Rivals or Allies: How Performance‐Prove Goal Orientation Influences Knowledge Hiding

Yue ZHU, Tingting CHEN, Mo WANG, Yanghua JIN, Yongyue WANG

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

4 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research suggests that performance‐prove goal orientation is positively related to knowledge hiding. However, we argue that this effect depends on the focus of performance feedback (i.e., individual‐ and group‐focused feedback), which shapes the nature of the competitive expression of performance‐prove goal orientation (i.e., intragroup and intergroup oriented). We conducted three studies to test our theoretical model. The results of Study 1 with time‐lagged data from 128 part‐time MBA students showed that performance‐prove goal orientation was positively related to knowledge hiding when performance feedback focused more (vs. less) on individual performance, but was negatively related to knowledge hiding when performance feedback focused more (vs. less) on group performance. Study 2 replicated these moderation findings in an experimental study of 210 undergraduate students. Study 3 again replicated the moderation effects using multisource data from 317 employees and their supervisors. It also included creativity as an outcome of knowledge hiding and illustrated the distal consequence of the moderation effects of individual‐ and group‐focused performance feedback. We then discussed the implications for the theory and practice of performance‐prove goal orientation and knowledge hiding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-868
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number7
Early online date22 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019



  • creativity
  • knowledge hiding
  • performance feedback
  • performance-prove goal orientation

Cite this