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Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management

Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management

A thorough review of knowledge creation.

Auteur(s) : Ikujiro Nonaka, Hirotaka Takeuchi

Éditeur : John Wiley & Sons

Date de parution : 2004

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“Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management” is a sequel to “The Knowledge Creating Company” co-authored by Nonaka and Takeuchi in 1995. It provides a review of the two authors’ theories on knowledge creation, but also develops thinking on the implications of these theories in a world where the globalization of businesses and the digitalization of communications can paradoxically complicate the creation of knowledge.
The book is compiled from articles written by professors at the University of Hitotsubashi, where Nonaka and Takeuchi teach. Rather than providing a clear train of thinking, it sheds light successively on various aspects of knowledge creation. The resulting variations or repetitions do not make this an easy read. However, in this, the book remains faithful to the principles it defends – using a multitude of approaches to confront a single problem. It is up the reader to compare and summarize the different points of view and consequently to enter into a true knowledge creation initiative process.
– For the authors, knowledge is created by the constant interaction between a tacit form and an explicit form. This mechanism, as well as the various means of transmitting knowledge, is described in chapters 2, 3, and 5, with examples like the Matsushita automated bread-making machine, NEC, and Canon.
– Dialectic thinking is just as critical as a tool to reconcile what initially appears to be incompatible. You will find long explanations on this topic in chapters 1 and 4, which may be completed with the example of the University of Hitotsubashi in chapter 12.
– For more concrete tips on how to foster knowledge creation in your organization, go to chapters 6, 7 and 8. Focused on the importance of the organization and the role of the manager, these chapters highlight the concept of the ba, a knowledge creation space par excellence. This precept is illustrated with the examples of Sony, Olympus and Toyota. Chapter 11 is an interesting complement, although more theoretical and dry.
– Chapters 9 and 10 attempt to apply the principles of knowledge creation to processes like strategic decision making or brand building. Although chapter 9, with the example of the Toyota Lexus, provides some concrete suggestions, chapter 10 is highly conceptual, and will appeal only to experts in marketing theory.


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