Purpose This paper aims to examine the consequences for innovative work behavior (IWB) of top-down knowledge hiding – that is, supervisors’ knowledge hiding from supervisees (SKHS). Drawing on social learning theory, the authors test the three-way moderated-mediation model in which the direct effect of SKHS on IWB is first mediated by self-efficacy and then further moderated by supervisor and supervisee nationality (locals versus foreigners).
Design/methodology/approach The authors collected multi-sourced data from 446 matched supervisor-supervisee pairs working in a diverse range of organizations operating in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. After initial data screening, confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to test for the factorial validity of the used measures with AMOS. The hypothesized relationships were tested in regression analysis with SPSS.
Findings Results showed that SKHS had both direct and mediation effects, via the self-efficacy mediator, on supervisee IWB. The mediation effect was further moderated by supervisor and supervisee nationality (local versus foreigners), which highlighted that the effect was stronger for supervisor–supervisee pairs that were local-local or foreigner-foreigner than for pairs that were local-foreigner or foreigner-local.
Originality/value This study contributes to both knowledge hiding and IWB literature and discusses the useful theoretical and practical implications of the findings.