The Knowledge-Creating Company
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The Knowledge-Creating Company : How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation

3.9 (169 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

How has Japan become a major economic power, a world leader in the automotive and electronics industries? What is the secret of their success? The consensus has been that, though the Japanese are not particularly innovative, they are exceptionally skilful at imitation, at improving products that already exist. But now two leading Japanese business experts, Ikujiro Nonaka and Hiro Takeuchi, turn this conventional wisdom on its head: Japanese firms are successful, they contend, precisely because they are innovative, because they create new knowledge and use it to produce successful products and technologies. Examining case studies drawn from such firms as Honda, Canon, Matsushita, NEC, 3M, GE, and the U.S. Marines, this book reveals how Japanese companies translate tacit to explicit knowledge and use it to produce new processes, products, and services.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 164 x 238 x 24mm | 598.74g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • line figures, tables
  • 0195092694
  • 9780195092691
  • 301,384

Back cover copy

Two leading Japanese business experts, Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi, are the first to tie the performance of Japanese companies to their ability to create new knowledge and use it to produce successful products and technologies. In The Knowledge-Creating Company, Nonaka and Takeuchi provide an inside look at how Japanese companies go about creating this new knowledge organizationally. The authors point out that there are two types of knowledge: explicit knowledge, contained in manuals and procedures, and tacit knowledge, learned only by experience, and communicated only indirectly, through metaphor and analogy. U.S. managers focus on explicit knowledge; the Japanese, on the other hand, focus on tacit knowledge. And this, the authors argue, is the key to their success - the Japanese have learned how to convert tacit into explicit knowledge. To explain how this is done - and illuminate Japanese business practices as they do so - the authors range from Greek philosophy to Zen Buddhism, from classical economists to modern management gurus, illustrating the theory of organizational knowledge creation with case studies drawn from such firms as Honda, Canon, Matsushita, NEC, Nissan, 3M, GE, and even the U.S. Marines. In addition, the authors show that, to create knowledge, the best management style is neither top-down nor bottom-up, but rather what they call "middle-up-down", in which the middle managers form a bridge between the ideals of top management and the chaotic realities of the frontline. As we make the turn into the twenty-first century, a new society is emerging. Peter Drucker calls it the "knowledge society", one that is drastically different from the "industrial society",and one in which acquiring and applying knowledge will become key competitive factors. Nonaka and Takeuchi go a step further, arguing that creating knowledge will become the key to sustaining a competitive advantage in the future. Because the competitive environment and customer preferences change constantly, knowledge perishes quickly. With The Knowledge-Creating Company, managers have at their fingertips years of insight from Japanese firms that reveal how to create new knowledge organizationally, and how to exploit it to make successful products, services, and systems.show more

Review quote

The book, an esoteric mixture of philosophy and practical guidance, has been a business bestseller in the US. * Charles Leadbeater, Financial Times * Provides a perceptive and very relevant analysis of how Japanese companies go about creating new knowledge organizationally ... One of the most valuable new books I have covered ... for some time. * Long Range Planning * Nonaka and Takeuchi have written an academic study that summarises their theories and presents case studies illustrative to a western audience ... a guide to practitioners, based on materials for workshops and consultancy by the authors. * Financial Times * Nonaka is indispensable. * Financial Times * Nonaka and Tekuchi demonstrate for the reader how it is possible to transfer tacit knowledge into explicit, which in turn is used to create new knowledge. * Knowledge Management, June 2000 * When the authors detail specific examples of knowledge creation, the reader's interest awakens. * The Wall Street Journal *show more

About Ikujiro Nonaka

Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi are both Professors of Management at the Institute of Business Research, Hitosubashi University.show more

Review Text

When the authors detail specific examples of knowledge creation, the reader's interest awakens. The Wall Street Journalshow more

Rating details

169 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 30% (51)
4 36% (61)
3 28% (47)
2 6% (10)
1 0% (0)
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