SECI Model: Knowledge Creation & Dimensions

Are you curious to learn about the knowledge sharing and knowledge conversion process?

Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi are the creators of the SECI model.

The SECI model of knowledge management is responsible for performing the knowledge creation process for your organization.

Now, you must be having a question like what is the SECI model and what is the full form of it, so scroll down to know detailed information about it.

What is the SECI Model?

SECI stands for socialization, externalization, combination, internalization. For the SECI model, Nonaka Takeuchi invented the knowledge conversion process that comes into effect within the organization using explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge.

Explicit knowledge is transferable knowledge using various forms and can be quickly codified, assessed, and verbalized. Tacit knowledge is quite challenging to transfer and share with others and is dependent on values, skills, and capabilities.

What is the primary role of tacit and explicit knowledge in the SECI model?

A spiral of knowledge is created where tacit and explicit knowledge interrelates with each other in a constant process. New knowledge is made with such a continuous process.

The main objective of the SECI model by Nonaka-Takeuchi is that an individual’s knowledge is shared with others, so it interconnects to a piece of new knowledge.

SECI Model for Knowledge Creation

In this knowledge creation model, newly created knowledge takes the form of the user’s practice, collaboration, interaction, and learning. The process is nothing but an active churn of knowledge and not a fixed model. The organization typically uses this Nonaka-Takeuchi SECI spiral model as a visual representation of the continual knowledge system operations.

A robust effort has been taken into consideration for analyzing its outcomes based on a practical approach. This approach’s primary motto is to provide vital links to the organizational and national environment inside the organization.

“The issue is whether culture is more than just an element in a KM model, i.e. culture-in-the-model, but rather acts as a limiting factor for a model, i.e. culture-of-the-model” – Andreeva & Ikhilchik

Does knowledge management have any relation with the SECI Model?

Yes, knowledge management typically includes the knowledge conversion theory. Such theory handles the nature of knowledge using the SECI model to a great extent.

The model’s main attraction is that this knowledge conversion mode enhances the organization’s virtual cultures and knowledge assets.

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Four Modes of Knowledge Conversion

Modes of Knowledge Conversion

The SECI model typically contains four basic modes – Socialization–Externalization–Combination–Internalization. The model’s primary intent is to deal with a switching process from one knowledge type to another. First of all, we will understand the overview of these knowledge-sharing modes in detail and see how an interplay occurs between such processes.

  1. Socialization (Tacit to Tacit)

The process of sharing tacit knowledge using observation, imitation, practice, and participation in formal and informal communities takes the form of socialization.

By creating physical or virtual space, it becomes quite possible that the socialization process is preempted where a given community can quickly perform social interaction on a large scale.

The best example of socialization is apprenticeship.

  1. Externalization (Tacit to Explicit)

Externalization is often a complex and essential mechanism of knowledge conversion. 

A tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge conversion process takes place. This tacit to explicit conversion approach includes codifying tacit knowledge in various forms like documents, manuals, user guides, and others to ease the organization to perform sharing. 

As tacit knowledge is primarily concerned with internalization, it becomes relatively easy for all the knowledge workers to communicate.

In this process to create new knowledge, externalized and theoretical knowledge comes into action to deal with the knowledge creation process.

  1. Combination (Explicit to Explicit)

In this knowledge conversion process model by Nonaka Takeuchi, the collection of explicit knowledge, whether from inside or outside of the organization, is performed. 

Furthermore, the collected knowledge is then combined, modified, and even processed to form a more complicated and systematic knowledge system. 

Now the newly generated explicit knowledge is spread among the various members working in the organization. A common example is when we are making a report or analysis.

  1. Internalization (Explicit to Tacit)

In the final step of the SECI model, Nonaka-Takeuchi created the process to generate explicit to tacit knowledge representation. 

Internalization can also be referred to as praxis. Various types of knowledge are applied and used in practical situations to deal with knowledge-creating capabilities broadly. 

An example of this is in an organization that possesses written rules for the company that changes over time.

