jump to navigation

Understanding knowledge hiding at work September 5, 2019

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in knowledge hiding, leadership.
comments closed

Following decades of research and practical focus within the area of knowledge work on sharing and transfer, the attention has now shifted towards understanding the other side – knowledge hiding. Why do people hide what they know, who do they hide it from, what role do leaders play, and above all what can organizations do about it? These are the kind of questions authors of the special issue Journal of organizational behavior Understanding knowledge hiding at work asked themselves.

Here are the articles:


As special issue editors, we (Catherine Connely, Matej Černe, Anders Dysvik, and Miha Škerlavaj) are also deeply grateful to all the anaonymous yet immensely developmental work of our reviewers, editor in chief Suzanne Masterson, editorial team of JOB, contributing authors (those accepted and those that were not), and everybody else involved in pushing the boundaries of behavioral science further. Thank you!

What can we learn from Marvel about continuous innovation? June 18, 2019

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in innovation.
comments closed

Over the last decade, Marvel Cinematic Universe has been on a winning streak. Operating in highly competitive landscape of movie franchises disrupted by streaming business models, they were able to create a successful organization. One that consistently delivered blockbusters pleasing audiences and critics alike. Together with my colleagues and friends Spencer H. Harrison (INSEAD) and Arne Carlsen (BI Norwegian Business School) we delved into research trying to understand inputs, process and output creating innovation at Marvel. In the article published at Harvard Business Review we argue that organizations that would like to create innovation universes, a portfolios of creative products linked to and sufficiently distinct from each other, need to find imaginative ways of balancing continuity and renewal. In other words, for innovation we need both change and stability! Enjoy the read.

Media coverage:

International editions:

Talking Tom has a case study (Outfit7) March 4, 2019

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in case study, change management, creativity, innovation, leadership, organizational culture, relations at work, teaching.
comments closed

In less than a decade, Talking Tom and friends have become a household name around the world with number of downloads exceeding the global population. A fascinating story of how Outfit7, the company behind the scenes of Talking Tom has been started up, scaled up, how founders exited and how it is developing recently as one of rare entrepreneurial unicorns under the new ownership. Many thanks to my co-authors Spencer Harrison (INSEAD) and Žiga Vavpotič (Outfit7 member of the board), all the contributing interviewees including Iza Login (the founder of Outfit7), Xinyu Qian (CEO), all the participating leaders and employees from Outfit7 as well as dedicated staff from the INSEAD to get the story out in the open. Three-part case study is now available from the INSEAD case publishing, the Case centre and now also from the Harvard business school publishing. Our greatest hope is that it will spark fruitful discussions and learning in the educational institutions around the world.

Outfit7 is a digital entertainment firm that develops and publishes animated video games for mobile phones, tablets and desktops. It’s flagship product is a series of mobile apps called “Talking Tom and Friends”, with close to 8 billion downloads globally. Outfit7 is one of only 46 European unicorns, i.e., privately held companies valued above $1 billion, topping the global ranks of most downloaded mobile games. In 2017, according to App Annie, a leading app-ranking platform, Outfit7 was the sixth most downloaded mobile publisher, and My Talking Tom was the second most downloaded mobile game globally, putting it in the company of tech giants like Facebook, Google, Tencent and Alibaba. Part A describes the growth stage from 2009 to 2014, along with the story of founders Samo and Iza Login. The focus is on setting up the startup and developing a unique organizational culture, leaving the hiring decision (fit or misfit) to students. In Part B, from 2014 to 2017, the start-up moves into scale-up phase after the founders’ exit/appointment of a new management team, the focus is on entrepreneurial leadership. In Part C, as tensions emerge from scaling up a unicorn, students must decide what to keep and what to change (how to balance continuity and renewal) as expectations for growth soar.

Pedagogical Objectives:
To facilitate discussion of entrepreneurship, leadership, human resource management, change through growth, and organizational culture.

Start-Up, Scale-Up, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Human Resource Management, Organizational Culture, Unicorn, Founders’ Exit, Change Management, Family Entertainment, Growth, Learning from Failure, Organizational Values, Teamwork

Student videos at the Innovation management October 19, 2018

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in innovation.
comments closed

MKWCI TV strikes again! 4th year in a row. Show of ten fantastic stories about innovation, its hopes to address big, hairy and audacious challenges we face and struggles to bring solutions to live. This year, MSc students att the BI Norwegian business school, course Managing knowledge work, creativity and innovation acted as innovation journalists and created narratives about turning rest food into fine dining experience, shared economy business models in fashion and tools, about finding more sustainable solutions for transportation, cleaning, software apps to stimulate help giving and help seeking, teaching kids math in kindergartens through play, and more. Exciting way to learn about innovation real-time, real-life. Welcome to have a look for yourself.

