Knowledge Creation, Organizational Learning and Their Effects on Organizational Performance

  • Antonio Mihi Ramírez University of Granada
  • Víctor Jesús García Morales University of Granada
  • Rodrigo Martín Rojas University of Granada
Keywords: knowledge management, knowledge creation, organizational learning, organizational performance, SECI model.


Knowledge has become one of the most important intangible assets for the company in the current competitive environment (Nonaka, 1994; Hunt, 1995; Grant, 1996; Hunt & Morgan, 1996; Teece, 1998; Lee & Sukoco, 2007; Li et al., 2009), being of particular importance knowledge creation processes within an organization (Nonaka, 1994; Nonaka & Konno, 1998; Nonaka et al., 2000) to achieve long-term competitive advantage (Nevis et al., 1995; Davenport & Prusack, 1997; Chow et al., 2000; Gold et al., 2001; Lin & Lee, 2004; Hicks et al., 2007). Furthermore, learning is at the heart of corporate governance and it has become the essence of productive activity that has new rules, new boundaries and new ways of behaving (García et al., 2009). Thus, one of the strategic values of an organization lies in becoming a “learning organization”. These organizations have an enterprise architecture that converts the firm into a place of learning, so the organization can make appropriate approaches to changing environment (Kogut & Zander, 1996; García et al., 2007). The concept of knowledge management involves managing the learning processes of individual and collective members of an organization. Therefore, it includes organizational learning (related to the creation of new knowledge), and most processes related to the acquisition of knowledge from outside, dissemination, storage and exploitation of knowledge at the firm (Day, 1992; García et al., 2009). So this paper analyzes how the 4 modes of knowledge conversion model proposed in the “knowledge creating organization” (Nonaka & Takeuchi, 1995): Socialization, Externalization, Combination and Internalization (SECI) affect organizational learning and the results of the organization. Analyzing a sample of 284 Spanish companies, we propose a model to analyze this relationship. The results show (1) a positive relation between the modes of knowledge creation, (2) knowledge creation influences organizational learning as an essential part of Knowledge Management (García et al., 2007; García et al., 2009), (3) knowledge creation and organizational learning can create a new approach of continuous improvement leading to the increase of organizational performance (Senge, 1990; Peters, 1992).