Title: A theory of organizational knowledge creation

Authors: lkujiro Nonaka, Hirotaka Takeuchi, Katsuhiro Umemoto

Addresses: Hitotsubashi University, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186, Japan. ' Hitotsubashi University, Kunitachi, Tokyo 186, Japan. ' George Washington University, Washington, DC 20052, USA

Abstract: This paper proposes a theory of organizational knowledge creation, which is defined as the process that organizationally amplifies the knowledge created by individuals and crystallizes it as part of the knowledge system of an organization. The process is a never-ending spiral of tacit and explicit knowledge through four modes of knowledge conversion: i.e., socialization (from tacit to tacit), externalization (from tacit to explicit), combination (from explicit to explicit), and internalization (from explicit to tacit). Each of the four modes of knowledge conversion is explained, using actual vignettes. Finally, a few implications are argued.

Keywords: organizational knowledge; knowledge creation; tacit knowledge; explicit knowledge; knowledge conversion; socialisation; externalisation; combination; internalisation; knowledge spiral.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.1996.025472

International Journal of Technology Management, 1996 Vol.11 No.7/8, pp.833 - 845

Published online: 22 May 2009 *

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