Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation by Ikujiro Nonaka (Part II)


First and foremost, knowledge creation is primarily dependent on the individual. Its quality depends on the variety of the individual’s experience and the knowledge of experience; thus ‘the embodiment (body and mind brought together) of knowledge through a deep personal commitment into bodily experience.

To bring personal knowledge into a social context within which it can be amplified, it is necessary to have a “field” that provides a place in which individual perspectives are articulated, and conflicts are resolved in the formation of higher-level concepts.

The self-organizing team triggers organizational knowledge creation through two processes:

  • it facilitates the building of trust; this occurs through sharing the individual original experience
  • the shared implicit perspective is conceptualized through continuous dialogues; dialogue in the form of face-to-face communication between persons is a process in which one builds concepts in cooperation with others and test hypotheses; interaction rhythms are both of of simultaneity and sequence

The team’s findings become crystallized through being double checked with other departments; justification comes nest as a process of final convergence; finally, the concept crystallized and justified is integrated into the org knowledge base with the aim to reorganize it.

the three enabling conditions for individual commitment:

  • creative chaos: perceived in its interaction with cosmos in a circular process and then becomes a cosmos; creative chaos is generated in crisis or intentionally by proposing challenging goals; chaos creates tension; tension is followed by reflection;
  • redundancy of information: conscious overlapping of info; it provides a vehicle for problem generation; helps individuals to recognize their location in the org which in turn increases their sense of control and direction;
  • requisite variety: the constructing of information process channels
    that match the information load imposed by the environment; an organization can maximize efficiency by creating within itself the same degree of diversity as the diversity it must process.



Nonaka, I., 1994, A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation, Organization Science, Vol. 5, No. 1. (Feb., 1994), pp. 14-37.

Images available here 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s