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.
"A fascinating, exciting exposure to a new way of thinking about the knowledge-based company....Provides a model of knowledge creation that will be a touchstone of future work in this field....This important, imaginative book will challenge and intrigue managers and management scholars alike."--D. Eleanor Westney, MIT Sloan School of Management in the Sloan Management Review
"A fascinating volume that will interest philosophers, managers, and more common readers....The analyses are so thorough that they make the one- and two-page descriptions in Forbes magazine seem like elementary fairy stories. The authors have done their research well and provide delightful details."--Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Knowledge creation is to the 90s what excellence was to the 80s. I can't imagine a better book on organizational design for innovation. Nor can I imagine a better common focus for managers and scholars. This is the best and most original blend of organizational theory and practice we are likely to see for some time."--Karl E. Weick, University of Michigan School of Business Administration
"This is the most creative book on management to come out of Japan. The same authors who introduced the rugby
approach to new product development, now bring us a myriad of new concepts: tacit
knowledge, the oneness of mind
organization, to name a few. The insights for this book originated in Japan, but the managerial implications are universal. It is a must read for managers competing in the borderless world."--Kenichi Ohmae, Ohmae & Associates
"Nonaka and Takeuchi take on a subject that is truly on the frontier of management: the process by which companies learn and create competitively valuable knowledge. What is refreshing about this book is that Nonaka and Takeuchi go beyond the slogans that have characterized much of the previous work on this subject, and delve into the specific organization structures and processes involved in organizational creativity and learning. They bring a wealth of specific, in-depth company evidence to bear on the task. The result is an important book which will advance both the literature as well as corporate practice."--Michael E. Porter, C. Roland Christensen Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University