Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture

Revising the SECI Model for American Organizational Culture

Jerry Westfall (Liberty University, USA)
Copyright: © 2009 |Pages: 13
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-540-5.ch004
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This chapter discusses the revision of the SECI model originally based on Japanese organizational culture into a model based on American organizational culture. The argument presented is that the original SECI model was developed from a Japanese perspective that does not align well with the American perspective. The American perspective is much different than in other cultures because individualism is paramount, but when compared to the group-centric culture of Japan, the differences are made evident. The hope is that by converting the model to a culturally relevant one that it can be better used as a foundation for understanding organizational knowledge transfer thereby improving organizational memories.
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Nonaka and Takeuchi (1995) developed the SECI model to describe the transfer of knowledge within an organization. The SECI model has four processes or phases that follow a logical path for tacit to explicit knowledge conversion. Their four phases are:

  • Socialization: Direct interactions, over time, resulting in knowledge transfer via physical proximity.

  • Externalization: Translation of tacit knowledge into externally comprehensible forms.

  • Combination: Conversion of explicit knowledge into more complex forms.

  • Internalization: Converting explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge for organizational benefit which relies on action and practice as well as simulation and experimentation.

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