Ikujiro Nonaka. Path to knowledge creation

Today it is fashionable to create teams for knowledge management. But, as a rule, such units arise in the IT departments. And that’s not enough.  in his book Managing Flow: A Process Theory of the Knowledge-Based Firm argues that those leaders who use knowledge management as an element of IT, do not fully understand how all have knowledge. Books that are gathering dust on shelves or hard drive full of gigabytes of information are not valuable – it is extra ballast. Knowledge result from the interaction of people with each other; they seemed to flow from one person to another.

Nonaka describes the path to knowledge creation consists of four stages.

  1. Socialization. This is the stage of knowledge transfer during the communication when exchange of information takes place from mouth to mouth. For example, when you update a model the Fit Honda has sent its team to study the lives of citizens of Europe and to see how they use their cars. It turned out that loading products into the machine with a truck near a supermarket in the rain gives a lot more breakthrough ideas than a debate in the office.
  1. Impersonation. The essence of this stage is to translate implicit knowledge into words and images available to a wider audience. For example, the Manager can invite a group of seasonal workers to prepare a training program to discuss what skills they have. Metaphors are important in describing the feelings that arise during execution of work.
  1. Combination. This extension of knowledge by means of execution of hidden information in a clearer form. For example, invite employees to think about global things that they cannot control: markets, policy, requirements of environmental pollution. The more ideas and knowledge about how these global issues affect your company and what you can do, the better your benefits.
  1. Absorption. It is the absorption, the introduction of explicit knowledge into daily practice. Such means a return to activity, but with a greater awareness of the issue. For example, employees of the pharmaceutical company Eisai worked in hospitals, and after returning to their teams made changes in the practice of research and development of new products.

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