So, these were the leading steps of knowledge sharing and knowledge creation; the SECI model usually contained for the organization. 

But how does the interaction take place between them?

Ba, a term that is quite hard to pronounce, initially came from the Japanese dictionary. Trust me; Ba does not exist in English vocabulary. Nonaka and Takeuchi used the word “Ba” to represent the context in which the knowledge transfer occurs. It can be in the form of sharing, creating, and utilizing the knowledge as a learning platform within the organization.

So, let’s highlight the four essential categories of ba initiated by Ikujiro Nonaka and Takeuchi:

knowledge exchange
  • Originating ba: A place, either physical or virtual, where the knowledge workers or individuals in the organizations interact with each other is originating ba.
  • Dialoguing ba: The tacit knowledge is shared among the expert professionals to create a piece of knowledge.
  • Systemizing ba: An appropriate analysis and measurement for created knowledge is performed in this process.
  • Exercising ba: This process is typically based on research delineated above, and even the best practices can be improved subsequently.

In addition to it, Nonaka and Takeuchi also invented the four essential knowledge assets that are of prime importance to enhance business productivity and value.

Real-Life Examples of the SECI Model

The SECI model is the well-adopted framework that helps the knowledge-creating company to develop the basics of knowledge generation processes in organizations. 

Let’s now focus on real-life examples of each component of the SECI model that need to be taken into consideration.

  • Example of Socialization: Consider the scenario where an individual shares a technique that you follow in your real-life to minimize the work pressure with your teammate. It eventually enhances its experience or knowledge about the particular technique.
  • Example of Externalization: Consider the scenario where you and your family leave for a tour of Disneyland and get off a lot of tacit knowledge from your journey. Then a blog or notes is written down by you (explicit) about your tour experience. So, your tacit knowledge is converted to explicit knowledge.
  • Example of Combination: The knowledge which an individual gathers from the various journals and books is applied in the articles or blog. Now, the end-users read such information and grab an understanding of your content.
  • Example of Internalization: Consider the case when an employee read about  “How to install a Printer software” from the user guide provided by the authorized company. It is his explicit knowledge. Then, he gains knowledge about printer software installation that is tacit knowledge. Here, explicit knowledge exchange into tacit knowledge. 

What was the expected outcome?

The KMSP-Q includes a list of full questionnaires, typically in terms of both dimensionality and constructing validity. In addition to it, the different knowledge generation dimensions and best practices are specifically in excellent communication to deal with different organizational outcomes.

The KMSP-Q provides factual stability specifically to the theory based on the SECI model. Moreover, the monitoring of an organization’s capability is quite possible for performing knowledge management abilities.

The analysis of the strengths/weaknesses of knowledge management-related policies and programs is suited the best with such knowledge management tools. Have some questions in mind? Here, we have answered the most asked questions from the users.


Using the SECI model is quite complicated as it involves an analysis-synthesis bridge model to implement the following four-step design process.

  • Analyzing a current situation
  • Take appropriate action based on previous observations to create a model
  • Take action on the model of the current situation to create a second model
  • They are developing a responsive model in a physical form or prototype

The Nonaka model –

  • Examines knowledge creation as a dynamic process
  • A piece of knowledge is created, considering better communication between explicit and tacit knowledge
  • It is an ideal choice for the individual, organizational, inter-organizational
Nonaka’s theory of organizational knowledge creation, centered on the SECI model, is probably the most widely cited knowledge management.


So, the SECI model of Nonaka Takeuchi plays a vital role in many organizations dealing with both business practice and design practice. 

In the SECI model, Nonaka Takeuchi created the four modes of knowledge conversion typically based on tacit and explicit knowledge. 

However, for knowledge creation, the model is a central activity of the organization. Designing knowledge is an essential factor in knowledge creation processes that occurs within the organization.

For design practice, knowledge management, and knowledge creation, the SECI model develops an impressive relation to traditional and emerging notions of designing explicit and tacit knowledge.

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