Book to celebrate 75th anniversary of BI Norwegian Business School August 31, 2018

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in change management, creativity, innovation, leadership.
comments closed

BI Norwegian Business School is celebrating 75th anniversary. Many of our colleagues have therefore contributed to the book At the forefront, looking ahead to link our recent research hoping to address the challenges of the present and future.  The whole book is available for free as open access, my five cents From Creativity to Innovation: Four Leadership Lessons about Capitalizing on High-potential Ideas in Chapter 11. Below is the chapter abstract:

Creative ideas fuel modern organizations and are increasingly salient in times of change. However, novelty—one defining characteristic of creative ideas—is associated with risk. That being said, highly creative ideas tend to represent the most potential, relative to the value they add to organizations and their members. How can leaders increase the odds of successfully transforming high-potential creative ideas into innovative realities? This chapter reviews the most current research findings on optimizing high-potential creative ideas to render the innovation advances they promise. It summarizes and exemplifies the following four leadership lessons: 1) change agents, 2) supportive leadership, 3) integrating multiple perspectives from assorted stakeholders, and 4) facilitating creative employee behavior in the workplace. Research suggests that effectively capitalizing on high-potential ideas in organizational settings requires active leadership that involves a mastery of the competencies of relevant change agents, as the development of new ideas requires rigorous in-context management of the change process. Leaders need to show two-dimensional support of tasks and individuals, not only to provide resources and assistance as needed, but also to facilitate proactive behaviors by challenging employees to depart from the status quo. The successful leader, above all, recognizes that capitalizing on creativity is a social process that requires contributions from multiple viewpoints, and that various stakeholders need to be involved.



Studio ob 17h: Zaposleni na prvem mestu (… o sodelovanju in skrivanju znanja) August 15, 2018

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in knowledge hiding.
add a comment

V ponedeljek 13.8.2018 je Radio Slovenia v Studiu ob 17h izpostavil temo skrivanja znanja med zaposlenimi v kontekstu pogovora med novinarko Majo Derčar, predstavnico Zdruzenja Manager Sašo Mrak, ter predstavnicama podjetij Danfoss Trata (Marjana Krajnc) in SIJ (Sara Wagner). Sogovornice so se pogovarjale o pomenu sodelovanja da znanje zaživi. Od 23:45 pa se mojih pet centov na temo raziskav, ki jih delamo s sodelavci v Sloveniji in po svetu na temo skrivanja znanja, razlogov za ta do sedaj nekoliko spregledani pojav in načinov kako ga preseči.

Povzetek oddaje:

Slovensko gospodarstvo na zunaj deluje kot dobro naoljen stroj. Vendar se konkurenčnost in produktivnost naše države le stežka premikata navzgor po mednarodno primerljivih lestvicah, in to kljub izobraženim in kompetentnim zaposlenim. Resnica je namreč, da zaposleni niso ne zadovoljni in ne motivirani. Vodilni v podjetjih so jih dolgo časa zanemarjali. “Zaposleni so samoumevni.” Nič več. Ti časi so mimo. Človeški kapital v družbi znanja je najdragocenejša dobrina in Slovenci šele odkrivamo, kako jo gojiti in razvijati.

Povezava na oddajo (tema skrivanja znanja od 23:45).

Tell me if you can: time pressure, prosocial motivation, perspective taking, and knowledge hiding June 28, 2018

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in journal article, knowledge hiding, perspective taking, time pressure.
comments closed

Welcome to read our recent publication on knowledge hiding, that aims to contribute to the nomological network of knowledge hiding construct by expanding the list of antecedents and contingencies to time pressure, prosocial motivation, and perspective taking.

Below is the abstract:

The belief that knowledge actually expands when it is shared has been deeply rooted in the mainstream knowledge management literature. Although many organizations and managers expect employees to share their knowledge with their colleagues, this does not always occur. This study aims to use the conservation of resources theory to explain why employees who experience greater time pressure are more likely to engage in knowledge hiding; it further considers how this behavior may be moderated by these employees’ prosocial motivation and perspective taking. The paper uses quantitative multi-study research design as a combination of two-wave field study among 313 employees at an insurance company and a lab experimental study. In the field study (Study 1), the authors find that perceived time pressure is positively related to knowledge hiding. Furthermore, this relationship is moderated by prosocial motivation: employees who perceive greater time pressure hide knowledge only when they are low in prosocial motivation. An experiment (Study 2) replicates these findings, and finds that perspective taking mediates the moderating effect of prosocial motivation on the relationship between time pressure and knowledge hiding.


Škerlavaj, M., Connelly, C. E., Cerne, M., & Dysvik, A. (2018). Tell me if you can: time pressure, prosocial motivation, perspective taking, and knowledge hiding. Journal of Knowledge Management, https://doi.org/10.1108/JKM-05-2017-0179.

Zvezde ali ozvezdja? April 2, 2018

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in professional article, talent management.
comments closed

Članek iz zadnje številke revije HR&M, ki sva ga pripravila z Urško Vidovič Škerlavaj, naslavlja dva široko uveljavljena mita o talentih, ki so jih raziskave v zadnjih dveh desetletjih odločno zavrnile. Prvič, ljudje niso talenti, ampak imajo talente. Drugič, zvezde niso zvezde, ampak so dejansko ozvezdja. Uspešnost najboljših posameznikov je izjemno pogojena z ljudmi in organizacijskim kontekstom, ki jih obdajajo. V razmislek ponujava več praktičnih predlogov za krepitev vključujočega modela razvoja talentov kar najširšega kroga članov organizacije.

