The SECI model, also known as the Nonaka-Takeuchi model, is a theoretical framework developed by Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi to describe knowledge creation and sharing processes within organizations. It emphasizes the dynamic interaction between explicit and tacit knowledge and how they are converted and shared to create new knowledge. The model is named after the four modes of knowledge conversion it identifies: Socialization, Externalization, Combination, and Internalization (SECI).

Here’s a brief overview of each mode:

  1. Socialization: This mode involves the sharing of tacit knowledge through direct interactions and experiences among individuals. It occurs through observation, imitation, and practice. Socialization often takes place in informal settings such as conversations, apprenticeships, and shared experiences.
  2. Externalization: Externalization involves the process of articulating tacit knowledge into explicit forms such as documents, diagrams, or models. In this mode, individuals express their tacit knowledge in a way that can be understood and shared by others. This often involves storytelling, metaphorical expressions, or creating new concepts and frameworks based on personal experiences and insights.
  3. Combination: Combination refers to the integration and reconfiguration of explicit knowledge into new forms. It involves the systematic organization and synthesis of explicit knowledge from various sources to create new knowledge. This mode often occurs through processes such as categorization, classification, and synthesis of information from different sources, leading to the creation of new concepts, products, or services.
  4. Internalization: Internalization involves the process of embodying explicit knowledge into tacit knowledge through individual learning and experience. In this mode, individuals acquire new knowledge by internalizing explicit knowledge through personal reflection, experimentation, and practice. Internalization is crucial for individuals to assimilate explicit knowledge into their existing tacit knowledge base, making it personally meaningful and usable.

The SECI model emphasizes the cyclical nature of knowledge creation and sharing, with knowledge continuously flowing through these four modes within an organization. It highlights the importance of both tacit and explicit knowledge and the dynamic interactions between individuals and their social context in the knowledge creation process. Organizations that effectively leverage the SECI model can foster a culture of innovation and continuous learning, enabling them to adapt and thrive in dynamic environments.