Nonaka and Takeuchi's book The Knowledge Creating Company is one of the most influential in the field of knowledge management. The famous SECI Model, representing the four modes of knowledge creation (socialization, externalization, combination and internalization) seems to have been accepted by the knowledge management community as universally valid in conception and in application. This paper argues that the model must be seen first and foremost as a product of the environment from which it emerged, namely Japan. It is contended that each of the four modes can only be understood with reference to their embeddedness in Japanese social and organizational culture and related value systems. Thus the model should be used with caution. It should be seen as a map rather than a model; or perhaps as a special kind of mirror, which allows us to see ourselves and our knowledge management practices in new ways for directing change. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Knowledge and Process Management: The Journal of Corporate Transformation – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2003
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