient times, knowledge has been transferred from one generation to another following “Guru-Shishya Parampara”; the Guru being a Teacher, Parent or any elder in the family/community. The “Shishya” has added his own bit to the acquired knowledge and transferred it further. And this is how evolution is happening over the ages.

However, today in the Corporate World (Rat Race if I may say so), we find that our time-tested knowledge transfer mechanism is threatened due to several mental blocks in the minds of “those who know”. Some of these blocks are :
1. If I share the knowledge I possess, my importance will be lost.
2. If I share the knowledge to someone, he/she will push me out of my position.
3. If I share the knowledge I possess, my status of exclusivity will be threatened.
4. Why should I waste my time? I have many other things to do.
5. Let somebody else do it. Once that exercise fails, my importance will go up.
……This is endless really.

These mind blocks are really coming from a state of “Fear” rather than wanting to experience a satisfying feeling of having developed someone / helped someone in upgrading knowledge on a subject in which you hold mastery.

There are no ready solutions to get cured from this “Fear”.

This desire to hide knowledge can be partly curtailed by a top driven approach in Goal-setting wherein each senior member is given certain objectives like:
a) Developing & upgrading knowledge of team members on a continuous basis – “Transformational Coaching”
b) Developing atleast 2 successors for position occupied by self (GE Model of Succession Planning)
c) “Each One Teach One”

Article by : Mr. Rajendra Suthar

Chiripal Group

This is a subject which all employee have to face irrespective of hierarchy on a day to day basis.

Simple and foremost reason is “Fear of loss”. This is there in the Industry since long and everybody knows it and will advice others to be open and share the knowledge.

But when it comes to personal then argument and excuse starts. It is hided by using word it is ‘Secret’.

Very few organizations have two way systems of communication and feedback. That is why those who takes initiative and interest will get the knowledge.

Despite of above facts , we must try and create a conducive atmosphere where sharing is rewarded so everybody come forward to share the knowledge.

The easiest way to ensure that have a daily meeting across the functional dept on knowledge sharing. Each individual must speak on related subject for few minutes and

others must respond to the speaker. Once the sharing starts initially involuntarily then it becomes a habit, it will break major hurdle.

Without going much in details we actually practice this and it has helped a lot in solving day to day problems. Which makes everybody ‘s life easy.


Article by : Mr. Unmesh Abhyankar

COO, Adani PORTS and SEZ Ltd

This is a favourite subject which all leaders have to encounter on a day to day basis.

First and foremost why does this happen and what comes to my mind is “fear of loss” and from my personal experience this is the biggest factor why knowledge is hoarded.

I am not sure that we can actually change a person’s DNA but we can definitely try and create a conducive atmosphere where sharing is rewarded.

If we all as individuals are absolutely clear about what we do for a living and “” is not rocket science ”” ( no disrespect to other professionals ) then it becomes easier for breaking the barriers and cultivating an organization to share rather than hoard….[su_button url=”http://iimts.edu.in/knowledge/when-knowledge-sharing-turns-to-knowledge-hiding-2/” target=”blank”]Read More[/su_button]

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