SECI Model - Explained
What is the SECI Model?
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What is the SECI model?
The SECI Model, proposed by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, seeks to facilitate understanding and management of the knowledge creation process
The SECI model consists of 3 elements:
- SECI - Where the tacit knowledge held by individuals is converted and amplified by the spiral of knowledge.
- Ba - Where the knowledge assets of an organization are mobilized and shared.
- Knowledge Assets
These 3 elements interact with each other organically and dynamically.
What is SECI?
SECI is an acronym that stands for:
- Socialization. Sharing tacit knowledge through face-to-face communication or shared experience. An example is an apprenticeship.
- Externalization. Developing concepts, which embed the combined tacit knowledge. And which enable its communication.
- Combination. Combination of various elements of explicit knowledge: building a prototype is an example.
- Internalization. Closely linked to learning by doing, the explicit knowledge becomes part of the individual's knowledge base (e.g. mental model) and becomes an asset for the organization.
These are the four modes of knowledge conversion that interact in the spiral of knowledge creation.
The spiral becomes larger in scale as it moves up through organizational levels, and can trigger new spirals of knowledge creation.
The creation of knowledge is a continuous process of dynamic interactions between tacit and explicit knowledge.
What is Ba?
This difficult concept (there is no exact translation of the word) can be defined as a shared context in which knowledge is shared, created and utilized through interaction.
The diagram illustrates the various types of Ba, each offering a context for a specific step in the knowledge-creating process.
Examples of the categories, using Seven-Eleven (Japanese convenience shops):
- Originating Ba: the shop floor, it enables people to interact with each other and with customers.
- Dialoguing Ba: the tacit knowledge of local employees is used to create sales forecasts, in dialogue with each other.
- Systemizing Ba: the forecasts of sales are tested against the sales results and are fed back to the local stores.
- Exercising Ba: using this information, and comparing it to reality, staff improve their skills and ability to make the forecasts.
What are Knowledge Assets?
These are company-specific resources that are indispensable to create values for the firm. They are the inputs, outputs, and moderating factors, of the knowledge-creating process.
- Experiential Knowledge Assets
- Conceptual Knowledge Assets
- Routine Knowledge Assets
- Systemic Knowledge Assets
To effectively manage knowledge creation and exploitation, a company has to 'map' its inventory of knowledge assets. Cataloguing is however not enough: knowledge assets are dynamic; new knowledge assets can be created from existing knowledge assets.