COMM Scholar Explores Knowledge Hoarding


In an age when open source platforms and over-sharing on social media is the norm, “knowledge hoarding” might seem anomalous. But Associate Professor Chunke Su (Communication) will spend the next three years with a $360,000 grant from the U.S. Army exploring the darker side of knowledge sharing.

“What triggered my research was a recent newspaper poll that said 76 percent of the 1,700 readers surveyed admitted to withholding knowledge from their co-workers,” said Su. “I found this interesting given how much we stress sharing knowledge and collaboration in today’s society.”

Utilizing transactive memory systems theory and social network analysis techniques, Su’s project will explore when and why employees hoard work-related knowledge from their co-workers in a variety of organizational work teams. Also, the research will “evaluate the outcomes of knowledge hoarding by studying the potential beneficial or harmful effects of knowledge hoarding on the performance of the work teams,” Su said.



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