Za eno izmed glavnih dilem managementa talentov in ravnanja z ljudmi pri delu na splošno velja vprašanje kupovati ali razvijati talente. O tem sta se že leta 2000 spraševala profesorja s Stanfordske univerze Charles O’Reilley in Jeffrey Pfeffer. V takrat še provokativnem delu sta proučila osem podjetij, ki so konsistentno dosegala veliko boljše rezultate od svoje konkurence. Njune ugotovitve in priporočila so jasna – uspelo jim je zaradi sposobnosti angažirati intelektualne in čustvene vire večine svojih zaposlenih. Obenem zavračata idejo nakupa zvezd in t. i. vojne za talente kot najboljše poti do izjemnih rezultatov poslovanja. Seveda organizacije potrebujejo izjemne ljudi in se morajo posvečati njihovemu privabljanju, izboru in zadrževanju. Vendar pa organizacije še bolj potrebujejo kulturo in sisteme, ki tem uspešnim posameznikov omogočajo uporabljati svoje talente. Najpomembnejša od vsega pa je ugotovitev, da se skrita vrednost organizacij nahaja v neizkoriščenem potencialu kompetenc širokega kroga članov organizacije. Vzorec, ki se ponavlja preko vseh osem proučevanih organizacij. je ta, da imajo vse zelo močno organizacijsko kulturo z izrazitimi vrednotami, ki jih člani organizacije tudi dejansko živijo. Drugi vzorec je, da so vrednote usklajene in konsistentne z organizacijskimi praksami osredotočenimi na ljudi. Skrivnost resnično vrhunskih organizacij je v tem, da znajo dosegati izjemne rezultate s čisto navadnimi ljudmi.

Nadaljevanje članka na spodnji povezavi.

Perceived mastery climate, felt trust, and knowledge sharing December 1, 2017

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in journal article, knowledge sharing, mastery climate.
comments closed

We know how important trust is for oh-so-many reasons. How important is it to actually feel trusted? Our study reveals that felt trust plays an essential role for knowledge sharing behaviors. Summary below, while the article is available from the following link.

Interpersonal trust is associated with a range of adaptive outcomes, including knowledge sharing. However, to date, our knowledge of antecedents and consequences of employees feeling trusted by supervisors in organizations remains limited. On the basis of a multisource, multiwave field study among 956 employees from five Norwegian organizations, we examined the predictive roles of perceived mastery climate and employee felt trust for employees’ knowledge sharing. Drawing on the achievement goal theory, we develop and test a model to demonstrate that when employees perceive a mastery climate, they are more likely to feel trusted by their supervisors at both the individual and group levels. Moreover, the relationship between employees’ perceptions of a mastery climate and supervisor‐rated knowledge sharing is mediated by perceptions of being trusted by the supervisor. Theoretical contributions and practical implications of our findings are discussed.

Source: Nerstad, C.G.L., Searle, R., Černe, M., Dysvik, A., Škerlavaj, M., & Scherer, R. (2017): Perceived mastery climate, felt trust, and knowledge sharing, Journal of Organizational Behavior, http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/job.2241/epdf.

Riding two Horses at Once: The Combined Roles of Mastery and Performance Climates in Implementing Creative Ideas November 22, 2017

Posted by Miha Škerlavaj in creativity, innovation, journal article, mastery climate, performance climate.
comments closed

Innovation paradox is a reason behind much of trouble within and around innovation processes. What works on the front end of creative process, does not necessarily contribute to the innovation outcomes. Continuing our work that started with exploring role of perceived supervisor support and more extensive Capitalizing on creativity book project, we now present finding from Chinese and Slovenian employees on the role of motivational climates for innovation. Below you will find the abstract of our recent publication in the European Management Review:

Not all creative ideas end up being implemented. Drawing on micro-innovation literature and achievement goal theory, we propose that the interplay of two types of work motivational climates (mastery and performance) moderates a curvilinear relationship between the frequency of idea-generation and idea-implementation behavior. Field studies in two non-Western countries (China, with a study of 117 employees nested within 21 groups, and Slovenia, with a study of 240 employees nested within 34 groups) revealed a three-way interaction of idea generation, performance climate, and mastery climate as joint predictors of idea implementation. Specifically, results of random coefficient modeling show that when combined, mastery and performance climates transform the relationship between the frequency of idea generation and idea implementation from an inverse U-shaped curvilinear relationship to a positive and more linear one. These findings suggest that ideas are most frequently implemented in organizational contexts characterized by both high-mastery and high-performance climates. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Source: Škerlavaj, M., Černe, M., Dysvik, A., Nerstad, C. G. L., and Su, C. (2017): Riding two Horses at Once: The Combined Roles of Mastery and Performance Climates in Implementing Creative Ideas. European Management Review, doi: 10.1111/emre.12151.


%d bloggers like this: