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Combination involves the conversion of explicit knowledge into more complex sets of explicit knowledge. In this stage, the key issues are communication and diffusion processes and the systemization of knowledge. Here, new knowledge generate in the externalization stage transcends the ground in analogues or digital signals.

In practice, the combination phase relies on three processes.

  • Capturing and integrating new explicit knowledge is essential. This might involve collecting externalized knowledge (e.g. public data) from inside or outside the company and the combining such data.
  • Second, the dissemination of explicit knowledge is based on the process of transferring this form of knowledge directly by using presentations or meeting. Here new knowledge is spread among the organizational members.
  • Third, the editing or processing of explicit knowledge makes it more usable (e.g. documents such as plans, report, market data).

In the combination process, justification – the basis for agreement – takes place and allows the organization to take practical concrete steps.

The knowledge conversion involves the process of social processes to combine different bodies of explicit knowledge held by individuals. The reconfiguring of existing information through the sorting, adding, recategorizing and recontextualizing of explicit knowledge can lead to new knowledge. This process of creating explicit knowledge from explicit knowledge is referred to as combination.





Resource: Ikujiro Nonaka, Noboru Konno, The concept of "Ba’: Building foundation for Knowledge Creation.

California Management Review Vol 40, No.3 Spring 1998.



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