Faculty members

NONAKA, Ikujiro
Visiting and Adjunct Faculty Members
NONAKA, Ikujiro


Professor Emeritus, Hitotsubashi University

Ikujiro Nonaka received his BA in political science from Waseda University in 1958, and MBA and PhD in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley in 1968 and 1972, respectively. Professor Nonaka was appointed a Xerox Distinguished Faculty Scholar of the University of California in 1997, Professor Emeritus of Hitotsubashi University in 2006.

Professor Nonaka was the Dean of the Graduate School of Knowledge Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, from 1997 to 2000. Previously he was Professor (1982-95) and Director (1995-98) at the Institute of Business Research, Hitotsubashi University. His earlier academic career included positions at Nanzan University and the National Defense Academy’s Faculty of Social Science.

Professor Nonaka’s primary research interest is to establish and disseminate the theory of knowledge-based management of companies, communities, public administration, and the nations, in order to facilitate ongoing, sustainable knowledge creation and innovation. As part of this work, he has conducted comparative research on leaders and on knowledge-creating processes in companies and organizations, and of leaders, around the world. Accordingly, he is known globally as the ‘guru’ of Knowledge-based Management, having proposed concepts and theories on organizational knowledge creation processes and leadership since the 1980s. His academic works include the SECI Model for the organizational knowledge creating process, the concept of Ba and the dynamic model of organizational knowledge creation process, the concept and abilities of wise leadership and phronesis (practical wisdom), and historical imagination and idealistic pragmatism.

Professor Nonaka has won wide-ranging recognition for his work in developing the theory of Knowledge-based Management. In 2002, Professor Nonaka was conferred with a Purple Ribbon Medal by the Japanese government, and elected a member of the Fellows Group of the Academy of Management in the United States, becoming the first Asian scholar among the Group’s members. Professor Nonaka was ranked number 20 in the Wall Street Journal’s “Most Influential Business Thinkers (May 5, 2008).” In Autumn 2010, he was conferred with the Zuihōshō, or The Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon, for outstanding achievement, and long service and contributions to education. In June 2012, Professor Nonaka received the Eminent Scholar Award from the Academy of International Business (AIB). In November 2013, he was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Thinkers50, which is given to someone who has had a long-term impact on the way people think about and practice management. He was elected as a member of the Japan Academy in January 2016. Professor Nonaka received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, on November 3, 2017, during the school’s annual gala.



Chitoku-Kokka no Leadership (with Shinichi Kitaoka), Nihon Keizai Shuppan, 2021 (in Japanese).
Kyokan ga Mirai wo Tsukuru (with co-authors), Chikura-shobo, 2021 (in Japanese).
Empathy-driven Management (with A.Katsumi), Nihon Keizai Shuppan, 2020 (in Japanese).
The Wise Company: From Knowledge Management to From Knowledge Practice (with H.Takeuchi), Toyokeizaishimpo-sha, 2020 (in Japanese).
The Essence of Chi-Ryaku (with co-authors), Nihon Keizai Shimbun Shuppan-sha, 2019 (in Japanese).
The Wise Company: How Companies Create Continuous Innovation (with H. Takeuchi), Oxford University Press, 2019.
Intuition-driven Management (with I.Yamaguchi), KADOKAWA , 2019 (in Japanese).
Knowledge Forum Kougi-Roku, Toyokeizaishimpo-sha, 2018(in Japanese).
Soichiro Honda, PHP Kenkyu-sha, 2017(in Japanese).
The Essence of Knowledge Maneuverability, Chuokoronshin-sha, 2017(in Japanese).
Zen-in Keiei (with A. Katsumi), Nihon Keizai Shimbun Shuppan-sha, 2015 (in Japanese).
Phronesis and Quiddity in Management: A School of Knowledge Approach (with co-authors). Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.
The Essence of Nation Management (with co-authors), Nihon Keizai Shimbun Shuppan-sha, 2014 (in Japanese).
Social Innovation (with co-authors), Tokyo: Chikura Shobo, 2014 (in Japanese).
The Essence of Great Judgements (with S. Ogino), Tokyo: Diamond-sha, 2014 (in Japanese).
Business Model Innovation (with K. Tokuoka), Tokyo: Toyokeizaishimpo-sha, 2012 (in Japanese).
The Grammar of Knowledge Creating Management for Prudent Capitalism (with N. Konno), Tokyo: Toyokeizaishimpo-sha, 2012 (in Japanese).
The Practical Wisdom of Innovation (with A.Katsumi), Tokyo: Nikkei BP, 2010 (in Japanese)
Managing Flow: The Dynamic Theory of the Knowledge-based Firm (with co-authors), Tokyo, Toyokeizaishimpo-sha, 2010 (in Japanese).
Managing Flow: A Process Theory of the Knowledge-based Firm (with co-authors), Palgrave Macmillan, 2008.
Virtuous-Based Management (with N. Konno), Tokyo: NTT Shuppan, 2007 (in Japanse).
The Art of Innovation (with A. Katsumi), Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun Shuppan-sha, 2007 (in Japanese).
The Essence of Strategy (with co-authors), Tokyo: Nikkei BP, 2005 (in Japanese).
The Essence of Innovation (with A. Katsumi), Tokyo: Nikkei BP, 2004 (in Japanese).
Hitotsubashi on Knowledge Management (with co-authors), John Wiley (Asia), 2003.
Methodology of Knowledge Creation (with N. Konno), Tokyo: Toyokeizaishimpo-sha, 2003 (in Japanese).
Managing Industrial Knowledge (with D. Teece eds.), London: Sage, 2001.
Knowledge Emergence (with T. Nishiguchi eds.), New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
Enabling Knowledge Creation (with G. von Krogh and K. Ichijo), New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Handbook of Organizational Learning & Knowledge (with M. Diekes, A.B. Anthal and J. Child eds.), Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
Knowledge Creation: A Source of Value (with G. von Krogh and T. Nishiguchi eds.), London: Macmillan, 2000.
The Light and the Shadow: How Breakthrough Innovation is Shaping European Business (with O. Kalthoff and P. Nueno), Roland Berger Foundation, 1997.
Relentless: The Japanese Way of Marketing (with J.K. Johansson), New York: Harper Business, 1996.
The Knowledge-Creating Company (with H. Takeuchi), New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
Intellectualizing Capability (with N. Konno), Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun-sha, 1995 (in Japanese).
U.S. Marine Corp: Self-Innovation of Non-profit Organization, Tokyo: Chuuo Kouron Shinsha, 1995 (in Japanese).
Management for Knowledge Creation, Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun-sha, 1990 (in Japanese).
Strategic vs. Evolutionary Management: A U.S.-Japan Comparison of Strategy and Organization (with T. Kagono, K. Sakakibara and A. Okumura), Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1985.
An Evolutionary Theory of the Firm, Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun-sha, 1985 (in Japanese).
Essence of Failure: Organizational Study of the Japanese Armed Forces during the World War II (with R. Tobe, Y. Teramoto, S. Kamata, T. Suginoo and T. Murai), Tokyo: Diamond-sha, 1984 (in Japanese).
A Comparison of U.S. vs. Japanese Management (with T. Kagono, K. Sakakibara and A. Okumura), Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Shimbun-sha, 1983 (in Japanese).
Organization and Market: A Contingency Theory, Tokyo: Chikura Shobo, 1974 (in Japanese).

Articles /Book Chapters

“Strategy as a Way of Life”, (with Hirotaka Takeuchi), MIT Sloan Management Review, Volume 63, Issue 1, Fall 2021.
“Humanizing Strategy”, (with Hirotaka Takeuchi) , Long Range Planning, Volume54, Issue 4, August 2021.
“Maneuvering Knowledge: A study of U.S. Marine Corps”, (with Kota Uno), Kindai Management Review, Vol.8, 2020.
“’Meso’-Foundations of Dynamic Capabilities: Team‐Level Synthesis and Distributed Leadership as the Source of Dynamic Creativity” (with A. Hirose and Y. Takeda), Global Strategy Journal, 6(3), 168-182, 2016.
“Practical Strategy as a Co-Creating Collective Narrative: From the Perspective of Organizational Knowledge-Creating Theory” (with A. Hirose). Kindai Business Review, 2015.
“Wisdom, management and organization” (with R. Chia, R. Holt, and V. Peltokorpi). Management Learning, 45(4), 365-376, 2014.
“Scenario planning: the basics” (with N. Konno, I. Nonaka, and J. Ogilvy). World Futures, 70(1), 28-43, 2014.
“Dynamic fractal organizations for promoting knowledge-based transformation – A new paradigm for organizational theory”(with M. Kodama, A. Hirose, and F. Kohlbacher), European Management Journal, (32): 137–146, February 2014.
“The Wise leader”(with H. Takeuchi), Harvard Business Review, May.-2011. 3-11, 2011.
“Knowledge-based View of Radical Innovation: Toyota Prius Case” (with V. Peltokorpi) in J. T. Hage and M. Meenus (eds.), Innovation and Knowledge Growth, 2009.
“Strategic Management as Distributed Practical Wisdom (Phonesis)” (with R. Toyama), Industrial and Corporate Change, 2007.
“Visionary Knowledge Management: The Case of Eisai Transformation” (with V. Peltokorpi), International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 3 (2), 2006.
“Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory: Evolutionary Paths and Future Advances” (with G. von Krogh and S. Voelpel), Organizational Studies, 27(18): 1179-1206, SAGE Publications, 2006.
“Managing Organizational Knowledge: Theoretical and Methodological Foundations” in K.G. Smith and M.A. Hitt (eds.), Great Minds in Management, New York: Oxford University, 2005.
“The Theory of the Knowledge-Creating Firm: Subjectivity, Objectivity and Synthesis” (with R. Toyama), Industrial and Corporate Change, 14 (3): 419-436, 2005.
“Strategic Knowledge Creation: The Case of Hamamatsu Photonics” (with V. Peltokorpi and H. Tomae), International Technology Journal, 2005.
“The Knowledge-Creating Theory Revisited: Knowledge Creation as a Synthesizing Process” (with R. Toyama), Knowledge Management Research and Practice, 2-10, 2003.
“A Firm as a Dialectical Being: Toward a Dynamic Theory of a Firm” (with R. Toyama), Industrial and Corporate Change, 11 (2002), 995-1009.
“A Firm as a Knowledge Creating Entity: A New Perspective on the Theory of the Firm” (with R. Toyama and A. Nagata), Industrial and Corporate Change, 9 (1), 1-20, 2000.
“Integrated IT Systems to Capitalize on Market Knowledge” in G. von Krogh, I. Nonaka and T. Nishiguchi (eds.), Knowledge Creation: A New Source of Value, London: Macmillan, 2000.
“A Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation: Understanding the Dynamic Process of Creating Knowledge” (with R. Toyama and P. Byosiere) in M. Dierkes, A. Antal, J. Child, and I. Nonaka (eds.), Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
“An Integrated Information Technology System for Knowledge Creation” (with P. Reinmoeller and R. Toyama) in M. Dierkes, A. Antal, J. Child, and I. Nonaka (eds.), Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
“Emergence of “Ba”: A Conceptual Framework for Continuous and Self-transcending Process of Knowledge Creation” (with N. Konno and R. Toyama) in I. Nonaka and T. Nishiguchi (eds.), Knowledge Emergence, New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.
“Knowledge Creation within Industrial Systems” (with F. Corno and P. Reinmoeller), Journal of Management and Governance, 3, 379-394, 1999.
“Organizational Capabilities in Product Development of Japanese Firms: A Conceptual Framework and Empirical Analyses” (with K. Kusunoki and A. Nagata), Organization Science, 9 (6) 699-718, 1998.
“The Concept of “Ba”: Building a Foundation for Knowledge Creation” (with N. Konno), California Management Review, 40 (3) 1-15, 1998.
“A Theory of the Firm’s Knowledge-Creation Dynamics” (with H. Takeuchi) in A.D. Chandler, P. Hagstrom and O. Solvell (eds.), The Dynamic Firm, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.
“Three Tales of Knowledge-Creating Companies” (with K. Umemoto and D. Senoo) in G. von Krogh, J. Roos, and D. Klein (eds.), Knowing in Firms: Understanding, Managing, and Measuring Knowledge, London: Sage, 1977.
“From Information Processing to Knowledge Creation: A Paradigm Shift in Business Management” (with K. Umemoto and D. Senoo), Technology in Society, 18 (2) 203-218, 1996.
“Managing Innovation as an Organizational Knowledge Creation Process” in G. Pogorel (ed.), Technology Strategies in the Nineties: A Tricontinental Handbook, Milan: Franco Angeli, 1995.
“A Dynamic Theory of Organizational Knowledge Creation” Organization Science, 5 (1) 14-37, 1994.
“Organizational Knowledge Creation Theory: A First Comprehensive Test” (with P. Byosiere, C.C. Borucki and N. Konno), International Business Review, 3 (4) 337-351, 1994.
“Beyond Reengineering” Organizational Science, 28 (1) 21-31, 1994 (in Japanese).
“Models of Knowledge Management in the West and Japan” (with G. Hedland) in P. Lorange, B. Chakravarthy, J. Roos and A. Van de Van (eds.), Implementing Strategic Processes: Change, Learning and Co-operation, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1993.
“Intellectual Productivity of Japanese Firm” Organizational Science, 26(4) 56-63, 1993 (in Japanese).
“A Theory of Interorganizational Knowledge Creation: Case Study of Innovation Process of Japanese Semiconductor Industry” (with S. Yonekura), Business Review, 40 (2) 18, 1992 (in Japanese).
“Managing Knowledge Creation for the Global Firm: Case Study of Innovation Process of Nissan Corporation” Organizational Science, 25 (4) 2-15, 1992 (in Japanese).
“Managing the Firm as an Information Creation Process” in J.R. Meindl, R.L. Cardy and S. M. Puffer (eds.), Advances in Information Processing in Organizations, London: JAI Press, 1991.
“The Knowledge-Creating Company” Harvard Business Review, Nov.-Dec. 96-104, 1991.
“Managing Globalization as a Self-renewing Process: Experiences of Japanese MNCs” in C. Bartlett, Y. Doz and G. Hedlund (eds.), Managing the Global Firm, London: Routledge, 1990.
“A Methodology of Organizational Knowledge Creation” (with N. Konno and N. Kawamura), Organizational Science, 24 (1) 2-20, 1990 (in Japanese).
“Toward Middle Up-down Management: Accelerating Information Creation” Sloan Management Review, 29 (3) 9-18, 1988.
“Self-renewal of the Japanese Firm and the Human Resource Strategy” Human Resource Management, Spring 1988.
“Creating Organizational Order out of Chaos: Self-renewal in Japanese Firms” California Management Review, 30 (2) 57-73, 1988.
“Redundant, Overlapping Organization: A Japanese Approach to Managing the Innovation Process” California Management Review, 22 (3) 27-38, 1990.
“The New New Product Development Game” (with H. Takeuchi), Harvard Business Review, Jan.-Feb. 137-146, 1986.
“Managing the New Product Development Process: How Japanese Companies Learn and Unlearn” (with K. Imai and H. Takeuchi) in R.H. Hayes, K.B. Clark and C. Lorenz (eds.), The Uneasy Alliance: Managing the Productivility-Technology Dilemma, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1985.
“Japanese Management: What about the ‘Hard’ Skills?”(with J. Johansson), Academy of Management Review, 10 (2) 181-191, 1985.
“Marketing Management, Its Environment, and Information Processing: A Problem of Organizational Design” (with F.M. Nicosia), Journal of Business Research, 7 (4) 277-300, 1979.