SECI model
(Nonaka Takeuchi)

Knowledge Center

Summary, forum, best practices, expert tips and information sources.

Contributed by: Tom De Geytere

111 items • 947.259 visits


SECI model Nonaka TakeuchiWhat is the SECI model? Description

Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi propose a model of the knowledge creating process to understand the dynamic nature of knowledge creation, and to manage such a process effectively: the SECI model. It consist of 3 elements:

  1. SECI
  2. Ba
  3. Knowledge Assets

These 3 elements interact with each other organically and dynamically. The knowledge assets of an organization are mobilized and shared in 'Ba' whereas the tacit knowledge held by individuals is converted and amplified by the spiral of knowledge through:

  • Socialization
  • Externalization
  • Combination
  • Internalization

The three elements should be integrated under clear leadership so that the organization can create knowledge continuously and dynamically: it must become a discipline for organizational members.


The creation of knowledge is a continuous process of dynamic interactions between tacit and explicit knowledge. The four modes of knowledge conversion 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.
SECO model four categories of Ba
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.


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.

Four categories of knowledge assetsKnowledge 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.

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.


The role of leadership is illustrated in the next diagram:
SECI - role of leadership

Origin of the SECI model. History

The model from Nonaka and Takeuchi is based on Polanyi's distinction between tacit and explicit knowledge (1983) and provides an understanding of knowledge creation and management from a Japanese business culture perspective.

Strengths of the SECI model. Benefits

  • Appreciates the dynamic nature of knowledge and knowledge creation.
  • Provides a framework for management of the relevant processes.

Limitations of the SECI model. Disadvantages

  • It is based on a study of Japanese organizations, which heavily rely on tacit knowledge: employees are often with a company for life.
  • The linearity of the concept: can the spiral jump steps? Can it go counter-clockwise?

Book: Ikujiro Nonaka, Hirotaka Takeuchi - The Knowledge-Creating Company

Special Interest Group


SECI model Special Interest Group.

Special Interest Group (682 members)


New Topic

Forum about SECI model.

SECI for Integration between eTOM and KM System
The SECI model has been implemented in many industries. Telecom industry has eTOM as business process framework with cr (...)
🔥 NEW Reasons for Lack of Determination to Knowledge Management and Development
Several complex organizations are not yet engaged clearly with a strong determination in the process of knowledge manage (...)
Commonality of SECI Model
Is the SECI model the most used knowledge management model? Or, at least, the most 'adapted' one? (...)
Capturing Experiences
The best model of capturing data from those who posses experience/s. Sadly overlooked by Commercial & Research entities. (...)
SECI is a knowledge management process
The SECI model can be easily appreciated as a KM process comprising (1) harnessing existing and creating new knowledge t (...)
SECI Software Tools?
Hi Everybody. I am looking for a software solution to support a SECI implementation.
Does anybody has a software pr (...)
SECI Model as a tool for developing an effective teaching pedagogy.
My paper entitled "effects of mountain climbing learning analogy in the achievement and attitudes of university freshmen (...)
Digital Learning Platform Based on SECI
I am setting up a digital learning platform for staff members of many different organisations about the dynamics of diff (...)
How does SECI Lead to Improvement of Organizational Performance?
How will the SECI knowledge management processes help to achieve organizational performance which comprises of operation (...)
Recognition SECI Model
I believe the SECI Model developed by Nonaka and Takeuchi has come to be the most recognised and accepted model of knowl (...)
History of Knowledge Management
I found that other models and concepts came after SECI model. Referring to history,
- "Since 1975, the knowledge m (...)
Linking SECI Model to Innovation
I have some thoughts on how Knowledge Management and Innovation are linked... There are a number of models for implement (...)


Best Practices

The top-rated topics about SECI model. Here you will find the most valuable ideas and practical suggestions.

Implementing SECI in an Organization
Can anyone explain how an implementation of SECI works and plz explain with an example? Thanks (...)

Relevant for Knowledge Management
I found this article very interesting for my course work (...)
What is the Best Way to Transfer Tacit Knowledge?
In my opinion, the SECI model is essence of knowledge management. With this model, we can grow to complex models creatin (...)

The Meaning of the Japanese Word Ba
I need a bit more on "Ba". Is this word coming from Japanese? And if, yes, is it written with which kanji for "ba"? ( (...)

Advantages Disadvantages Between SECI Model and Other Models
What are the main advantages/disadvantages (and other main differences) between SECI model and other models? (...)

Nonaka's SECI Process versus Peter Senge's Learning Organization
How does Nonaka's SECI process support the Learning Organization?
What is the difference between Peter Senge's Fift (...)

(How) Does the SECI Model Work in Western Cultures?
The SECI concept was developed (and works extremely well) for Japanese businesses (culture). I would be interested in ho (...)

Expert Tips

Advanced insights about SECI model. Here you will find professional advices by experts.

Barriers that Hinder Effective Knowledge Sharing

Effective Knowledge Sharing, Pitfalls to Avoid, Knowledge Management Implementation
According to Chris Collison, there are seven common barriers or syndromes that hinder effective knowledge sharing and se (...)

9 Major Definitions of Knowledge Management

Knowledge Management
- KM is the "process of collecting, organizing, classifying and disseminating information throughout an organization, so (...)

How to Identify and Map Knowledge

Knowledge Identification, Knowledge Capturing, Knowledge Storage
In his article “Knowledge Mapping: The Essentials for Success”, Wesley Vestal provides following six tips to identify an (...)

The N-Form Organization (Hedlund)

Alternate KM Framework
Gunnar Hedlund of the Stockholm School of Economics introduced the notion of the N-Form corporation in 1994. He proposed (...)

