Psychological ownership and knowledge behaviors during a pandemic: role of approach motivation

Uzma Batool, Muhammad Mustafa Raziq, Asfia Obaid, Muhammad Saleem Ullah Khan Sumbal

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this article is to understand the relationship between psychological ownership, knowledge sharing, knowledge hiding and employee motivation in knowledge intensive organizations. We take employee motivation in terms of approach motivation and avoidance motivation and examine moderating role of the former in case of the psychological ownership – knowledge sharing relationship, and the latter in case of the psychological ownership – knowledge hiding relationship. We examine these relationships on data collected during a pandemic (i.e., COVID-19). Data are collected from 217 individuals working in knowledge intensive high-tech organizations and educational institutes. Hypotheses are tested using structural equation modelling (SEM). Results show that stronger feelings of psychological ownership lead to both positive work behavior (i.e., knowledge sharing) as well as negative work behavior (i.e., knowledge hiding). Furthermore, approach motivation positively moderates the positive relationship between psychological ownership and knowledge sharing. A moderating role of avoidance motivation, however, is not confirmed. Research has ignored the role of different types of employee motivation, particularly approach motivation vis-à-vis knowledge behaviors. Furthermore, by examining these relationships in the context of a Pandemic (i.e., COVID-19), we offer some interesting insights and offer implications for management practice. For example, managers may incorporate reward practices to motivate employees towards knowledge sharing, and nurture an organizational climate, which discourages knowledge hiding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25089–25099
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number29
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • COVID-19
  • Knowledge intensive organizations
  • Knowledge management
  • Motivation
  • Psychological ownership

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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