Data_Sheet_1_Managing Knowledge in Organizations: A Nonaka’s SECI Model Operationalization.pdf (82.93 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_Managing Knowledge in Organizations: A Nonaka’s SECI Model Operationalization.pdf

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posted on 10.12.2019 by Maria Luisa Farnese, Barbara Barbieri, Antonio Chirumbolo, Gerardo Patriotta

The SECI model (Nonaka, 1994) is the best-known conceptual framework for understanding knowledge generation processes in organizations. To date, however, empirical support for this framework has been overlooked. The present study aims to provide an evidence-based groundwork for the SECI model by testing a multidimensional questionnaire Knowledge Management SECI Processes Questionnaire (KMSP-Q) designed to capture the knowledge conversion modes theorized by Nonaka.


In a twofold study, the SECI model was operationalized via the KMSP-Q. Specifically, Study One tested its eight-dimensional structure through exploratory and confirmatory factorial analyses on 372 employees from different sectors. Study Two examined the construct validity and reliability by replicating the KMSP-Q factor structure in knowledge-intensive contexts (on a sample of 466 health-workers), and by investigating the unique impact of each dimension on some organizational outcomes (i.e., performance, innovativeness, collective efficacy).


The overall findings highlighted that the KMSP-Q is a psychometrically robust questionnaire in terms of both dimensionality and construct validity, the different knowledge generation dimensions being specifically linked to different organizational outcomes.

Research/Practical Implications

The KMSP-Q actualizes and provides empirical consistency to the theory underlying the SECI model. Moreover, it allows for the monitoring of an organization’s capability to manage new knowledge and detect the strengths/weaknesses of KM-related policies and programs.


This paper proposes a comprehensive measure of knowledge generation in work contexts, highlighting processes that organizations are likely to promote in order to improve their performance through the management of their knowledge resources.