Critical Activities to Build a Learning Organization

Implementing Organizational Learning, Best Practices
Learning organizations are distinguished because they are undertaking certain activities to foster the internal learning (...)

Capturing Learned Lessons

How to Capture Organizational Learning? Best Practices
Knowledge from bad and good experiences will lead you and your organization to better future performance. You can improv (...)

Knowledge Management Scope

Knowledge Management, Level of Know-how
Research by Deishin Lee (HBS) and Eric Van den Steen (MIT) shows that recording mediocre know-how can actually be counte (...)

Three Pillars of Knowledge Management (WiiG)

Alternate KM Framework
Karl Wiig is one of the pioneers in the field of Knowledge Management and was among the first to publish a series of tex (...)

Components of Learning Agility

Organizational Agility, Organizational Learning, Knowledge Management
One of the critical factors for achieving organizational agility is learning agility, which refers to the ability and ea (...)

Positive Effects of Age Diversity on Company Productivity and (Tacit) Knowledge Sharing

Tacit Knowledge Transfer, Workforce Productivity, Incentive Management
Backes-Gellner and Veen (2013) outlined the main advantages of having a diverse workforce within a company. The followin (...)

Knowledge Management Focal Point

Knowledge Management Focus
Research by Deishin Lee (HBS) and Eric Van den Steen (MIT) shows that information about successes is typically more usef (...)
Information Sources

Various sources of information regarding SECI model. Here you will find powerpoints, videos, news, etc. to use in your own lectures and workshops.

Revisiting Knowledge Management

Integrating Knower with the Knowledge Processes
Very good paper by Madhukar Shukla gives historic overview of KM, 3 dimensions of KM and future directions of KM. (...)

How Businesses can Use Information Technology (IT) in Strategic Ways

Strategic Management, Information Technology
This presentation looks at Information Technology from a strategic point of view. In other words, it discusses in what w (...)

People and Latent Knowledge in Organizational Learning

Knowledge Creation, Explicit Knowledge, Tacit Knowledge
Knowledge management theory has struggled with the concept of knowledge creation. Since the seminal article of Nonaka in (...)

How to Improve Knowledge Sharing in Knowledge-intensive Organizations

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Sharing Motivation, Knowledge Sharing Platform. Tacit Knowledge
This presentation elaborates on the concept of knowledge sharing, thereby focusin on a knowledge-intensive organization (...)

Introduction to Knowledge Management: Foundation Principles and Building Concepts

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Sharing, Learning Organization
1. What is Knowledge? 1. What is Knowledge Management? Definition 2. Knowledge Foundation Principles and Building Conc (...)

Knowledge Transfer and Knowledge Sharing

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Transfer
Preentation that is an introduction into the concept of Knowledge Transfer, including its fundamentals, strategies, guid (...)

Overview of Existing Types of Knowledge

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Types, Tacit, Implicit, Explicit, Declarative, Procedural Knowledge
This presentation provides an overview of the different types of knowledge that exist. The presentation includes the fol (...)

Knowledge Management Systems Architecture

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Systems, Knowledge Architecture
This presentation is about knowledge development and management, including the following sections: 1. Overview 2. Know (...)

How to Integrate Internal Organizational Knowledge with External Online Communities

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Creation, Knowledge Sharing, Interaction, Knowledge in Organizations
Due to many online and web-based technological developments in today´s digital economy, sharing knowledge in online comm (...)

Leveraging Cognition for Competitive Advantage:A Knowledge-Based Strategy Process

Knowledge-intensive firms
Article by Senthil K. Muthusamy and Ramaraj Palanisamy. One of the central bases for achieving competitive advantage is (...)

Discovering Knowledge Management Forces

This paper by Khalid Samara is an ongoing research in the area of knowledge management (KM) and evidence-based practice (...)

Introduction and Summary of SECI

Initial Understanding of SECI. Start of workshop/training
Knowledge Management Is utilizing tacit (the unseen huge part of the iceberg), as well as explicit (the tip of the iceb (...)

Knowledge Creation: The SECI Model

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Creation
Presentation about the SECI model of Nonaka and Takeuchi (1996), a model about knowledge creation. The model is based on (...)

Knowledge Sharing and Organizational Learning through Communities of Practices

Knowledge Sharing, Organizational Learning, Communities of Practices, Special Interest Groups
Knowledge management in Communities of Practice (CoPs) This presentation is about organizational learning and knowledge (...)

SECI Model Diagrams

Knowledge Management
Download and edit these 12manage PowerPoint graphics for limited personal, educational and business use. Republishing i (...)

Knowledge Transfer in the E-world

Knowledge Management, Knowledge Transfer, Internet, Intranet, E-Business, CRM
This is a presentation about Knowledge Transfer (KT), specifically focused on KT in the e-world. The presentation consis (...)

3 Pillars of KM

Knowledge Management
Three Pillars of Knowledge Management (Wiig). (...)

N-Form Organization

Knowledge Management
The Dynamics of Knowledge Management in an N-Form Organization. (...)

Research Links

Automatically jump to further useful sources regarding SECI model.

News Videos Presentations Books More






Compare with the SECI model: Bridging Epistemologies  |  Organizational Learning  |  Organizational Memory  |  Action Learning  |  Knowledge Management (Collison & Parcell)

Return to Management Hub: Knowledge & Intangibles  |  Leadership

More Management Methods, Models and Theory

Special Interest Group

Do you have a keen interest in SECI model? Become our SIG Leader


About 12manage | Advertising | Link to us / Cite us | Privacy | Suggestions | Terms of Service
© 2021 12manage - The Executive Fast Track. V15.8 - Last updated: 18-10-2021. All names ™ of their owners.